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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
Montana Historical Society, Helena, Montana
January 11, 2000
Commission members in attendance were Matthew Cohn, Jeanne Eder, Darrell Kipp, Doug Monger, Arnold Olsen, Marilyn Ryan, Hal Stearns, Curley Youpee and executive director Clint Blackwood. Members who joined the meeting in progress were Betty Stone and Jack Lepley. Members unable to attend were: Edythe McCleary and Homer Staves. Society staff in attendance included Dave Walter and Rita Cortright. Guests included Mark and Tim Moore, Park City; Ron Clark, Lakeside; Lorraine Roach, Grangeville, Idaho; Tom Hudson, Moscow, Idaho; Rod Rung, State Procurement Bureau, Jane Weber, Great Falls and Nancy Marks, Crimson Bluffs Chapter.
Darrell Kipp called the meeting to order at 9:15 a.m. and welcomed members. He announced that Betty Stone would be joining the meeting at 10:00 a.m. Mr. Kipp asked guests to introduce themselves.
Mr. Kipp announced Betty Stone’s and his reappointment to the Commission for another term. Two new members were also appointed; Homer Staves and Marilyn Ryan. Ms. Ryan was welcomed and invited to address the commission. She is a native Montanan, prior middle school and Montana History teacher, currently teaching U.S. History at Hellgate High School in Missoula. Homer Staves is vice president of KOA International and works extensively in marketing.
III. Approval of September 28, 1999, Meeting Minutes
Mr. Kipp called for corrections or additions to the minutes. Hearing none, Arnie Olsen made a motion to approve the September 28, 1999, minutes. Jeanne Eder seconded and the motion passed.
IV. Director’s Report
Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of recent press releases on the new appointments and reappointments to the Commission. He asked if the current format of his report is helpful. Several members complimented Mr. Blackwood on his reporting.
Federal Agency Meeting, Portland, November 1, 1999
Mr. Blackwood attended this meeting that dealt with education issues. He reported that the federal agencies are still trying to get coordinated. Plans are under way for production of an agency-wide brochure that contains contacts, ethics for the traveling public, and key information. He said they are also discussing the possible co-sponsorship of a trail-wide Indian Conference to combine suggestions from the four previous summits. Ms. Eder said the Tribes did not feel included in those summits, and were not listened to. Mr. Blackwood said if this national Summit is not held, $5,000 currently set aside in the Commission’s budget could be utilized for co-sponsorship of a Montana workshops or an Indian Conference.
Trail States Coordinating Meeting, November 2-3, 1999
Mr. Blackwood and Betty Stone attended this meeting. Mr. Blackwood said this was the first time that federal and state agencies and the Council spent a full day together as usually they meet separately and report back. One of the main topics of discussion was the idea of project solicitation and a ranking process. A national calendar of events and a calendar of national events were discussed for posting on the National Council’s website. Selection criteria and guidelines are being developed for inclusion of events on the national calendar. There was discussion of linking the national calendar of events to each state's calendar. The National Park Service Corps II Program was represented and will apparently move forward as they are seeking funding. Mr. Blackwood suggested this should be a topic at the next Montana Lewis and Clark Conference.
Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
Mr. Blackwood provided a handout on the Foundation's Trail Stewardship Project. Plans are to map the trail, identify and contact all landowners along the trail, get a sense of how the landowners want to participate in different bicentennial activities, and involve them in preservation/conservation/restoration projects at key sites. This project has received substantial funding from Stephen Ambrose. The group is working with USGS for mapping and with the Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters to obtain ownership information. An educational packet will be developed from this research. Sammye Meadows will make a presentation on this at the Commission’s spring meeting.
National Council Logo
Mr. Blackwood displayed a copy of the National Council’s Logo and sign-off page for its use. They will also be developing a product licensing program with this logo serving as the registered trademark. Funds from this program will support national events. Mr. Cohn asked Mr. Blackwood if he envisions the logo's use by the Commission and Mr. Blackwood said potentially it could be, but he has not had discussions with the National Council regarding its use by state Commissions. Ms. Eder offered that they would probably want it used in the advertisement of cosponsorship of national events in Montana.
November 7-8, 1999 River/Community Restoration Meeting
Mr. Blackwood spoke at this meeting on the need for basic community tourism assessment programs before launching off into community projects. Stephen Ambrose attended and donated $250,000 to the American Rivers Coalition to be used as seed money for Missouri River restoration projects. He pledged an additional $250,000 in matching funds over each of the next 4 years contingent on matching funds being secured.
Governor’s Office Contact
Mr. Blackwood announced that Ana Marie Moe will serve as the Commission's contact person in the Governor's Office.
National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Grant
Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has applied for a $15,000 grant that would be put toward the cost of developing the Montana Master Plan. The grant awards will be announced in late January or early February.
