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MINUTES

LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
L&C Room, Matthews Hall, UM Western Campus
Dillon, Montana
February 12, 2002

Commissioners in attendance were: Darrell Kipp, chair, Betsy Baumgart, Arnie Olsen, Jeanette “Tootie” Rasmusssen, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone and Germaine White. Staff included Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright.

I. Call to Order

Mr. Kipp called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone. He extended thanks to Judy Siring and the Dillon Chamber of Commerce for assisting with meeting arrangements and to Western Montana College for hosting the meeting.

II. Introductions

Mr. Kipp called on commission members and the audience for introductions (please see attached sheet). He noted that Doug Monger, Jack Lepley, Homer Staves, Darrell Martin and Kathy Doeden were unable to attend. He welcomed Betsy Baumgart to the Commission as the newly hired director of Travel Montana.

III. Approval of October 10-11, 2001 Meeting Minutes

Mr. Kipp called for additions or corrections to the October 10-11, 2001, meeting minutes. Ms. Stone made a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Ms. Rasmussen seconded and the motion carried.

IV. Director’s Report

Mr. Blackwood said Ken Soderberg provided him with a copy of the second edition of “Along the Trail with Lewis & Clark,” which he offered as a prize to the person traveling the most miles to attend today’s meeting. He asked attendees to jot down the number of miles traveled and the book would be awarded later in the meeting.

A. Office Relocation

Mr. Blackwood said the Commission office was relocated to 515 N. Sanders, Suites 3B & 3C in Helena. The phone number and mailing address are unchanged; however the fax is now 406-444-2686. The new space was previously wired for the state’s backbone system, which allowed the office to hookup to the Society’s server, and the state telephone system. He said the new space was more than double the size of the previous location, with two separate offices; however the rent increased only $128.00 per month, from $311 to $439. The new location also provided workspace for Sara Groves with the Montana History Foundation, as her work is exclusive to the Bicentennial fundraising program. Additional space is available adjacent to the new office in the event that expansion becomes necessary.

B. Budget Development for FY2003

Mr. Blackwood said he would soon begin development of the FY2003 budget for presentation at the June meeting in Glasgow. He reviewed the background on Program Grants, noting they are monies that the Commission decides to grant directly to certain programs. Previously the Commission had determined to allocate up to 10% of the Grants Budget to these Commission sponsored programs and projects. Mr. Blackwood asked each of the committee chairs to work with him over the next couple of months to bring proposals forward for program grants. He asked people to channel their ideas or requests for funding through the appropriate committee chair.

C. Proposed Congressional Appropriations Strategies

Mr. Blackwood said Mike Oliver, Congressional Liaison for the House and Senate Caucuses, would join the meeting later this morning. He and Mr. Oliver have been working on Congressional strategy approaches for the second half of the 102nd Congress. He reported that three projects have surfaced for which they would like to pursue Congressional funding:

1. The Commission would like to continue working with BLM, MSPOA, FS, and local law enforcement to further development of the Statewide Safety Plan. However, additional funds in the amount of $200,000 would be required to complete the plan. He said some planning was completed this last year with funds contributed by various agencies and the Commission. Work continues through Senator Burns’ Office to secure the additional funds. Application has also been made to the NPS Challenge Cost Share Grant Program and if successful, he said the appropriations request would be dropped. Mr. Blackwood said a year ago, 3 western Montana counties and 5 Idaho counties partnered to submit a “needs list” and were successful in receiving Congressional funding for safety planning.

2. He said regrant funds might also be applied for through Senator Burns’ and Senator Baucus’ offices. This may involve HUD funds designed for Rural Economic Development.

3. Statewide implementation of the Interpretive Sign Strategy would require a $500,000 appropriation through Rep. Rehberg’s office.

Mr. Blackwood provided a quick summary of the NPS Challenge Cost Share Program. He said 300+ applications were received by the January 31 deadline, requesting $20-$25 million. This year’s grant pool totaled $5 million in available funds. The Commission applied for $10,000 for the 4th Annual Fall Conference. Other Commission-supported applications included the Public Safety Plan, the Interpretive Sign Strategy Implementation, MTTA’s Coordinator/Planner Position, and the Confluence of Cultures Symposium.

D. 2003 State Legislative Fundraising Strategies

Mr. Blackwood asked Commission members to be considering whether they wanted to pursue additional funding from the Legislature, in particular, an increase related to the Bed Tax. He spoke about the cooperative, but unsuccessful, effort last session titled, “Futures of the Past,” a proposal designed to direct a portion of bed tax to support heritage tourism. Mr. Olsen said there was some talk of revising HB16; however, he said the Governor’s Budget Office was not supporting new projects and the agencies have been asked to provide 5% cuts. He did say if there was a generic funding bill, the Commission should be a part of it. Ms. Baumgart reported that the Dept. of Revenue was considering an overall tax reform, and the message was clearly “no new taxes.” Mr. Blackwood said Stewart Doggett, executive director for the Montana Innkeepers, relayed the same message.

