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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
Grand Union Hotel, Fort Benton, Montana
June 15, 2000
Commission members in attendance were Matthew Cohn, Jack Lepley, Edythe McCleary, Doug Monger, Arnie Olsen, Marilyn Ryan, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone, executive director Clint Blackwood, and administrative assistant Rita Cortright. Members unable to attend were Jeanne Eder, Darrell Kipp, Homer Staves, and Curley Youpee. Guests attending included Dave Walter, research historian, Montana Historical Society, and Tom Hudson and Lorraine Roach with the Hingston Roach Group. Members of the audience were as follows: Kim McMahon, Jan Vogel, Gail Stensland, Ken Richardson, Bonnie Honohan, Lonnie Bookbinder, Ron Clark, Jane Weber, Phil Scriver, Bob Doerk, Mike Oliver, Kim Prill, Mike Griffith, Iva Kilstad, Lou Bell and Mary Cooley.
Call to Order
Betty Stone called the meeting to order at 8:30 a.m. and asked commission members and guests to introduce themselves.
Approval of Minutes
Ms. Stone called for additions or changes to the minutes of the January 11, 2000. Jack Lepley made a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Marilyn Ryan seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood presented and reviewed the Projected FY 2000 Year-end Budget Balance as of May 31, 2000. He estimated a positive cash balance of $9,754.19 at fiscal year end, assuming the projected expenses for June are on target. He called attention to the Master Plan Budget recap on the lower left corner of the page. The budget item, "Professional Fees," experienced the greatest change from the $25,000 originally budgeted and the largest part of that was the Master Plan contract. That amount has grown with the hiring and expanded scope of work the Hingston Roach Group. This increase resulted in a negative balance of $13,410 for the item Master Plan Contractor. Mr. Blackwood explained that at the end of fiscal year 2000, $15,000 would still be owed for the Master Plan. The National Park Service has committed $15,000 for FY 2001 from a challenge cost share grant for development of the Master Plan and this will cover the negative balance. Mr. Blackwood said the Budget Office advised him that the cash balance for FY 2000 cannot carry forward into next fiscal year. He provided the following suggestions to encumber the funds: roll them into the grants program, or use them to reimburse the Montana Historical Society for staff time spent on Lewis and Clark signage for Montana communities. Ms. Stone called on Mr. Olsen to present his proposal for use of the cash balance. He distributed and reviewed a handout outlining 5 hours of staff time per week at a cost of $4,132.44, plus $500 for travel expenses for a total of $4,632.44. He suggested that any funds transferred and not used for these expenses could go toward the actual production of Lewis and Clark signs in areas that have signage needs that are not now being addressed. He said, if for some reason, all the funds were not expended on signs, they could be applied to one of the under-funded grants. Mr. Cohn asked Mr. Blackwood if he had identified any other uses for the funds. Mr. Blackwood replied that finalization of the Interpretive Sign Strategy was a potential use of the funds, but recommended that the Commission not put more money into it as they previously contributed an additional $2,500 to fund re-editing the report. The other MTRI agencies will be contacted regarding the $2,000 need. Mr. Monger and Mr. Cohn questioned why the statutory authority did not carry forward, and both Mr. Blackwood and Mr. Olsen explained that Jane Hamman, OBPP, said this was a result of the way House Bill 2 was written. Mr. Stearns spoke in support of Mr. Olsen's request, saying it would provide continuity to statewide signage. Ms. McCleary also agreed with the proposal. Mr. Cohn made a motion to allow whatever positive cash balance is available at the end of Fiscal Year 2000 to be directed through the Society for reviewing, developing, and producing Lewis and Clark signage for Montana communities. Mr. Olsen added that whatever balance is not expended on signs would be rolled into a priority underfunded grant. Edythe McCleary seconded the motion. Ms. Stone called for further discussion. Mr. Monger asked for clarification on the number of hours per week Ms. Baumler would be working. Mr. Olsen explained that this proposal would give her the option to work an additional 5 hours, up to 35 hours per week. He said Ms. Baumler's budget is specific to National Register Signs, and anything she does for Lewis and Clark goes beyond what she is authorized to do. Ms. Stone added that once the regional groups become aware of Ms. Baumler's availability they will want to utilize her services. Mr. Olsen said demands on her time increased greatly once the draft Interpretive Sign Strategy was released. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood briefly addressed Mr. Olsen's proposed legislation that would allow the Society to assess an administrative fee off the top of the Commission's operations budget to go directly to the Society beginning with the Fiscal Year 2002 budget. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission is administratively attached to the Society, but previously none of its budget has gone directly to offset any services provided by Society staff. He asked Mr. Olsen to address his proposal. Mr. Olsen explained that starting with the new budget, he would like to assess the actual costs of services provided by the Society. He noted that Society and Commission staff have not yet met to determine what those costs would be, but said a meeting will be arranged in the next couple of months. He did say an amount (10%) was noted in the Governor's Budget as a "place card" adding that it might be a little high. Ms. Stone asked if legislative authority was required and Mr. Olsen said that the Society could assess the costs, but spending authority must be obtained. Mr. Blackwood said the Proposed Budget for FY 2001 would be reviewed in more detail later in the meeting.