Commemorative L&C Bicentennial License Plates
Mr. Blackwood has been contacted by a group from the Bitterroot Valley that is interested in working with the Commission to develop commemorative plates. They want the proceeds to be directed toward various hiking and biking trails associated with the Lewis and Clark Trail, with project funds being handled by a trail coordinating group. Specifically, they would like to see development and interpretive signage on the trail that runs along Highway 93 from Lolo to Hamilton. The funds would also be made available for other trail projects statewide and they envision continuing the program into the future with the development of other commemorative plates. Mr. Blackwood suggested a meeting with them in February to discuss their ideas. Senator Fred Thomas has already committed to writing legislation and they are ready to move forward. Mr. Blackwood has asked them to wait until he could bring the proposal before the Commission. He asked for reaction to the proposal and said if the Commission pursued this project on its own, the funding would be designated to support our grants program. Mr. Olsen asked why they were proposing the administration by a trails group, and Mr. Blackwood said it was a way to streamline earmarked revenues outside of government bureaucracy. Mr. Olsen said he did not think it was allowable under state law to direct license fees to the private sector. He said the organization could be involved in some way, possibly with the Commission passing funds to them, but cautioned that the administration of a grants program is not an easy task. Ms. Eder said she was glad Mr. Blackwood had asked them to delay their plans, as this impacts the Commission’s plans regarding a commemorative plate. She was concerned that the funds distribution would not be equitable statewide. Mr. Blackwood said he did not want to see the idea of Bicentennial commemorative plates develop into a competitive situation. Ms. Ryan also cautioned that the administration of funds must be under a state organization, not a private entity. Mr. Kipp asked about the revenue distribution and Mr. Blackwood said there are a number of ways to set this up, but agreed the revenue must come into the state. Mr. Olsen suggested contacting Senator Thomas to see what the group intends. Mr. Blackwood offered to explore the concept with Senator Thomas and Dean Roberts (Motor Vehicle Division) to obtain the details. He asked Commission members if there was still interest in moving forward with a bicentennial commemorative plate and there was general consensus to proceed. Mr. Blackwood suggested that a decision on the plate should be made at the spring meeting. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Blackwood if the state has limits on the number of vanity plates they will produce and Mr. Blackwood explained that many requests are received each Session and the state is hesitant to create more plates; however, the Motor Vehicle Division did seem interested in producing a Bicentennial plate.
Administrative Assistant Position
Mr. Blackwood announced that he hopes to have a person hired in 45-60 days. He noted the Commission had okayed funding up to a half-time position during this fiscal year, and by the time the position is filled, the cost will fall well under that dollar amount. Mr. Blackwood proposed hiring a full-time position as the work-load has increased to the degree where full-time assistance is needed. He plans to draft the position description and advertise the job. He requested that at least one commissioner sit on the selection committee. He said adding this position will require moving his office as there is no space for expansion. He asked if there were any objections to hiring a full-time administrative assistant and said it is his intention to lay out all of the personnel and associated costs in the next budget. Mr. Monger asked how the position would be funded in the next fiscal year’s budget. Mr. Blackwood said the necessary money would need to come from various line items, including Grants and Professional Fees since these areas have the largest budgets and have some flexibility. He referred to the revised FY 2000 Budget (1/11/2000) - “A” that will be considered later on the agenda. He said the amount of “Professional Fees” could be reduced with in-house help. He estimated the salary and benefit package for the Grade 10 or 11, full-time position at $23,000-$25,000 annually and offered to defer the decision until after the budget discussion.
Mr. Blackwood asked for input or suggestions on the website. He said two components will be enhanced, funding information and education. Mr. Cohn said usage numbers would be useful, and Mr. Blackwood said he has those numbers but has not had the opportunity to review them as yet.
VII. Committee Reports
The Education Committee Report was delivered by Hal Stearns. He announced that the committee will meet tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. and invited anyone interested to attend. Mr. Stearns reviewed the makeup of the committee, and their three main focus areas: 1) serving as an ongoing clearinghouse of information; 2) the production of a “L&C 101" training program to be used by Superhost trainers; and 3) a Spring 2001 Educator’s Symposium planned in conjunction with Carroll College with support from the Montana Committee for the Humanities. He reviewed the various components of the three projects and said these projects will generate sufficient workload to support the need for a full-time Administrative Assistant for Mr. Blackwood. He announced the National Trail Heritage Foundation’s annual meeting is planned for August, 2000, in Dillon, where 450 participants are expected. He cited the reasons for planning the Symposium in the Spring of 2001 and said the hope is that many educators will become involved as the event is scheduled for early June. Mr. Monger asked if funding considerations were addressed, and Mr. Stearns said the costs for teachers and school districts was discussed. A registration fee will be charged. He said grants will also be sought from entities such as the Washington Foundation, the Montana Committee for the Humanities, and Murdock Charitable Trust. Mr. Blackwood said this event will be included in the Commission’s budget at the appropriate time if necessary.