Mr. Kipp asked if an official kickoff ceremony was planned for January 2003. Mr. Blackwood said the national kickoff was set for January 18, 2003, in Monticello, and in discussions with Senator Fred Thomas, it was suggested that Lewis and Clark or President Jefferson make a visit to a joint session of the Montana Legislature on that date. Mr. Blackwood said he planted the seed with the Honor Guard in Great Falls. He closed by saying legislative issues could be addressed again at the June meeting. David Gray offered assistance from the Boy Scouts in accomplishing the Commission’s objectives.

E. Revised Visitation Research

Mr. Blackwood said he is frequently questioned regarding visitation numbers, and cited the numbers compiled in 2000 by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the UofM. He said there was talk among states of conducting an updated study, but the researchers were debating whether or not this was the time to get visitation numbers, as opposed to conducting an updated interest and awareness survey. The National Council’s Planning Workshop is scheduled in Lewiston, Idaho, April 13-14, and Mr. Blackwood said this would be a topic of discussion. He said Montana might be able to partner financially with other states to help fund an updated study late this year or in early 2003 through funding allocated by ITRR.

F. State Parks Futures Committee

Mr. Blackwood said this group is reviewing the current status of state parks. Ken Soderberg, FWP, commented that this committee was formed in the late 1980s to review the condition, staffing and funding of state parks. He said a series of public meetings are proposed throughout this summer, and they will report to the Governor in October. Mr. Blackwood said he would be attending a meeting on January 28th at Headwaters State Park to provide background on the Bicentennial and what is expected in terms of visitation and impacts.

G. Undaunted Stewardship

Mr. Blackwood explained that Undaunted Stewardship is a cooperative program with MSU Extension, BLM, and the Montana Stockgrowers. The program works with ranchers who might be interested in doing preservation/restoration work. Up to $1 million was appropriated for this fiscal year. In exchange for funds, ranchers agree to put up interpretive signage related to their property and the L&C Trail, and allow limited access. Five Montana ranches were selected through a competitive process for this year’s pilot program.

VI. Fundraising Program Update and Discussion

Fundraising Coordinator Report

Mr. Olsen reported that the Montana Historical Society Foundation changed its name recently to the Montana History Foundation. They are located on the 3rd floor of the Society’s building as they are involved with the Society and other historical entities. He said this past week a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the Foundation and the Commission that allows for Sara Groves to work on the Commission’s fundraising campaign. The fundraising budget totals $145,000, which includes expenses related to the hiring of Charles Bentz and Associates, salary costs for Ms. Groves, and the marketing of the bicentennial license plate. Mr. Olsen said he hoped this was a very wise investment that would result in significant fundraising dollars in the future.

Ms. Groves introduced herself, noting that she was now working exclusively on raising funds for bicentennial projects. Since moving to Helena last October, she has spent time with the Commission staff to become oriented with the various projects, people and agencies. One of her first tasks was to request updated information from regional commissions and non-profits statewide on their projects. She reported on receiving revised budgets and status reports for many of the projects and urged those who had not submitted their update to do so. Ms. Groves distributed copies of the case statement recently completed by Bentz and Associates and said it would serve as the first marketing piece as they begin conducting interviews with 85 Montana business and community leaders in an effort to develop the Bicentennial fundraising strategy. Ms. Groves explained that the case statement defines the projects she is attempting to interest investors in. She reported on her work to compile and submit three NPS CCS Grant Applications. Ms. Groves welcomed questions or ideas and said interviews would begin this week. Mr. Olsen proposed pulling out the Executive Summary from the Case Statement and producing it as a separate document, including the Tier I project list.

Status of the Fundraising Campaign Development

John Bentz addressed the group, stating that the Case Statement would have a life well beyond the interview process, as it would also be used in conjunction with grant applications. He reported that work began last November to develop the Case Statement, and said his first interviews would take place later today. He was very encouraged that Ms. Groves was able to schedule six interviews with people prior to them receiving the Case Statement. He said this indicated that the Commemoration was a viable project, and one that was already well known. Mr. Bentz said he hoped to complete 40-50 interviews by March 31 and would provide the Commission and Foundation with a comprehensive report on how the campaign should be structured. He called for questions and Mr. Clark asked him to define what was meant by an “interview.” Mr. Bentz said that confidential, one-on-one interviews would be conducted with community and business leaders to talk about the fundraising campaign’s potential as outlined in the Case Statement and their potential leadership and financial support of that campaign.

Mr. Blackwood said this first phase of the fundraising campaign was designed to determine what potential exists for fundraising for Montana’s Bicentennial. He explained that initially the state Commission determined to wait and partner with the National Council’s fundraising program, but finally came to the realization that they needed to move forward. He said the potential exists for competing with the National Council for funding, but said that would be dealt with if it happens.