Update and Discussion on Bicentennial Master Plan
Ms. Stone provided some background information for the benefit of the audience, saying a contract was signed in March 2000, with The Hingston Roach Group for the development of the Commission's Bicentennial Master Plan. Lorraine Roach with the Hingston Roach Group was introduced and she provided an updated overview of where they are in the Master Plan development process. She referred to the detailed Progress Report and Policy Guidelines that were mailed to Commission members in early June. She reviewed the following list of Action Items, saying the Commission would need to take action on them at the end of her presentation: 1) Missing Information, 2) Guiding Principles, 3) Strategic Framework for the Master Plan, and 4) Proposed Meeting with the Commission on July 18 to present the detailed Draft Master Plan Strategy. Ms. Roach reported that the initial round of information gathering resulted in 750 ideas and projects, including the 91 projects that were ranked by the Commission and submitted last fall to Congress. A second request went out in early April to agencies, local groups and tribes requesting more detail in terms of prioritization and budget. Collection of this information has caused a slight delay in the Master Plan process, as information gathering was to have been completed by the end of March or early April. She said most of the information has been received in the last two weeks, but a few gaps still remain and she will be asking the Commission for direction on this later in the meeting. Following the July 18th meeting, materials will be provided for public comment. In August Ms. Roach proposed to complete the write-up of the Master Plan and for delivery to the Commission in September. She said their original contract stated that the final document would be presented by September 1; however, because of the noted delays, the report will not be delivered until late September. The Master Plan would be ready for formal adoption at the Commission's October meeting and implementation would begin immediately following the meeting. Ms. Roach made a recommendation that they be allowed to move ahead with the information at hand, unless the missing information is received in the next week. Mr. Cohn asked if she had a complete list of what was missing and Ms. Roach responded that she did.
Tom Hudson addressed the Commission and reviewed the criteria used for evaluating the 91 projects. He said the Hingston Roach Group expanded the criteria to include what they call "Supply and Demand Factors," in order to build a complete, integrated system. He listed some of the items they addressed, such as major L&C sites, gateways, geographic distribution, access points, supporting amenities, and long-term community benefits. This was done to insure that they had a good understanding of the target market. He noted that "length of stay" is also a key issue. Mr. Hudson said they felt that a number of guiding principles needed to be developed to be systematic, even handed, and strategic. For example, at existing rest stops, kiosks, maps and brochure racks would be incorporated to give the traveler a quick sense of where they are in the system, and how to get to other major L&C destinations. He addressed next the subject of visitor dispersal by saying it is appropriate and important, and allows communities to share in the value of hosting outside visitors.
Ms. Roach continued by reviewing a state map that reflected the locations of the 92 projects submitted this spring by local bicentennial planning groups. The state, federal and tribal projects were reflected and Ms. Roach said she will update this map once she receives more information. Major clusters of proposed projects were noted around Great Falls, Billings, Fort Peck, the Bitterroot Corridor, the corridor from Gates of the Mountains to Three Forks, and the Camp Disappointment/Cut Bank area. She said their mission would be to identify which of these projects are top priority, of national and/or statewide significance, and which ones would be more regional or local in scope. Ms. Roach showed a map that contained the top 40 of 92 proposed projects. These were designated on the map as attractions, events and entertainment, infrastructure projects, organization and planning (i.e. archaeological assessments), promotional and public relations, and educational projects. Ms. Weber asked if the Forest Service's proposed projects were included and Mr. Blackwood explained that prioritized projects were requested from federal agencies; however, some have submitted prioritized projects and some have not. Ms. Weber said Margaret Gorski (USFS) would like to meet with Ms. Roach to determine what information is needed. Ms. Roach said she has maps that reflect the Commission's top 10, 20, 30, and 40 ranked projects, but the Commission has not yet received prioritized project rankings from agencies and Tribes. She now has a list of almost 200 projects totaling about $60 million that must be pared down to 100 (or less) top priority projects. Mr. Hudson said they need assistance in identifying the sites that will be most influential to the success of the Bicentennial. Ms. Roach provided a breakdown of the types of projects included: 15% signs; 14% education, 14% infrastructure, 13% visitor centers, 12% cultural, 9% events/tours, 8% organization/staff, 7% resource protection, 5% assessment, and 5% promotion. She addressed the "shoulder" or off peak season, saying that year-round promotion would help balance the peak visitor season with off peak visitation. The actual anniversary dates of events along the trail will also play a role in peak visitation. She spoke about "quantity vs. quality" and said recreational visitors tend to not spend as much money per trip as do heritage tourists. She said targeting promotion will be key to getting the most return on investment back into communities. Ms. Roach said that the area receiving the most attention at the national level is the timing of marketing events. The challenge will be how to hold the public's interest for four years. The national commemoration kickoff will be January 18, 2003. She said national sponsors plan to utilize an "early in - early out" strategy, which could mean the peak will be in St. Louis in 2004. She said this could have implications for Montana in 2005 and 2006 with regard to promotion dollars. Ms. Roach raised the issue of "volunteer burnout," that may result from locals performing reinactments repeatedly over the four-year period.