Ms. Stone arrived at 10:00 a.m. and assumed the Chair. Mr. Lepley also joined the meeting.
Ms. Stone asked Ms. Ryan if she would be interested in serving on the Education Committee and Ms. Ryan agreed to serve.
FY 2000 Budget Modification
Ms. Stone called for the Budget Modification discussion. Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of the “Revised FY 2000 Budget (1/11/2000) - "A.” He reviewed the revisions, which include reflecting Total Income of $242,495. The dollars from the National Park Service, Montana Power Company, and the Montana Historical Society will pay for the Interpretive Sign Plan project that has been under way for the last year. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the Expenditures, saying Professional Fees is increased by $28,500 which is the cost of the Interpretive Sign Plan. The balance of the Interpretive Sign Plan bill of $10,000, is coming from other agency partners directly to the Forest Service and does not come through the Commission’s budget. The $1,000 under Project Solicitation Coordination went to Gail Brockbank for assistance with the Project Solicitation and Ranking Effort recently completed. The next four categories, Supplies, Communication, Travel, Rent, were presented on the earlier budget. Conference Expenses are a new item on the budget. The “Other” category was $3,000 and has now been reduced to $1,000, as Mr. Blackwood had estimated $2,000 would be needed to cover Conference Expenses, but because the Conference made money, this reserve was not needed. In-Kind Contributions are now noted at the bottom of the budget. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the spreadsheet reflecting budgeted, actual and remaining balances, which he will provide at each meeting in the future. Under grants, the budgeted amount is $70,311, and Mr. Blackwood noted Ms. Eder’s earlier suggestion that not all of this be expended, that a cushion amount be retained. Mr. Blackwood noted that later in the meeting a recommendation will be made to move forward with a Lewis & Clark grants program in this fiscal year, possibly in June. Ms. Eder asked how new office space will affect the budgeted amount for rent and Mr. Blackwood said it will go up but he did not know how much at this time. Mr. Olsen suggested seeking space with another agency such as the Forest Service or BLM. Mr. Blackwood has made an initial contact with the leasing coordinator for the State, and if the cost of office space is prohibitive, he will look at the possibility of having an assistant off-site. Mr. Cohn made a motion to accept the “Revised FY2000 Budget - “A” reflecting the correct date of January 11, 2000. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried.
Committee Reports - Continued
Mr. Cohn introduced Lorraine Roach with The Hingston Roach Group, Tom Hudson with Tom Hudson Company, and Rob Rung, State Procurement Bureau. Ms. Roach and Mr. Hudson had submitted an RFP and were interviewed yesterday by the Licensing/Endorsement/Promotion Committee. Mr. Cohn invited Ms. Roach and Mr. Hudson to present some of their concepts to be followed by the Committee’s recommendation. Ms. Stone asked that questions be limited to Commission members only and said that Rob Rung was invited to attend and provide guidance.
Ms. Roach provided a handout titled, “Montana Strategic Planning, Product Licensing & Sponsorship, Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial,” noting that this is an outline of yesterday's presentation. She reviewed the highlights, noting that there are four members of their team; The Hingston Roach Group, Tom Hudson Company, Premier Planning, and David Eaton & Associates. Representatives of the last two groups, Gail Brockbank and David Eaton were unavailable this week. Mr. Eaton is the specialist on licensing and sponsorships and was out of the country. Ms. Roach provided an overview of her background and experience and introduced Tom Hudson.
Mr. Hudson addressed the Commission noting several objectives of the project; an increased level of tourism in Montana, a better understanding of Lewis & Clark in Montana, enhanced cross-cultural relationships, interpretation, and infrastructure. He noted that these goals are obtained through systematic strategic planning. He reviewed their list of priorities for developing the Strategic Plan. He stated a need for a clear mission statement, goals and objectives, saying strategies can then be developed and an action plan undertaken that is practical and implementable.
Ms. Roach addressed the Licensing and Sponsorship portion of the proposal, noting that because Mr. Eaton was unable to take part in yesterday's presentation, the desired level of detail was not available. She said the Committee would like to meet with Mr. Eaton prior to moving ahead with that area of the proposal, and she offered to schedule a follow-up meeting. She asked for approval to move ahead with the Master Plan, saying they are committed to making this a success for Montana and the Nation.