Mr. Bentz said the next phase would be to structure the campaign and process to raise the funds. He said that was where the coordination efforts would come into play with respect to sponsorships, traditional fundraising, etc. Mr. Blackwood asked Mr. Bentz to address competition for funders, in particular, the request sent to RBCs and state commissioners regarding the identification of possible funders. Mr. Bentz said the Commission’s goal was to raise dollars to support projects statewide, and added that coordination and communication would be paramount. He said the Commission might be able to leverage a larger pledge for a project that would the local group and vice versa. It was his desire to coordinate the fundraising contacts in an effort to avoid duplication and confusion and thereby raise the largest amount of funds possible for projects. Mr. Blackwood called for questions, and said this would be a good opportunity to clarify the situation. Mr. Bentz closed by saying once the interviews were completed he would have much more information and would be in a better position to address prospects, prospective leaders and how this would mesh with the RBCs and local communities. Mr. Clark asked what sort of questions would be asked and what information Mr. Bentz hoped to obtain. Mr. Bentz answered that interviewees would be asked 15 questions related to their knowledge of the Commemoration, their interest in supporting it both financially and in a leadership capacity, and what types of sponsorship opportunities might appeal to them. Mr. Langenheim said he also represented the Montana Ambassadors and offered assistance in coordination.

Mr. Blackwood said funds could come in either restricted to a specific project or unrestricted. He said smaller projects might not show up separately in the Case Statement, but those funding needs would be addressed with funds from the license plate revenue, possible HUD funds or unrestricted funds. He stressed the need for people to refine information on their projects and get it to Ms. Groves.

Mr. Blackwood reviewed the membership of the Commission’s Fundraising Committee; Arnie Olsen, Homer Staves, Doug Monger, Darrell Kipp and Jim Parker, a non-commission member who works for Hamilton Stores in Yellowstone Park. He said after Phase I was completed, the Commission would have a decision to make regarding whether or not to retain Bentz and Associates. He noted three options: 1) retaining Bentz as a resident director on a full time-basis, with associated costs; 2) have Bentz available as a consultant on an as-needed basis, or 3) proceed without Bentz through the Implementation Phase. Mr. Blackwood suggested that the Fundraising Committee should consider the options and present a recommendation at the June Commission meeting. He closed by noting the section in his Director’s Report that highlights fundraising activity for the month.

National Council’s Merchandising Program

Mr. Blackwood announced that the National Council had launched their Merchandising Program and said the state Commission was assisting them in getting the word out. For further information, he referred people to the Commission’s “What’s New” page on their website, where a link is provided to the National Council’s web page. He explained that if this program proved successful, funds could come back to participating states through a competitive grants program. Mr. Blackwood said the state Commission was not endorsing the program, but simply helping to make people aware that the program is available.

Board of Investments Loan

Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission determined last year to apply for a $200,000 Board of Investment loan. He said at that time accurate cash flow projections were not available, in particular the amount of sales for the bicentennial license plate. He referred to the projected sales as noted on the “Detailed Budget Comparison for FY 2002,” saying they were probably conservative, as the first month’s sales were actually $28,000. Mr. Blackwood completed the BOI loan application and reported that the Commission was pre-approved for a loan of up to $200,000. He recommended taking a loan in the amount of $100,000 as of March 1, and retaining the remaining $100,000 in reserve, as fundraising efforts would require funding into next fiscal year until the fruits of those efforts were realized. He explained that the sale of the license plate serves as the collateral pledged against the BOI loan. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission also had the option of drawing the full $200,000 and using $100,000 for cash flow and the remaining $100,000 for additional project grant funding. Mr. Olsen felt the Commission should only borrow what was needed for current expenses, as the revenues from the plate sales and fundraising efforts were still unpredictable at this time. He made a motion to change the previous recommendation to borrow $200,000, and instead borrow $100,000 by March 1 for current expenses, leaving the remaining $100,000 in reserve. Mr. Olsen said Mr. Monger provided him with a written proxy for this issue and said Mr. Monger’s vote would be affirmative for this motion. Mr. Kipp stated his agreement with the motion and called for questions. Mr. Blackwood said Paul Johnson, the Commission’s counsel with the Attorney General’s Office, has reviewed and approved the paperwork which includes a Resolution, that if passed, states that the Commission is willing to proceed with the $200,000 loan, but only take a draw of the first $100,000. Copies of the Resolution were provided to Commissioners and Mr. Blackwood explained that Mr. Johnson recommended inclusion of the Resolution in the motion. Mr. Olsen amended his motion to state that the Commission agreed to sign and accept the “Resolution Authorizing Participation in the Intercap Program” to take only an initial draw of $100,000 as of March 1, and asked that the Resolution become an addendum to this meeting’s minutes. Mr. Kipp called for the vote and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood said Mr. Kipp would sign the Resolution and the remaining loan papers.

The meeting recessed for 15 minutes.

Mr. Kipp called for introductions of people who joined the meeting in progress. This included Mike Oliver, Gerard Baker, Ray Noble, Kit Mather and Senator Bill Tash.