Mike Griffith asked if the impact of highway construction had been considered, as the T-21 funding ends in 2005 and the rush will be on to complete construction projects. His particular area of concern was with construction on Hwy. 287 from I-90 to Augusta scheduled for 2003-2005. Ms. Roach displayed a map of planned highway construction projects. Mr. Hudson explained that they used the State Transportation Improvement Plan to identify planned projects that are close to priority Lewis and Clark projects or sites statewide. Jan Vogel responded to Mr. Griffith, saying that the DOT does not plan to delay projects because of the Bicentennial. Ms. Roach said that a system of "gateways" around the state could help inform visitors by suggesting alternate routes or at least making them aware of the possible delays. Mr. Hudson said the critical point is good communication.
Mr. Hudson addressed the "Strategic Framework." He said essentially there are five kinds of programs and activities being proposed around the state. The major benefits to communities will be legacies and an improved quality of life. He said they are working toward a 3-tiered system using five programs that will result in: 1) a seamless statewide L&C observance system, 2) a support system for local and regional preparation, and 3) a system for local exceptions and later ideas. Resource allocation in these three areas is 75% for level 1, 20% for level 2, and 5% for level 3.
Ms. Roach provided and reviewed a list of recommended Commission responsibilities: 1) host annual conference, 2) sponsor education programming, 3) serve as the primary interface to National/Regional programs; 4) guide the state assistance network; 5) decide "official" endorsement; 6) coordinate product licensing at state level, and 7) guide Master Plan implementation.
Ms. Roach summarized the list of Action Items by saying the Hingston Roach Group is looking for direction on the missing information, endorsement of the Guiding Principles, input on the Strategic Framework, and confirmation of the proposed July 18 meeting when they would present the detailed Strategy with suggested priorities and timelines.
Ms. Stone asked Ms. Roach to present the Action Items once again. She restricted discussion to Commission members and allowed for audience comment following their discussion.
Item 1. Missing Information - Mr. Cohn said this was covered previously as Ms. Roach has identified what was missing and the staff was asked make one more contact to solicit the needed information. Mr. Hudson said critical information could be incorporated within the next two to three weeks, but it is already too late for inclusion of anything that is not a high priority. Ms. Stone asked if staff have been responsive and Ms. Roach said that they had been very helpful. Her main concern was with prioritization of projects by agencies and said if they do not provide this information by the end of June, her firm will have to make some arbitrary determinations. The question of how flexible the plan would be once developed was asked and Ms. Stone responded that that was the reason for Tier III funding. Mr. Hudson added that they want to be opportunistic and incorporate new ideas as best as they can.
Mike Oliver, liaison, U.S. House of Representatives, Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Caucus, addressed the group. He explained that the Congressional Delegations are putting great stock in the National Council's Inventory. He said, with regard to projects, they consider the state commissions to be clearinghouses. Mr. Oliver also said that Congress desires community-driven projects as opposed to ones driven by federal agencies. He said federal agencies are very reluctant to prioritize out-year projects, and noted that agencies are prohibited from lobbying Congress. He referred to the 91 Montana projects submitted for the 2001 budget. The full project inventory containing 320 projects. He said the Caucus is looking at funding priorities and is interested in fairness and equity. Mr. Oliver provided a contact list for Caucus members. Ms. Roach added that there are also private funds available for cooperative projects.
Item 2. Guiding Principles - Ms. Roach asked for and received the Commission's endorsement of the list of guiding principles she displayed on the overhead. The issue of public safety was raised and Ms. Roach agreed to address this in the Master Plan as a priority overlay.
Item 3. Strategic Framework for the Master Plan - Mr. Blackwood said he would like to have an explanation of the communication coordination network among the regional commissions incorporated into the Plan.
Item 4. Proposed July 18 with the Commission to present the detailed Draft Master Plan Strategy - Mr. Blackwood said that MTRI plans to meet on July 20th, and suggested it would be good to schedule the meetings in close proximity. He said a meeting of the subcommittee had been proposed earlier, but suggested instead calling a full Commission meeting for those who can make that date. Ms. Roach said the Commission must provide their blessing to this Draft Plan in order for the Hingston Roach Group to finish the project. A four-hour meeting in Helena was proposed with lunch included. Mr. Blackwood said the Licensing and Sponsorship subcommittee could possibly meet that morning for 90 minutes. Ms. Stone said the Commission would come back to this topic later in the meeting. Ms. Roach provided contact information for Gail Brockbank, their team member in Helena, 442-4141 and said questions or information could also be directed to Ms. Brockbank. This concluded the presentation by the Hingston Roach Group. Mr. Blackwood said a decision would be made by the end of today's meeting regarding the July 18th meeting and the information would be posted on the website. Ms. Stone called for a 15-minute break.