Mr. Cohn addressed the Commission on behalf of the Scoring and Evaluation Committee (Curley Youpee, Clint Blackwood, Arnie Olsen, Jim Parker, and Matthew Cohn, with assistance from CMS Management and Rob Rung). Mr. Cohn said there was some concern that only one proposal was received. He speculated this was for a couple of reasons, either the amount of money offered or too many requirements. Mr. Cohn said the Master Plan and the Product Licensing were combined into one RFP. The Committee felt impressed enough with the Hingston Group that they wanted to pursue the presentation. After yesterday's presentation the Committee was even more comfortable with the Strategic Planning portion of the proposal. Mr. Cohn said the bid submitted is more than what the Commission offered in the RFP. He said given the nature of the proposal and the timing involved, along with assurances from Mr. Blackwood regarding the budget, the Committee recommended that the Commission move immediately forward to enter into a contract with the Hingston Roach Group for the development of a "Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Master Plan” at the cost proposed by the Hingston Roach Group in their proposal for that plan development ($34,670, plus expenses of up to $2,000). The Scoring Committee further recommended to delay a decision regarding contracting with the Hingston Roach Group for the development of a Product Licensing and Sponsorship Strategy for up to 90 days to allow time for research, and for the Committee to personally interview David Eaton, the person identified within the Hingston Roach Group's proposal as the lead in developing a licensing and sponsorship strategy. Mr. Cohn said David Eaton and Associates handled the Idaho Centennial Celebration, which generated sales of up to $5 million, and they are obviously experienced in the area of product licensing and sponsorships. Mr. Cohn also asked for authority for the Committee to enter into a contractual arrangement with the Hingston Roach Group, pending a favorable interview with David Eaton, for the development of a Licensing and Sponsorship strategy. The contract value for such a contract amendment would be for the amount proposed within the firm's proposal for the development of a Licensing and Sponsorship Strategy ($21,020, plus travel expenses which, in total with the master Plan expenses, would not exceed the total of $2,990 outlined in the Hingston Roach Group's proposal for travel-related expenses. Mr. Cohn said if they are not comfortable with the presentation, the Product Licensing portion would have to go back out to bid.
Mr. Blackwood said budgeted money could be transferred from the Grants Program to the $25,000 already committed for the Master Plan. Ms. Stone said this means there would be no money in this fiscal year for developing and implementing a Product Licensing Strategy. Mr. Blackwood said the $21,020, plus expenses for a Product Licensing Strategy, would fall into next fiscal year due to the timing factor of meeting with Mr. Eaton.
Ms. Stone questioned the need for Strategic Planning, which she said is part of the Master Plan development, but noted that the Commission held a lengthy strategic planning process a year ago and she asked if this material has been considered by the Hingston Roach Group. Ms. Roach said she did not have those materials immediately available. She said it is her feeling that the Master Plan goes into a greater level of detail. Mr. Hudson asked Ms. Stone to clarify her definition of the Strategic Plan. Ms. Stone explained that the Commission hired a facilitator and spent two days defining goals and strategies and she understood that this would be worked into a Master Plan and implemented as a whole. She wondered if they would be redoing work that was done a year ago. Mr. Hudson said that was not his intention or understanding. Mr. Blackwood agreed with Ms. Stone, saying it should serve as the starting point, but needs to go beyond that to an outline or business plan that could be shown to prospective sponsors. He did caution that the plan can never be 100 percent inclusive; it is more a conceptual, strategic outline. Mr. Hudson said they will use the Strategic Plan already developed and incorporate it into their work. Mr. Blackwood asked him how much involvement he envisions with the Commission. Mr. Hudson said after the initial gathering and sorting of information, in a couple of months, they will have a list of questions to bring to the Commission in the refinement process. Mr. Olsen referred to the tasks requested in the RFP, saying they will compliment what has already been done. Mr. Kipp agreed, saying he is comfortable with the proposal and does not foresee a duplication of effort. He did ask if there was a potential risk involved in separating out the Licensing and Endorsements portion. Mr. Cohn said there was some risk, but the Committee felt it was necessary to delay the decision until a meeting could be held with Mr. Eaton. Mr. Monger expressed concern that the original budgeted amount may be altered with change orders and time extensions. Mr. Cohn said he hoped there would not be any, but there are no guarantees. Mr. Olsen said this is common practice, and given the fact that the increase of $9,000 is not very large, he did not feel the Commission was compelled to start the process anew. He said it was in their best interest to move forward with the Hingston Group. Mr. Monger said he did not have a problem with them coming in over the original budget, but was concerned about future change orders. Mr. Rung said the state's contracting process is more refined and any change would have to be done by mutual agreement. Ms. Roach said the only deviation would be for work requested in addition to or outside the original contract scope. She guaranteed the work would be done, and done right, within the contract budget. Ms. Eder asked about their experience in working with the Tribes, and Ms. Roach recapped their past experience in fundraising and project work with various Tribes and cultures. Ms. Stone asked for a project completion date and Ms. Roach said they proposed a 6-month project from the date of contract signing. Mr. Cohn said a fall completion date, which is prior to the Legislative Session, is acceptable. Mr. Lepley made a motion to accept the recommendation of the Scoring and Evaluation Committee. Ms. Eder seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Hearing none, the motion carried. Ms. Stone called for discussion on or a motion giving the Committee authority to move forward with discussion of Licensing and Sponsorship with David Eaton & Associates. Mr. Blackwood explained that the authority was covered in the Committee's recommendation. Mr. Blackwood said a reference check has not been done yet, but the group agreed that the deal has been done.