V. Committee Reports

A. Budget Review

Mr. Blackwood referenced the handout, “Detailed Budget Comparison for FY 2002,” and explained that the left hand portion of the page contained actual income and expenditures, while the right side of the page reflected projected income and expenditures. He said this worksheet was prepared in cooperation with the Business Office staff at the Society in an effort to arrive at an accurate amount for the Board of Investment loan. Mr. Blackwood referred to the last line on the right-hand side of page 2, which reflected the cash flow through June 2002. The February column reflected $113,677; however by March the cash balance was projected at a negative $68,453. He reviewed the projected expenses for March that included fundraising expenses and the disbursement of grant funds. The bottom line indicated that the BOI loan of $100,000 would be required by March to meet expenses. Mr. Blackwood said he would continue to work with Sharon McCabe and her staff in an effort to provide an accurate monthly report.

B. Grants Committee

In Doug Monger’s absence, Rita Cortright delivered a report on the Grants Program. She began with a review of the 2000 Grant Program, noting that year’s funding partners as the Commission, US WEST, and the Montana Department of Transportation, for a grant pool of $200,000. In June of 2000, 17 of the 41 applications were funded. In October of 2001, letters were mailed requesting final grant reports, and to date, 6 final reports have been received; 6 have requested extensions; and 5 have not as yet responded. She explained that last October it was announced that Carol Crockett, Travel Montana, had agreed to serve as grants administrator for the Commission; however, due to a change in her duties this past December, she had to withdraw her offer. Grant review is still in-house and another possible source of assistance in accomplishing this task would be sought.

She reviewed the 2001 Organization & Planning Grants next, stating that 18 grants totaling $43,223 were awarded in fiscal year 2001. Final reports were due by December 31, 2001, and 16 of the 18 have responded. The remaining two grantees have been contacted and their reports will be forthcoming. She said some unexpended funds would be returned to the Commission.

The 2001 Project Grants were reviewed next. A total of $155,000 was awarded in June 2001 to 13 recipients. Funding partners included the Commission, Department of Commerce - Travel Montana, and the Montana Department of Transportation. Six-month reports came due on December 31, and all 13 project reports have been received.

Ms. Cortright said that last October the Commission determined to award up to $2,000 per grant for Organization and Planning Grants to Regional Bicentennial Commissions and Montana Tribes. She reported that 19 of the 21 groups applied for a total of $38,000. She said the Grants Committee recommendation was to fund the 19 applicants for $38,000 as listed on the Summary Sheet handout.

The 2002 Project Grants Program was reviewed next. Ms. Cortright said applications were made available October 15, 2001, with a deadline of December 21, 2001. This year’s funding partners included the Commission, Department of Commerce - Travel Montana, and Bonneville Power Administration for a total pool of $122,000 for project grants. She reported that 44 applications were received requesting a total of $793,888, and reported that the Scoring Committee completed their work by January 17. Due to time constraints, Doug Monger withdrew from the scoring process. The Committee met on February 1 to review scores and formulate their funding recommendation to fund 13 applicants for $122,000 as listed on the Summary Sheet handout. She closed by saying 6-month reports would be due in August 2002, with final reports coming due in August of 2003. Copies of the Summary Sheets were provided to the audience.

Mr. Blackwood suggested voting first on a motion to fund the Organization and Planning Grants as presented in the Summary. The motion was made and seconded. Mr. Kipp called for discussion and hearing none, the vote and the motion carried.

Mr. Blackwood asked Ms. Cortright to read the slate of 13 project grants recommended for funding by the Scoring Committee. Because some of the projects were funded at a level lower than the requested amount, Ms. Cortright attempted to contact applicants prior to today’s meeting to obtain their agreement to proceed at the recommended funding levels. She said 12 of the 13 applicants had been contacted. Mr. Kipp called for discussion or questions and Mr. Stearns expressed his appreciation for the high quality of projects being proposed and for the Scoring Committee’s work. Ms. Stone made a motion to accept the Scoring Committee’s recommendation to fund 13 grants as outlined on the Summary. Ms. Baumgart seconded. Mr. Kipp called for discussion and hearing none, the motion carried.

C. Conference Planning Committee

Ms. Stone reported that the 4th Annual Fall Conference was set for October 2-4, 2002, at the Best Western GranTree Inn in Bozeman. She said a block of rooms had been set aside and would be held until September 11 and a conference registration mailing would go out to the Commission’s mailing list later in the year. She reported that four volunteers from regional commissions agreed yesterday to work with the Conference Planning Committee. Mr. Kipp reviewed the locations where previous conferences were held; Lewistown, Great Falls, Billings, and now Bozeman.