Ms. Stone reconvened the meeting and called for the Director's Report. Mr. Blackwood reported on attending the 5th Annual National L&C Planning Workshop in Kansas City held on April 26-28. He reported on key items from the meeting. He believes the National Council is becoming more organized and is making some significant progress. He said a National L&C Circle of Advisors was announced by Stephen Ambrose who pledged a million dollars to the National Council and issued a challenge to others to also raise or pledge a million dollars. Mr. Blackwood said it was not yet clear how that money would be disbursed. The National Park Service announced a new grant program of $500,000 as part of their challenge cost share at the Kansas City meeting. Applications are due August 1, and Mr. Blackwood said he sent information on this to the 15 regional bicentennial groups immediately upon his return to Helena. They plan to fund 5 or 6 projects, and the information is also posted on the National Park Service's website.
Mr. Blackwood said that an Indian Circle of Advisors was also announced in Kansas City. He said the Nez Perce, Hidatsa, Mandan, and Arikara tribes are the ones most involved. He said no Montana tribes are a part of this Circle yet, but are being made aware of its existence. He offered to put interested parties in contact with Alan Pinkam in Idaho.
Mr. Blackwood reported on the National Council's plans to officially endorse or sanction 5-8 events that fit the critieria for Signature Events. Two events have already been approved; one at Monticello in January 2003, and one at the mouth of the Columbia River in the Fort Clatsop area. Mr. Blackwood said he will be receiving the criteria very soon and will forward it on. He has Michelle Broussard's agreement that the National Council will not endorse any further Signature Events until their October meeting. This will allow time for the bicentennial groups and agencies in Montana to evaluate and submit events for possible inclusion as Signature Events. Mr. Blackwood suggested that the Commission, through its Events Committee, set up a screening process to review applications. He said the Commission will be asked to provide letters of endorsement for Signature Events and the National Council will be looking to see if the events have the Commission's support. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the draft criteria and said that proposals would probably be requested in August. There was general consensus to proceed with this plan. Ms. Stone asked the two members of the Events Committee who were present if they were willing to participate in this and both Ms. McCleary and Mr. Lepley agreed. Mr. Youpee was not in attendance. She asked the Events Committee to present their recommendations at the October meeting, but said if the letters of endorsement were required prior to this meeting, the committee's recommendations could be mailed to the Commission for approval. Ms. Weber said the National Council's meeting is scheduled for October 26-29. Mr. Lepley estimated that there would be one Signature Event in Montana in each of the years, 2005 and 2006. Mr. Blackwood said the National Council would be looking for national-level sponsorships once the events are selected. Mr. Stearns recommended including an emphasis on the years 2005-2006 in the criteria. Mr. Blackwood added that a second level of events would be compiled under the Signature Events, to be shown on the National Calendar of Events.
Mr. Blackwood said interest was expressed for holding a Second Annual Trail-Wide States Coordinating Meeting this fall. The first meeting was in November, 1999 in Portland and this was the first time the Council met with federal and state agencies and state coordinators.
Mr. Blackwood will be traveling to Idaho on June 26-27 to meet with his counterparts from Oregon, Washington and Idaho. He said almost all states now have Commissions or Councils established through their legislatures.
Mr. Blackwood reported that the Interpretive Sign Strategy is almost completed and the refined 50-page format and appendices will be made available in electronic format. Carol Crockett, MTRI coordinator, is working hard to complete this project.
The Project Inventory Update was completed and submitted to the Caucuses on March 2. Mr. Blackwood said they have requested a more prioritized list and want to know how many of the projects could be partnered with federal agencies. He said this is one of the reasons for the recent second solicitation of projects from communities, agencies and tribes. The list now contains 92 projects that have been ranked by a subcommittee of the Commission, and Mr. Blackwood distributed a copy of the spreadsheet reflecting that ranking. This information will be compiled into a project report format and will be sent back to the agencies and bicentennial groups. It will provide not only the current ranking, but also where the project ranked during the first rating. This information will also be incorporated into the Master Plan.
Mr. Blackwood said he has made contacts with the Montana Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association and the Association of Chiefs of Police to get on their agendas and mailing lists.
Mr. Blackwood introduced Kim Prill, BLM, who serves as chair of the Interagency Bicentennial Focus Team. They meet on a quarterly basis and the Interpretive Sign Strategy was one of their projects.
Mr. Blackwood introduced Rita Cortright, who began work on May 23 as administrative assistant and program specialist for the Commission. He said the Commission office would need to relocate by fall into a larger space.
Mr. Blackwood reported that he is working to help coordinate the expansion of the Regional Bicentennial Groups network. There are 15 groups around the state in various stages of formation. He proposed a meeting of these groups on October 4, during the Fall Conference.
The director's reports that Mr. Blackwood produces on a monthly basis will be sent out in the future to the regional bicentennial groups to help facilitate communication.
Mr. Blackwood is moving forward with plans to produce a L&C license plate as a fundraiser. Legislation will need to be submitted to the 2001 Legislature and Mr. Blackwood is working with a group in the Bitterroot to prepare a proposal for the Commission. Sam Kitzenberg and Fred Thomas are both willing to co-sponsor legislation. Mr. Blackwood will report on this at the October meeting.
Mr. Blackwood reported that a $15,000 grant was received from the Forest Service for the Master Plan.