Jane Weber joined the meeting at 11:00 a.m.
Committee Reports Continued - Grants Program
Mr. Blackwood said during the Commission's meeting in Lewistown, lengthy discussion took place regarding a Community Grants Program and the possibility of a cooperative grants program with the Forest Service. A committee comprised of Doug Monger and Jack Lepley was appointed to work with Mr. Blackwood to develop some options. On November 12, the committee met and those meeting minutes were mailed to the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said he received no comments on the outline. He went back to the Forest Service with the outline and because their Grants Program Manager was on medical leave, nothing further has happened. In early December they decided to abandon the cooperative grants program for 2000 with the Forest Service. At about that same time U.S. West and the Commission began discussions regarding developing a partnership grants program. A meeting was held on December 21, with U.S. West, Travel Montana and the Committee, to discuss creating a 3-way grants program. The use of TIIP money was discussed. Mr. Blackwood said U.S. West may be interested in investing as much as $50,000 into the grants program for 2000. Mr. Cohn said Travel Montana administers an infrastructure grants program under the review of the Tourism Advisory Council. This year 37 applications were received; five grants were awarded. Mr. Cohn said with the Council's approval it would be possible to earmark a certain amount of the infrastructure program toward Lewis and Clark grants which would serve as a match to the U.S. West funds. The TAC board meets in February in Billings, and Linda Reed and Clint Blackwood are on the agenda to present the idea. If approved, planning could proceed to develop the grants program.
Mr. Blackwood said a joint meeting will be held with the Commission and U.S. West to flesh out the program outline. After that, a concept paper will be developed that will be presented at the TAC meeting in Billings to determine if they want to be the third partner. The publicity could begin in early March. The grant applications would be due by mid-April. Scoring would be done in May or early June and their recommendations presented at the Commission's Spring meeting. During June, contracts could be generated and the grants funds distributed. The selection committee would be comprised of members of all three organizations. Mr. Stearns expressed concern that the door be left open to other partners to join and Mr. Blackwood confirmed that this would be done.
Mr. Olsen asked for clarification on the Forest Service's involvement. Mr. Blackwood said due to the reasons cited earlier, they are not being considered for 2000. Ms. Weber expressed concern that the Forest Service had not responded and offered to follow-up with the agency in an effort to eliminate duplication of effort.
Ms. Stone called for a motion on setting up the Grants Program. Mr. Kipp made a motion to direct Mr. Blackwood to move ahead with the Grants Program in conjunction with those who wish to partner with the Commission. Mr. Stearns seconded. Mr. Blackwood asked if it was implied in the motion that the Grants Committee has the authority to work with him to flesh out how the program would look, which includes determining who could apply. Mr. Kipp thought this was implied with all committees and Mr. Blackwood said that was not the case; the committees do the work and report their recommendations back to the Commission. Mr. Olsen suggested the proposed package could be mailed to Commission members with a 5-day deadline to provide comment. Ms. Eder asked if the Committee anticipated any problems with including Indians, because of the different legal relationship of Tribes in the state. Mr. Kipp said Tribes are non-profits, and some have non-profit sub-divisions and could legally receive grants. Ms. Weber offered to contact the National Park Service to obtain their criteria for challenge cost shares on Lewis and Clark projects. Mr. Kipp revised his motion to direct Mr. Blackwood to move ahead with the Grants Program in conjunction with those who wish to partner with the Commission, and to authorize the Committee to develop the criteria and logistics and inform the Commission by mail, and ultimately at the next Commission meeting. Mr. Stearns seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood said a Selection Committee needs to be created that will review and score applications as they are received. Mr. Olsen said the committee is authorized to do this. The Grants Committee is comprised of Jack Lepley, Linda Reed, Doug Monger, Curley Youpee and Clint Blackwood. There was discussion on the amount of money left in the budget for the Grants Program and Ms. Stone estimated the remaining amount at about $50,000 for this fiscal year.
The meeting broke for lunch.