D. License Plate Committee

Ms. Stone said the committee met last week via conference call and would present a recommendation to the Commission today. Mr. Blackwood played a 30-second PSA developed for television viewing that advertises the bicentennial license plate. He said the audio was also adapted for a radio PSA. A number of the audience indicated that they had seen the PSA on air. Mr. Blackwood explained that at the October meeting the Commission agreed to move $30,000 into a marketing budget for the license plate. He reviewed the products developed by H20 Advertising that included a poster that was sent to RBCs, Chapters, tribal representatives, licensing bureaus statewide, and in press kits sent to media statewide. A sign-up sheet was circulated during yesterday’s RBC meeting and an additional 100 posters were requested. He said licensing bureaus also received sample license plates for display. Mr. Blackwood asked that whenever possible, people should put in a pitch that the proceeds come back to the Commission to fund statewide projects. He said January’s plate sales were just over 1,400, and asked for a show of hands of those who had purchased plates. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the series of press conferences held in December and January, and noted that the Montana Highway Patrol has the plate on their cars. In addition, they have requested use of the Commission’s logo on the patrol cars. Mr. Blackwood reported on his visit to the Prison in Deer Lodge for a press conference and a review of the new flat plate license plate process. He noted the DOJ Registration reminder card, noting that the reverse side of the card would advertise the bicentennial plate. The distribution of approximately 75,000 copies of the insert in Billings, Great Falls, Helena, and Missoula was reviewed. Mr. Blackwood said he was looking for other distribution points and asked for ideas. The press packet, containing the poster, CD of artwork, and a press release was distributed to 200 media outlets statewide and he asked people to follow up with local news outlets to get additional interviews and coverage. Mr. Blackwood said the possibility of a web auction had been discussed; however at yesterday’s RBC meeting it was decided to give each RBC and tribe a personalized plate (L&C1 - L&C25) for their use in fundraising efforts. He said the state Commission would retain “L&C200” and decide how incorporate it into fundraising.

The last item addressed was the possibility of billboard advertising. Ms. Stone reported that Lamar Sign Company made a proposal to the Commission regarding billboard advertising. They presented three proposals that were discussed by the License Plate Committee. She said the committee’s recommendation was to use 10 billboards for 60 days, 2 in Billings, 2 in Missoula, 2 in Great Falls, and 1 each in Helena, Bozeman, Miles City and Glendive, for a total cost of $5,125.00, which included production and two months’ placement. Mr. Blackwood displayed a mock-up of the billboard. Ms. Stone said the Commission would be able to choose from several open billboard locations. She said this was a reasonable quote and was based on the fact that this is an off-season for billboard sales. Lamar said if the spaces were not sold following the Commission’s two-month period of March and April, some of the billboards would remain up longer at no additional cost. Mr. Blackwood said the budget would allow for this additional expenditure and Lamar requested a commitment by February 25. Ms. Stone said the committee felt this was necessary as the insert mailer had not been as successful as first hoped. Mr. Blackwood said there would be added competition from other specialty plates soon. Mr. Olsen asked if other outlets for mailing the insert would be pursued and Mr. Blackwood said that effort would continue. Mr. Olsen asked if it would be possible to evaluate the effectiveness of the billboards. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission would receive monthly printouts of plate sales, broken out by county from the DOJ. He said Lamar might also have a process to measure effectiveness and agreed to follow-up with them. Ms. Stone made a motion to expend $5,125.00 for 60 days of billboard advertising in 10 locations statewide. Mr. Olsen seconded. Mr. Kipp called for discussion and hearing none, the motion carried. Amy Teegarden suggested contacting rental car companies regarding the use of the plate.

E. Education Committee

Mr. Stearns began by displaying a copy of “Missouri River Travelers’ Guide & Journal,” produced by the US Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District, and distributed copies to the audience. He spoke next on the printed supplement planned for the video, “Lewis & Clark: Montana’s Story,” produced by Jeri Mae Rowley, Flathead Valley Community College, which sells for $10. The supplement, planned to accompany the video, would provide localized information and he said Chandler Jackson had agreed to assist with drafting the printed piece. Mr. Stearns reviewed the 21st Century Project, organized by Mike Cavey with the Extension Service, MSU, Bozeman. Mr. Cavey headed the 3-year project, funded with a $300,000 per year grant, designed to break down barriers between native and non-native students in the Glasgow and Fraser areas. The program consisted of after-school classes where students shared their culture with each other, and teachers received hands-on training in areas such as blacksmithing, clothing and drum making. Mr. Stearns spoke next about the Educator’s Resource Guide, produced by Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, Project WET and the Watercourse, MSU, Bozeman. He said 5,000 copies have been produced for distribution and sale. The guide covers trunks, CDs, videos, books, and curriculum guides and would be reviewed and updated annually. Mr. Stearns reported on the meeting held yesterday of the “Confluence of Cultures” Symposium planning committee. Plans are underway for a symposium to be held in Missoula on the UofM campus, May 28-31, 2003, where both Indian and non-Indian scholarship will come together to address the time period of 1800-1806. He said the Call for Papers would be issued very soon to tribal colleges and Native American studies programs. The last topic he addressed was the L&C Guide Training Program held recently at the Training Academy in Great Falls. He said with the influx of tourists, the Commission recognized the need for trained guides, and approached the Training Academy and the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, and requested them to assist with the development and offering of a guide training program. He reported that 225 people attended the 5-day session in Great Falls, and 24 people attended a pilot program in Miles City. Mr. Stearns reviewed the programs and list of presenters and thanked Jane Weber and Sue Buchel for developing a very successful program. This training resulted in about 30 people applying for listing on the Commission’s Resource Library as L&C guides. He said this program would probably be offered again next year.