Mr. Blackwood said that the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance is still moving forward. Ms. Weber reported on their meeting in Browning where Articles of Incorporation were drafted. They are seeking non-profit status and are also developing bylaws. She said a resolution was presented and signed by 5 tribes that endorses the existence of MTTA and said some tribes have identified their representatives to MTTA. Mr. Blackwood referred to the letter he received on December 1, 1999, from the Montana-Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council containing a resolution of support for the Commission.
Review of "Tasks Completed Current Year"
Mr. Blackwood noted that this listing was mailed to the Commission and called for questions or suggestions. Mr. Cohn suggested providing copies of handouts for the audience at future Commission meetings. Ms. Stone suggested mailing both "Tasks" lists with the Director's Report in the future and to also include these reports on the Commission's website.
Review of "Tasks to Be Completed Next Year"
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the Main Goals for next year and added two items, "Continuing with the Education Committee's Goals" and "Enhanced Coordination with Neighboring States and the National Council." Mr. Blackwood was asked about fundraising efforts to date and he explained that the fundraising effort would be coordinated after the Master Plan is completed. He was asked about coordination of projects and responded that as he receives information on projects he in turn sends that information back out to regional groups in an effort to keep them fully informed. Regarding sponsorships, Mr. Blackwood explained that a letter is being prepared under the Governor's signature that will introduce the bicentennial concept to Montana corporations and businesses, and will include a short questionnaire. Mr. Bookbinder suggested dropping a response back down to the regional groups, asking if they would be willing to help facilitate a follow-up to these letters on a local level. Mr. Blackwood agreed this was a good idea and said local businesses need to be involved in sponsorship.
Ms. Stone called for a review of the 2001 Budget. Mr. Blackwood said he should have included the $50,000 pledged by the Tourism Advisory Council for the Grants Program. He reviewed the Income and Expenditures, for a total budget of $227,000. He estimated a $2,000 profit on the Fall Conference, and said the decision has not yet been made regarding the hiring of a conference planner. Ms. Stone said last year the conference planner was able to secure sponsorships to offset their cost. Mr. Blackwood reported that he, Ms. Stone and Ms. Cortright met yesterday at the Holiday Inn in Great Falls to look at the facility and visit with their staff. Mr. Blackwood called for questions. Mr. Cohn requested that the $50,000 from TAC be included prior to the budget's adoption. Mr. Blackwood agreed. Mr. Cohn asked if Mr. Blackwood anticipated the need to hire a lobbyist for the Session. Mr. Blackwood said he plans to handle this personally unless the Commission feels differently. Mr. Cohn said this would depend on the complexity of the legislation.
Ms. McCleary offered to donate five Lewis & Clark Jim Beam collector edition bottles to the Commission to be used for whatever purpose was appropriate. Mr. Blackwood said it was his intention to use them in conjunction with the Fall Conference. Mr. Cohn noted that "donations" was not addressed in the budget and said Mr. Blackwood could present a modified budget at the October meeting.
Ms. Stone referred to Mr. Olsen's intention to assess an administrative fee from the Commission's FY 2002 budget and said the grant funds would be exempted from this fee. Mr. Monger made a motion to accept the budget with the addition of the $50,000 from TAC for the grants program. Ms. Ryan seconded and the motion carried.
Additional Project and Program Updates
Mr. Blackwood addressed the Futures of the Past Task Force and invited Mr. Cohn, Mr. Monger, or Ms. Stone to report on the status of this effort. Ms. Stone explained that she and Darrell Kipp are the Commission's representatives to this group, however Mr. Kipp has been unable to make the meetings. Three meetings have been held to date in an effort to identify funding for cultural and historic preservation. She said Lewis and Clark projects fall under this heading; therefore the Commission was asked to participate on the Task Force. The group has discussed several different ideas regarding what they might support or initiate legislatively that could create funding for cultural and historic preservation. At their last meeting they narrowed the possibilities to a car rental tax supported by Senator Dale Mahlum, and designating part of the interest from the coal tax trust fund for cultural and historic preservation. She said the concern with this is that 50% of the interest goes to the General Fund now, and any interest dedicated to cultural and historic preservation would come from that 50%. The third proposal was endorsement of increasing the bed tax, with a percentage of that increase specifically designated for cultural and historic preservation. Ms. Stone said Senator Mahlum, Rep. John Witt, and Senator Testor will investigate the possibilities and report at their September meeting. She said they had discussed the license plate option, but decided to leave this to the Commission to pursue. Mr. Cohn added there is a strong sense that a mechanism for ongoing funding of historic and cultural preservation must be identified. He expressed surprise that there was not strong industry opposition to increasing the bed tax. Mr. Cohn said Travel Montana has committed $200,000 per year for the next biennium to fund the Commission's work, but hoped that after that time another source of funds could be identified to free up those funds for other Lewis and Clark promotional projects. Mr. Monger said the Future of the Past committee's focus was directed more toward one-time funding as opposed to long-term funding for operations and maintenance. He said they discussed directing funds through the Montana Heritage Commission for allocation. Ms. Stone asked Commission members to communicate their concerns to her regarding the proposed funding mechanisms being consideration by the Future of the Past committee prior to their September meeting.