Ms. Stone said during lunch she and Mr. Blackwood discussed further the Grants Program and she called for a motion to clarify how much money will be put into the Grants Program this fiscal year. She said that TAC money will not be available until after July 1, which means this year the cooperative agreement would include U.S. West and any other partners that would be interested. She said the $12,500 budgeted for the Administrative Assistant is sufficient for this fiscal year; but adjustments are necessary for next year's budget. She said $70,311 minus $12,000 for the Master Plan leaves a balance of $58,311. Mr. Blackwood said there is an additional cushion in the funds for the Administrative Assistant because by the time someone is hired, he will not be able to expend the full $12,500. Ms. Stone called for a motion. Ms. Eder made a motion to allocate $50,000 for the Grants Program. Ms. Ryan seconded and the motion carried.
VI. Proposed "Project & Event Recognition Program"
Mr. Blackwood recapped saying during the meeting in Lewistown, the group discussed how an Endorsement Program should look. At that time Mr. Kipp suggested the Commission could develop a Recognition Program. Mr. Blackwood distributed and reviewed an outline of the "Proposed Recognition Program," saying he did not address the formal application form at this time, and his purpose for presenting this outline was strictly informational. Ms. Eder raised the issue of liability. Ms. Stone agreed that the liability issue needs to be researched. Mr. Youpee asked if the National Council has addressed the endorsements issue yet and Mr. Blackwood said they are still struggling with it. Ms. Weber said she hopes by April the National Council will have some draft guidelines. Mr. Blackwood said he hopes the National Council will not move forward with something that will impact the states without their input. Ms. Weber suggested that the states could review statewide events for credibility, and then recommend them to the National Council, which she noted was a major task that the National Council was not capable of performing. Ms. Eder suggested aligning with a local group of Lewis and Clark buffs that could serve as evaluators for events, much like the process used by MCH. Mr. Olsen suggested designating two categories: historic events and celebrations. Ms. Stone suggested waiting until after the National Council meeting in April to see how they deal with this issue. Ms. Weber offered to request that states' participation be placed on the agenda for the April National Council meeting. Mr. Blackwood agreed, saying it would be good to have basic, standard guidelines set up that blend National and State activities. He has been notifying Ms. Bussard of Montana's intentions and requesting information on where the National Council is headed, but has not received any reply.
Mr. Monger left the meeting.
X. Update on Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance
Ms. Eder reported on the group's second meeting in late November at Fort Peck Dam. Mr. Youpee is the chair of this group, which consists of individuals either appointed or who volunteered to be tourism directors for the Tribes in Montana. Each representative has Tribal Council approval or appointment. A strategic planning session was held and a mission statement, goals and objectives were created. She read the mission statement: "The Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance is a non-profit inter-Tribal organization that promotes culturally appropriate economic development through tourism." The goals were: 1) to tell their own story, 2) economic development, long-term sustainability, 3) to be a clearinghouse for tourists and Tribes; 4) to promote and protect their culture and resources, 5) partnership with public, private and travel organizations, and 6) to generate self-sufficient funds for continuous operation. Ms. Eder spoke to the group on the MCH's desire to work with one Tribal entity to plan Lewis and Clark tourism events. This group could serve as the contact for the Commission on Lewis and Clark events once they receive Tribal sanction to serve as the lead representative of tourism on the reservations. Their next meeting is scheduled for February, 2000. Mark Sherouse, MCH, has offered funding for a planning committee to work on a Statewide Conference for Indians and Lewis and Clark, to be held in Lewistown in the Fall. Mr. Youpee said all seven tribes have been represented, but at two separate meetings. Vicky Munson is cultural tourism coordinator for Travel Montana, and is involved with coordinating this effort.
VIII. Project Solicitation and Ranking Effort
Mr. Blackwood reported that 91 community-oriented projects were received as a result of the National Bicentennial Council's desire to have a state-wide, prioritized list from each of the 11 trail states. These results will be provided to the House and Senate Caucuses for potential federal funding. Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of his draft letter to David Borlaug, president of the National Council, and the completed project ranking sheets and report summary. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the solicitation and ranking process completed by a 6-person committee of the Commission. Only community-oriented projects were scored and ranked. Tribal projects were included in the report for information, but were not ranked, as Mr. Blackwood said it was not appropriate for a state agency to rank the Tribal projects.
Ms. Eder expressed concern over the National Council's intended use of this ranking list, and their potential exclusion of the Tribal projects because they were not ranked with the other projects. Mr. Blackwood said their intent is to take these projects, combine them with the other trail states, and submit them to the House and Senate Caucuses for funding. The second thing the National Council indicated they would do is look for corporate funding. They have entered into a partnership with the National Park Service Foundation and will seek national level corporate funding and will reference these state lists of projects for funding allocation. The National Council may come back to states for more information and assistance in further prioritizing the projects. Mr. Kipp expressed his disappointment with the lack of Native American subjects for seminars in brochures he is receiving from the National Council. Mr. Stearns suggested that Montana has the opportunity to take the lead in stating the need for a special funding category that deals specifically with Native Americans. Ms. Weber asked Mr. Kipp to provide her with samples of these brochures and flyers.