Mr. Stearns said the Commission’s Program Grants offer an opportunity to accomplish unique projects, and challenged the Commission to step forward and replicate the 21st Century Project statewide in the areas of science, mathematics, and geography, using Lewis and Clark and their meeting with the native peoples as a major component.

Lapel Pin

Mr. Blackwood passed around a prototype lapel pin and asked commissioners for comments on whether to order a supply for distribution at state meetings and conferences.

XI. Corps of Discovery II Update

Gerard Baker was called on to address plans for Corps II. He provided information on his education and work experience and said his title was Superintendent of the L&C National Historic Trail, noting that work on Corps II was one element of his overall focus with the Trail. He explained that the two areas, the Trail and Corps II, were funded separately, noting that the base budget for the Trail this year was $1.7 million dollars, but no funds were provided for Corps of Discovery II project. He explained that the Challenge Cost Share Program received $5 million in regrant funds and by the application deadline last Friday about $35 million in requests had been received. Mr. Baker announced that the Freedom Forum donated two trailers for Corps II, but the tractors have not yet been secured. Mr. Baker explained that Busch Creatives had been contracted to develop the design and fabricate the exhibits. He estimated they are about at the halfway point in their design work. He passed around conceptual drawings of the trailers, their interior design and components. He said Corps II would be a part of the national kickoff planned for January 18, 2003, at Monticello, which is the site of the first Signature Event. Mr. Baker stressed his plan to have Corps II visit every community that wants it. When assembled together, the two trailers would provide approximately 1,800 square feet of interpretive space. He explained that four elements would be incorporated: 1) what life was like prior to Lewis & Clark; 2) what life was like during Lewis & Clark; 3) what had happened in the past 200 years; and 4) what the future holds. Mr. Baker said two arenas would be interpreted, natural resources and cultural resources, and he said it was his desire to have local people tell their own story. He said the first trailer would house a 50-seat theater he and welcomed the showing of local films. Mr. Baker said Corps II would locate for 21 to 30 days at a time, and the tear-down and set-up costs would be about $3,500 to $4,000. He said volunteer labor would provide a great savings to the Corps II project. In an effort to reach even the smallest communities, his plan includes a movable stage that could be brought into a local community in lieu of the full Corps II set-up. Mr. Baker said this stage would be made available for community use and he challenged people conduct research on their cultures prior to Lewis and Clark, and tailor their performances accordingly. He is seeking storytellers from communities who could share information on their people’s background, lifestyles and language. A long-distance learning channel component is planned in partnership with the University of Montana and the Peter Kiewit Institute in Omaha that would allow for taping and broadcasting of stage performances to a nationwide network.

Mr. Baker referenced the NPS host site questionnaire that contained questions developed to assist his logistics planner as she begins to plot out the route for Corps II. He asked people to address their questions to Clint Blackwood or himself, or the logistics planner, Carol McBryant. Work has just begun in the Eastern states to develop the route for Corps II and Mr. Baker reported that he has made contact with 78 tribes nationwide. It is his desire to work directly with tribes in planning the route for Corps II on tribal lands and asked that tribes return their questionnaires directly to him. He asked the RBCs to return their questionnaires to Mr. Blackwood by June 1. He said private landowner involvement was still needed, specifically from ranchers, farmers and the timber industry. He urged people to consider what message they wanted the visitor to leave with, and suggested it should be, “How do I learn more?” Mr. Baker said people should begin considering the capabilities of their communities with regard to emergency medical services, lodging, food services, law enforcement, etc. He hopes to have a nationwide timeframe developed for Corps II by July. Mr. Blackwood said with regard to site locations, state and federal agencies would work through the MTRI Focus Group and he would then forward that information on to Mr. Baker. Mr. Baker announced plans to meet in Washington, D.C., in two weeks with all the federal agency partners to enlist their support for Corps II. He closed by referencing the NPS newsletter article that highlighted the hiring of Carol McBryant and Sue Pridemore along with their contact information.

The meeting recessed for lunch from 12:15 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.

Mr. Blackwood introduced county commissioner, Garth Hogland.

The video, “Three Forks to Lemhi River” was viewed, and contact information for the video’s producer, Gene Colling was provided (406) 329-3090). Mr. Stearns encouraged other local groups to consider producing similar videos for their areas.