Mr. Blackwood responded to a question on funding the 92 community projects. He explained that the Tier I projects that Ms. Roach referred to would probably require the largest amount of funds and Federal funds or sponsorships will be sought for these. The Commission's local grants program could help with funding some of these. Tier II projects would probably fall into the Commission's local grant application process and would be scored according to the criteria. Mr. Blackwood said this solicitation process would probably be done annually over the next few years, as will the grants process. Additional funding sources will be sought. Mr. Monger cautioned that if the Commission's funding flows through the Future of the Past and allocations are made by the Heritage Commission, this Commission would loose its decision-making authority with regard to grants unless funds are earmarked for this purpose.
Ms. Stone responded to a question regarding the hiring of a fundraiser and grant writer, saying the Commission is waiting for Master Plan's recommendations prior to making decisions in this regard; however, she said this has been discussed and is a real possibility.
The meeting recessed for lunch from 12:00 to 12:45 p.m. Mr. Olsen left the meeting to keep an appointment with Governor Racicot.
Financial Report and Discussion - Additional Project & Program Updates
Mr. Blackwood delivered a report prepared by Mr. Olsen titled, "Investing in Montana History - A Proposal: Use a Coal Tax Trust Fund Loan to Protect our Heritage." He explained that this is a proposal to create a $40 million loan from the coal tax trust to be invested in "the artifacts and buildings purchased by the state in Nevada City and Virginia City, for the repair and maintenance of the Daly Mansion near Hamilton, the Moss Mansion in Billings, the Original Governor's Mansion in Helena, for the planning of a new building to house and properly care for the state museum, collections, archives and associated service functions, for addressing infrastructure needs at Historic and Lewis and Clark State Parks sites, and for assisting local Montana Communities with Historic and Lewis and Clark needs." Mr. Blackwood said this will be presented as House Bill 16 and is part of the Governor's package for submittal in the upcoming Session. This loan would have a 2% interest with a 40-year pay back. Possible funding sources for payback are a 1 % increase in the bed tax, the rental car tax, or a combination of funding sources. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the proposed allocation saying Virginia City/Nevada City would receive up to $19 million over the next 10 years; the Daly Mansion would receive $4 million; the Moss Mansion $750,000; $1 million for research and planning of the new Historical Society building; a $2 million grant program for Heritage and Community Grant Programs; $6.5 million for State Parks; and $6.75 million for Lewis and Clark. Mr. Blackwood said in his conversations with the Governor's Budget Office, two funding possibilities have surfaced; the Coal Tax Trust Fund Loan and inclusion of $100,000 in the Montana Historical Society's budget to be used as a state money match to potential federal monies that may be coming in the future.
Mr. Stearns presented the Education Committee's report. He said they have met 6 times over the last year, and have identified three main areas of focus: 1) Serving as a clearinghouse of Lewis & Clark related information and curriculum through the Commission's website. 2) Planning a unique and educational L&C Symposium for 2002 titled, "A Confluence of Cultures." Some of the suggested topics include: the Indian medicines that Lewis & Clark might have been introduced to; the multi-lingual past compared to today's monolingual society; looking at the marriage rules and sexual mores of an earlier time compared to today; religious traditions and perspectives of Native Americans; music and dance of Native Americans; and the Indian ideas of sacred places. 3) Development of a L&C "101" 15-minute video to be used in conjunction with the Montana Superhost Program. Jeri Mae Rowley with the Flathead Community College has taken the lead in developing this video. Mr. Stearns prepared a first cut narrative for the tape that is now being edited by Karen Johnson at MSU. As much as possible, existing video footage will be incorporated into the production. The finished video will be made available to schools and interested groups. This committee has participation from educators across the state.
Mr. Lepley presented the Grant Program report. He reported that criteria was agreed on and used by a seven-member committee to score the 41 community projects. Once the total scores were tabulated, the projects were ranked by total score and the top projects were selected for grant awards. Mr. Blackwood added that originally the Commission and U S WEST each provided $50,000 and then the Department of Transportation added an additional $100,000, bringing the total available for grant awards to $200,000. He said that the 41 applications totaled $620,000 in requests. Mr. Blackwood read the list of 17 projects totaling $200,079 that the committee recommended for funding. Mr. Lepley made a motion to approve the committee's list of projects recommended for grant funding. Mr. Monger seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion and Mr. Monger commented on the amount of time invested by the committee in accomplishing this process. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood said press releases on the awards would be generated in the next couple of weeks. Mr. Lepley suggested that the press release should include an encouragement for groups to reapply next year. Mr. Blackwood thanked the grants committee and everyone involved in the project submittal process. Ms. Stone encouraged interested parties to contact the Commission's office for a listing of grant awards. Mr. Blackwood said another round of information for the Project Inventory would not be solicited for 9-12 months. The grant application process will probably begin earlier next year, with applications being requested in January with a March deadline. Scoring would take place in April with awards being made in May of 2001. Mr. Monger suggested the earlier schedule to allow for two full summers of work in the 18-month timeframe allowed to complete projects.