Mr. Blackwood will copy and distribute the project information. Ms. Stone said one reason that Tribal projects were not ranked and previously distributed is because the Commission was not authorized or capable of ranking them, and extra time was allowed past the deadline for Tribes to submit projects. The committee that performed the ranking consisted of Betty Stone, Jack Lepley, Matthew Cohn, Edythe McCleary, Hal Stearns and Clint Blackwood. Mr. Stearns said they spent a minimum of 5 five hours each performing this ranking. Two conference calls were held, one to coordinate the scoring process and one to review the results. The committee decided to make special reference to the first 30 projects, instead of the first 15 as requested by the National Council, because Montana has more trail area than any other state. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the funding sources and noted his intention to contact Senator Burns, Senator Baucus and Rep. Hill to show them the kinds of projects identified in Montana and see if the wish to lend specific support to any of them. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission should consider in the next 2-3 months, what they want to propose for the Governor's Budget for funding through the 2001 Legislature. The Scoring Committee also noted the need for publicity on this and Mr. Blackwood will work with Tom Cook to draft a press release. Now that the list is public, Mr. Blackwood expects inquiries from communities on their project's ranking. He said the Caucuses may ask for periodic updates in the future. Mr. Stearns asked if other states have gone through this process and Mr. Blackwood responded that Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota and Kansas have or are planning a project ranking process. Ms. Weber added Washington and Oregon to the list, and suggested noting in any correspondence that Montana is committed to a community-based event commemoration. Mr. Olsen suggested contacting Montana's senators and representative regarding the establishment of direct funding for Tribal projects in lieu of funneling funds through the state. Ms. Stone said this was discussed at the Trail States meeting in Portland. Ms. Stone called for a motion to approve the submission of the project list, narrative and ranking sheets to the National Council and the Caucuses. Marilyn Ryan made the motion that was seconded by Hal Stearns. The motion carried. Ms. Stone thanked those who participated on the Scoring Committee.
Statewide Interpretive Sign Plan Strategy Update
Mr. Blackwood delivered the report in Keith Thurlkill's (USFS) absence. A year's work has culminated in the completed 400-page Sign Strategy Plan and is available in print and on CD. Mr. Blackwood said the MTRI steering committee that has been working with the contractor on this project, wants to reformat the report into a more user-friendly format for communities before it is widely distributed. The release of the reformatted report is planned for the annual Governor’s Tourism & Recreation Conference in April at Big Sky. As a part of the conference, a session is planned to introduce the strategy. Publicity will be generated on this as well. The $20,000 has been received from the National Park Service from the challenge cost share grant, as well as $5,000 from the Montana Power Company. These funds together with agreed upon funding from the MHS will be transferred from the MHS through the Forest Service to the planning team. Mr. Blackwood said he will provide a CD to any community who wants to use it in the current format. This report shows what story lines are appropriate for specific parts of the state and will explain how to develop historically accurate, culturally inclusive narrative. It will also provide design standards and visual images for signs. Mr. Blackwood said Ellen Baumler, MHS, and Laurie Heupel, NPS, are available to help communities develop appropriate language for signs. Of the 91 projects received, 26 deal with interpretation. Nancy Marks, Crimson Bluffs Chapter, introduced herself, and said she attended today to hear about the Interpretive Sign Strategy. She spoke about their current interpretive projects and asked about obtaining and using the CD. Mr. Blackwood suggested she contact Chuck Neal (BLM) as Mr. Blackwood has already encouraged Mr. Neal to get a copy and work with people in Townsend. The CD is available from Sarah Lawler, MTRI coordinator, 444-9294. Ms. Weber announced the training scheduled for April through their Academy and offered brochures to Mr. Blackwood. He will get a note out to the Bicentennial groups to let them know this is going on.