VII. National Council & L&C Trail Heritage Foundation Meeting Report

Mr. Stearns reported that the Trail Heritage Foundation met last August in Pierre, South Dakota. He announced their upcoming Board of Director’s meeting in Lewiston, Idaho, on April 11, 2002, and their 32nd Annual Meeting planned for July 28-31, in Louisville, Kentucky. He reported that the Foundation now has 34 chapters nationwide. Mr. Stearns reported that the National Council of the L&C Bicentennial has unveiled their Merchandising Program and spoke briefly on plans for the national kickoff event at Monticello on January 18, 2003. He said discussion took place on the involvement of the 17 Trail states at that kickoff, possibly through development of a booth from each state or a generic booth that would be managed by respective states at the Signature Events as they are held across the country. He announced the building of an interpretive center, fort, and observatory tower at Wood River, Illinois. Mr. Stearns said that COSA and COTA representatives plan to meet in Lewiston, Idaho, on April 11-14, 2002, and the state Commission would develop a booth for display at this workshop. Mr. Blackwood asked commissioners to contact him if they plan to attend the Lewiston meeting.

IX. Travel Montana Marketing Update

Betsy Baumgart was introduced as the newly hired director of Travel Montana and the newest member to the Commission. She reported on Travel Montana’s stepped-up Lewis & Clark promotion, noting that 25 percent of Travel Montana’s promotion budget had been allocated to Lewis & Clark. Ms. Baumgart passed around print ads scheduled for their “warm season” 2002 ad campaign and aired a 30-second video promotion planned for release this spring. She reported that hits to the L&C segment of their website have increased 70 percent and spoke about updates to Travel Montana’s L&C brochure.

VIII. Regional Bicentennial Commission Reports

Judy Tilman, contact for the Southwest Montana Regional L&C Bicentennial Commission, delivered a report on the ongoing activities of the group that represents Jefferson, Madison and Beaverhead counties. She noted in particular the mural project funded by a $10,500 grant from the Commission in 2000. Kit Mather was recognized as the artist who painted the series of murals on building in the town of Whitehall. Ms. Tilman reported on the successful performances put on by Jefferson Valley Presents last summer at the Whitehall amphitheatre, a project also partially funded by a grant from the Commission in 2001. Judy Siring spoke about the “Passport to the Lewis & Clark Trail” developed in 2001, a pocket size guide that highlights the communities of Whitehall, Silver Star, Twin Bridges and Dillon, and Trail sites in the area. She also referenced the L&C reenactment held at Clark Canyon Dam the first weekend in August. Ms. Siring displayed a copy of the new Gold West Country guide, noting the addition of new L&C information since last year. The last project she mentioned was the development of L&C dioramas for 8 empty store fronts that would comprise a walking tour of Dillon.

Hal Stearns delivered a report on the ongoing work of the Western Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission. He said their most prominent project was the planned development of interpretive signage in partnership with Missoula and Ravalli counties. They have contracted with Heritage Design for the development of 35 signs in a 3-phase project. Grant funds have been applied for from the Forest Service, NPS, and the state Commission. Plans also include two kiosks and two wayside signs. Mr. Stearns said there are two Foundation Chapters in the area; Camp Creek Chapter at the southern end of the valley and the Travelers’ Rest Chapter in Lolo. He said the two chapters and counties have committed to complete 4 signs by the end of the summer. Mr. Stearns reported that the Travelers’ Rest site has been protected through the efforts of the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks and a non-profit organization. Plans are underway for interpretive signs, bathrooms and renovation of the house on the site. He said WMLCBC is interested in working with the Confluence of Cultures symposium in 2003. He announced a meeting planned in Missoula for March 2, where a number of groups in the Missoula area plan to discuss how to enhance community opportunities tied to the L&C theme. Mr. Stearns said the community of Stevensville is considering the building of a visitor center that would tie in with the Metcalf Wildlife Refuge and St. Mary’s Mission. He said there is also talk of developing a Northern Rockies Heritage Center, a series of museums dealing with art, paleontology, Glacial Lake Missoula, in the buildings at Ft. Missoula. He closed by directing people to the WMLCBC website, www.oldtoby.org.

X. Signature Events Coordination and Visibility

Mr. Blackwood said the Commission needed to determine how to participate in, not only Monticello, but also other signature events happening prior to those in Montana. He suggested a Travel Montana booth at the Monticello event where people could learn about what was planned for Montana in a general travel sense, and also possibly a L&C booth to accompany it. Secondly, he said states have talked about pooling funds to develop a traveling exhibit that would cover the entire Trail, one that could be moved between signature events. He understood that the National Council would try to move this plan forward and report on it at Lewiston, Idaho in April. Lastly, he asked for suggestions on what could be done on January 18, 2003, in Montana to mark the beginning of the commemoration. One suggestion he received was to have Lewis & Clark or President Jefferson visit the state Legislature on the 18th. Mr. Blackwood proposed that the Events Committee take on the task of working with staff over the next couple of months and report at the June meeting. Ms. Weber requested that key contacts for the Signature Events be included and Mr. Blackwood agreed.