Mr. Blackwood delivered the License, Endorsement, and Promotion Committee Report in Mr. Olsen's absence. He reported that the committee worked with the Hingston Roach Group to determine if they should also be contracted for the Product Licensing and Sponsorship Program. The committee conducted an interview with the Hingston Roach Group on April 21. Mr. Blackwood said it became obvious to the committee that they were not ready to make this decision and wanted time to determine their options. One option would be to do a program just within Montana or he said they may team up with neighboring states or on a national level. They also wanted to determine if the logo was marketable. The committee made the decision to have The Hingston Roach Group do more research on these issues and bring back their recommendations. Mr. Blackwood said there is talk at the national level of having the Carlson Marketing Firm enter into a contract with the National Council. Mr. Blackwood said that the Montana Commission could enter into an umbrella program as a part of that national effort. He proposed a committee meeting on July 18 to coincide with the presentation of the Master Plan on that same date.
Bicentennial Stewardship Program of the National Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation
Jeff Olson, Trail Coordinator, addressed the group. He provided a handout that addressed The History of the Trail, The Threat of Re-Discovery, The Trail Stewardship Project, including its various phases, and information on the Foundation. He shared highlights of the project and the need for stewardship, as the trail crosses some of the most fragile land on the continent. He spoke about the projected number of visitors to Montana, saying they range from 27.5 million to 7 million. There are 27 chapters in the U.S. with 10 in Montana. The Foundation is working in conjunction with the National Geographic Society on the production of magazine articles, television specials and an IMAX movie. They are also circulating a curriculum guide for grades 5-9 and are working with UM's NASA Mapping Program on 20 sites along the Trail. This July they will kick off an inventory of all private lands along the Trail between St. Louis and the Pacific Ocean. Private landowners will be interviewed on their thoughts about the upcoming Bicentennial and attitudes about potential visitation. They hope to complete the inventory in 6-12 months. He reported that The National Trail Map is being revised to start at Monticello instead of St. Louis. Mr. Olsen said federal legislation titled "Willing Seller - Willing Buyer" has been drafted to facilitate the transfer of private lands into government ownership. He reviewed the many projects under way along the Trail. Mr. Cohn suggested a presentation by Mr. Olsen at the Fall Conference and Mr. Blackwood said he has already planned for a segment by Mr. Olsen.
Undaunted Stewardship Program Sponsored by Montana Stockgrowers Association
Steve Pilcher delivered a presentation on the Stockgrower's Undaunted Stewardship Program. He serves as the natural resource coordinator for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. He provided a brochure on the Program and spoke about how Montana's agricultural families think they may fit into the fun, enjoyment, and recognition of the Bicentennial. He said the program formed as a result of Secretary Babbitt's visit to the Wild and Scenic stretch of the Missouri River below Fort Benton. The Secretary is considering the possible designation of this area as a national park or national monument that will bring increased federal restrictions on land use. He said grazing is an historic and important part of the use of these lands that have remained relatively unchanged over the last 200 years. He said the Stockgrower's Association has adopted a cooperative approach to finding a solution to this situation. Stephen Ambrose has pledged his support and has offered to serve as a spokesman for the Program. Mr. Pilcher said their goal is to ensure that these lands remain in private ownership and are protected. They also want to improve the public's perception and understanding of agriculture as an industry. He reviewed the group's goals, program components and organizational structure as outlined in their brochure. He called for questions at the end of his presentation. Mr. Lepley asked where they stand on subdivision and trophy homes along the 180 miles of the river corridor. Mr. Pilcher responded that this was a local decision and not one that the Stockgrower's should make. Mr. Lepley said the recreational value on the river would be greatly impacted by trophy homes and subdivision. Mr. Pilcher said local people should be empowered to make this decision as this is an issue dealing with private landowner rights versus the rights of recreational users along the river. Mr. Cohn complimented the Stockgrowner's on their efforts to find common ground on these issues.
The meeting recessed for a 15-minute break
Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research Presentation
Kim McMahon presented and reviewed the findings contained in two reports titled, "The Lewis and Clark Interest and Awareness Study," and the "Estimation and Awareness Study," based on research conducted by ITRR. Copies of the report were distributed to the Commission. She estimated that 8.9 million visitors are expected in Montana from 2003-2006. Ms. Stone asked if this information was available by tourism region. Ms. McMahon said that it was not, that more regionally specific surveys would be needed to obtain that level of detail. Mr. Blackwood asked if Ms. McMahon was aware of any plans by other states to conduct monitoring over the next few years. Ms. McMahon said she was not aware of any but said MTRI does plan to conduct non-resident travel surveys starting in December, running through November of 2001. Ms. Stone thanked Ms. McMahon for her presentation.