XI. Old Business:
Future of the Past Committee
Mr. Cohn spoke on the needs of the LCBC, and the state's responsibility for Virginia City and Nevada City. He said while the state appropriated funds for the purchase and operations funds for a couple of years, they did not provide funding past June 30, 2001. Under the current structure, the Virginia City project cannot be self-sustaining and the needs are significant. There are needs statewide related to historical sites and parks. Travel Montana's infrastructure program provides $200,000, and receives $2-3 million in requests annually. Mr. Cohn said the last three legislatures have looked at the Bed Tax as a possible source of funds. He said Montana now ranks 29th in tourism promotion, dropping 2 to 3 rankings each year because the partial investments in numerous infrastructure projects dilutes the amount of money available for tourism promotion. He said the 4 percent Bed Tax as it is currently being divided is not the answer. Therefore, the Future of the Past Committee was formed to identify alternative funding sources for consideration by the next Legislative Session. The Committee is comprised of six legislators, and two members each from the Tourism Advisory Council, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission, the Montana Historical Society, and the Montana Heritage Commission. Montana State Parks is also a part of this planning process. Three meetings will be held, with the first one on January 28. Their report is due to the Governor by June. Mr. Olsen nominated Mr. Kipp and Ms. Stone and both agreed to serve on the Future of the Past Committee. Mr. Blackwood provided both with letters of invitation to the upcoming meeting. Mr. Cohn reviewed the committee appointments:
Lewis & Clark: Betty Stone, Darrell Kipp
TAC: Linda Moss, Kathie Brown
MHC: Maureen Averill, Jeanette McKee
MHS: Ed Henrich, Lee Rostad
Senate: Dale Mahlum, Lorents Grossfield, Jon Tester
House: Rep. Paul Clark, Bill Tash, John Witt
Visitation Survey for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial
Ms. Stone asked Mr. Cohn to provide an update on the Visitation Survey. He said it will be presented at the Governor's Conference. Montana has invested $4,000 in the survey, in cooperation with 8 other trail states, to determine the level of awareness and possible travel plans with regard to the Bicentennial. Mr. Blackwood said ITRR is also conducting a national polling/survey of their own.
Ms. Eder rejoined the meeting at 2:45 p.m.
Options/Dates/Location for L&C 2000 Conference
Mr. Blackwood said interest was expressed for holding a 2nd Annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference. Matthew Cohn, Clint Blackwood, and Doug Monger were named to a Conference Planning Committee. After discussion, the potential dates of September 17-18 or October 1-2 were chosen, with a location to be announced in Great Falls.
Next Meeting Date
The next meeting will be held on June 15 in Fort Benton. The group discussed a possible guided canoe trip on the evening of June 14 and Jack Lepley will look into the arrangements. Election of officers will take place at this meeting and Ms. Stone named Arnie Olsen, Edythe McCleary and Hal Stearns to serve on the Nominating Committee.
Mr. Blackwood provided copies of Dave Walter's "Suggested Reading List," noting that it will be loaded on the Commission’s new Intranet website.
Mr. Blackwood revisited the Administrative Assistant position, saying he would like to hire someone and offer them full-time employment guaranteed into the next fiscal year. He noted that funding would come out of the $200,000 budgeted for next fiscal year, requiring an adjustment in the current allocations. Mr. Monger expressed his concern with jumping into a full-time position, and suggested starting with a half-time position instead, as he felt the staffing needs may change in the next year or two. He admitted there may be a need for a full-time person but suggested it could be filled by two half-time people, each possessing different capabilities. Mr. Kipp asked if it would be difficult to fill half-time positions and Mr. Olsen said it is his experience that it would not be difficult. Mr. Blackwood said this person would play an integral role in the administration of the grants program, serve as assistant to the Education Committee, and solicit and maintain information for the website. Mr. Kipp and Ms. Eder supported Mr. Blackwood's request. Ms. Stone noted that in addition to the growing workload, Mr. Blackwood has accrued significant vacation and comp time and will at some point take that time off and support staff will be necessary in his absence. Mr. Monger felt the position's requirements were not completely defined at this point and felt it would be easier to hire half-time help as opposed to being locked into a full-time position. Mr. Stearns asked Mr. Blackwood if he felt the workload was sufficient to require a full-time hiring. Mr. Blackwood said full-time was required, especially in light of the upcoming conference planning. Ms. Eder made a motion to support the Executive Director's recommendation to hire a full-time Administrative Assistant. Mr. Youpee seconded. The motion carried with one vote in opposition.
Ms. Weber announced that Gary Moulton will be in Great Falls at a reception hosted by the Portage Route Chapter the evening of June 15.
Mr. Cohn encouraged everyone to attend the Governor's Conference in Big Sky, April 10-11. There will be five break-out sessions related to Lewis and Clark.
Mr. Blackwood announced the Montana Library Association Annual Conference on April 27 in Billings. Ms. Stone suggested that Edythe McCleary may wish to represent the Commission.
Mr. Blackwood will be attending the National Planning Workshop at the Hilton Kansas City Airport, April 26-28, featuring Stephen Ambrose and a dedication of the Lewis and Clark Statute on Clark's Point. Mr. Stearns expressed interest in attending and Mr. Blackwood said the standing policy is to cover registration and $100 in expenses.
Jeanne Eder made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Cohn seconded and the motion carried.
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