XII. Commission Sanctioned Legacy

Mr. Blackwood proposed the idea of commission-sanctioned legacy projects. As an example he suggested partnering with the L&C Plaza at the Great Northern Towncenter, a walking mall that will depict the Trail along the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers in Montana. He also suggested the possibility of a bronze statue and cited the work of artist Gareth Curtis, creator of the Mansfield statue in the state Capitol. Mr. Stearns voiced a desire for the Commission to undertake some type of legacy project. Mr. Olsen said a senator has been working with him to commission a painting for the back wall of the Senate chambers in the state Capitol and suggested this might fit the legacy category. Ms. Stone said in the early days of the Commission, they decided that this was to be a grass roots effort and that funds should be invested in local communities for their projects, rather than having a Commission-sponsored project or event. She said the fundraising efforts have just begun and a sponsor might be found who would desire to contribute to a state legacy project. Therefore, she suggested considering the idea at a future time when the Commission’s fundraising program was better established.

XIV. New Business

National Planning Workshop

Steve Kubick was called on to address the National Planning Workshop scheduled for April 12-14, 2003, in Great Falls. He said they welcomed the opportunity to host the Workshop in Great Falls, but said it also provided an opportunity for Montana. Mr. Kubick said the National Council receives all of the Workshop registration funds and therefore the local host community is responsible to fundraise approximately $40,000 to cover the receptions, gift bags, and some transportation costs. He and Ann Goldhahn are co-chairs for the event said it was the local group’s desire to be well prepared, but they lack the necessary funds. He asked the Commission to consider them for a program grant and said as soon as the National Council made their program known he would make the information available for anyone interested in a sponsorship opportunity. Mr. Blackwood said if the Commission were so inclined to assist with funding, it would affect the budget that he would present at the June meeting.

Upcoming Meetings

Mr. Kipp said the June Commission meeting would be held June 18 in Glasgow, at the Cottonwood Inn, hosted by the Northeastern Regional Commission. Ms. Stone said that on June 17, the RBC/Tribal meeting would take place from 12:30 - 4:00 p.m., followed by a tour of the Fort Peck area and a picnic at Kiwanis Park Campground at Fort Peck beginning at 4:30 p.m.

The Fall Commission Meeting, RBC/Tribal rep. meeting and the 4th Annual L&C Fall Conference are planned for October 2-4, in Bozeman at the GranTree.

The Commission meeting for February 11, 2003, was set for Helena, with the location to be determined. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission’s traditional meeting date was the 2nd Tuesday of February, June, and in conjunction with the Fall Conference.

The Governor’s Conference on Tourism was announced for April 17-19 in West Yellowstone.

XIII. Old Business

Review Committee Chairs

Mr. Blackwood noted the change in membership with Betsy Baumgart replacing Pam Gosink as the Travel Montana director. Ms. Baumgart agreed to serve on the Grants Committee and Kathy Doeden was named chair of the Grants Committee. Betty Stone was named chair of the Conference Planning Committee and Tootie Rasmussen replaced Marilyn Ryan on the Nominating Committee. Mr. Blackwood reminded the Nominating Committee to be prepared with nominations for Commission chair and vice-chair at the June meeting.

Umbrella Events Insurance Policy

Mr. Blackwood said he had been asked previously whether the Commission could obtain an umbrella events insurance policy that the regional commissions could be covered under. He has learned that this would not be possible because the Commission is not a member organization. Therefore, he recommended that groups obtain their own special events policy or seek a rider on another group’s policy.

Army Relay Run

In the absence of Ltc. Jonathan Jackson, Mr. Blackwood reported that the US Army was up in the air with plans for the 2004 relay. They are undecided at this time if the run would be opened up to runners other than Guard members. Mr. Blackwood said it did not appear that they needed community support, and would not have final plans in place until 2003.

Commission Structure and Function Review

Mr. Blackwood said he and Mr. Kipp had presented this idea at the previous meeting, which involved a review of the Governance Plan to determine if it was still functional; however he has not had time to accomplish this review. He noted that one suggested change that has worked well was for Mr. Blackwood to call on commissioners to stand in for him at meetings and make presentations in their areas, thereby saving him hours of travel time to make short presentations.

One area that Mr. Blackwood said would be addressed at the June meeting was grants administration. He said as the grants program grows, the Commission would either have to hire additional part-time help, or contract out the grants administration. He suggested that Commissioners or RBC representative could provide assistance by keeping tabs on grant programs in their areas.

Review Commission Policy on Trail Corridor Proposed Developments

Mr. Blackwood said situations arise fairly often, such as the grain elevator at Pompeys Pillar, the pending sale of Tower Rock, the proposed natural gas drilling program on Bozeman Pass, and the cell phone tower near Dearborn, where he is asked to take a position or make a statement. He reported on his actions with regard to each situation, and asked if the Commission remained comfortable with his approach. No one voiced any concerns.

Request for Use of License Plate Image

Mr. Blackwood said he has received several requests for use of the license plate image. He explained that the Commission’s current policy allows for the use of the image by non-profit groups, and that these groups could not use the image on items planned for sale. He asked that future requests be made in writing, outlining the proposed logo use, and that a sample of the materials containing the logo be provided to the Commission.

XV. Adjourn

Mr. Kipp called for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Olsen moved to adjourn. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the meeting adjourned at 2:50 p.m.

 

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