Fall Conference and October Commission Meeting
Mr. Blackwood said the Holiday Inn in Great Falls has been reserved for October 5-6 for the Fall Conference. He proposed holding the Commission's meeting from 1:30 - 5:00 p.m. on October 4. That evening he would like to hold a meeting of the bicentennial coordinators from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. The Commission would finish their meeting on October 5 from 8:00 - 11:00 a.m. The Conference would begin on Thursday at 1:00 p.m. with a general session and run until 4:30 or 5:00 p.m. The Interpretive Center has been reserved for programs and reception on Thursday evening. The Conference would continue on Friday morning with a continental breakfast. Sessions would run from 8:00 - 11:30 a.m. Lunch with a keynote presentation would run from 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. The Conference would reconvene in a general session at 1:00 p.m. and conclude by 3:00 or 3:30 p.m. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has been asked to co-sponsor a program with the BLM, the Interpretive Center and the Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission titled, "Working Effectively with Volunteers." This workshop would run Monday through Wednesday. Mr. Blackwood reviewed some possible topics for the Conference: State/National/Regional Updates; a presentation on the Master Plan; Successful Public/Private Sector Partnerships with case studies; a presentation on the Interpretive Sign Strategy; a session with Native Americans as a follow-up to the session in Lewistown; a session on trail projects; and a presentation on the Museum of the Rockies' Archaeological work. This year's program will not include "how-to" sessions, but Mr. Blackwood offered to develop a resource directory on available courses. Ms. Weber said the Interpretive Center might offer a course on producing good interpretive programs.
Ms. Stone said Mr. Oliver spoke to her during the break regarding the possibility of making a presentation to the Commission on effective lobbying at the national level. Commission members were polled regarding their availability for a meeting on July 18, 19, 21, or 24. The next MTRI meeting is planned for July 20, and Ms. Roach would like to schedule a meeting with the Commission prior to that date. Mr. Blackwood said the Licensing, Endorsement and Promotion committee has tentatively scheduled a meeting for July 18. Mr. Blackwood will poll the remaining Commission members, set a date and notify the Commission.
Ms. Ryan asked if it would be possible to calendar meeting for the year. After discussion the following dates were set: the first Tuesday in February and June, with the October meeting scheduled in conjunction with the Fall Conference.
Ms. Stone reviewed the process of paying honorarium and travel expense reimbursements. She said the past practice has been to pay the honorarium for regular commission meetings only, and not for committee meetings. She said Mr. Blackwood reviewed the statutes and found that they are not clear. He polled the Tourism Advisory Council, the Heritage Commission and the Historical Society and found that the Commission's current policy is consistent with that of other boards and commissions. Mr. Monger questioned whether this policy has an effect on attendance by Commission members. Mr. Blackwood said to the best of his knowledge this policy has not been a deterrent. Ms. Stone informed the Commission that the lodging reimbursement has been increased to $55.00 plus $2.40 in tax for June 1 - October 1. Mr. Cohn said the high cost city rating has been removed with the exception of West Yellowstone and Big Sky. Ms. Stone said in the past lodging expenses have been submitted that were higher than the allowed state rate. She recommended that if Commission members are unable to secure lodging at the state rate, they should contact Rita Cortright to see if she can obtain lodging at the state rate. The actual receipt is required for reimbursement. Mr. Blackwood said the expense forms for this meeting must be turned in prior to June 30, the close of the current fiscal year.
Ms. Stone named the three Commission members whose terms expire at the end of October; Jeanne Eder, Edythe McCleary, and Jack Lepley. Ms. McCleary said she would gladly step down, but would like to see her replacement come from the Billings area and suggested Mrs. Hubley. Mr. Lepley said he is interested in a reappointment. Mr. Blackwood asked those interested in reappointment to write a letter to the Governor to that effect and copy him.
Mr. Monger addressed the Commission regarding the Conservation and Reinvestment Act, federal legislation that renews the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Senator Burns sits on the committee that will be dealing with the bill's markup scheduled to occur on June 27 & 28. Mr. Lepley made a motion directing Mr. Blackwood to write a letter of support. Ms. McCleary seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Mr. Cohn said the Commission's past philosophy was to not get involved in this type of action. Ms. Stone called for a show of hands and the motion carried.
Mr. Monger addressed the Montana Primitive Parks Act that was created by legislation passed in 1993. Its intent was to limit development at certain state parks to the level that existed at that time. Thirteen parks were listed initially with the subsequent addition of two others. Improvements are restricted to those that are necessary to human health, sanitation and safety. Concrete boat ramps and new hiking trails are allowed, but signage, electrical lines, sewer hookups, dump stations, creation of new roads, and paving of existing gravel roads are prohibited. Three of the fifteen parks are Lewis & Clark related; Pirogue Island at Miles City, Headwaters State Park at Three Forks and Beaverhead Rock at Dillon. He said the number one priority from a State Parks standpoint for preparing for the Bicentennial would be Headwaters State Park. Mr. Monger said there is interest from the Dillon and Three Forks communities to remove Beavershead Rock and Headwaters State Park from the primitive parks status. He asked if the Commission was interested in taking this on. Mr. Lepley said he would feel better about this if the communities initiated the effort first with their legislators and then asked for the Commission's support. Mr. Monger proposed that he and Mr. Blackwood meet with residents in Three Forks to assess their level of interest. Ms. Stone said she appreciated the position of State Parks in wanting to make improvements to the parks, but said it would be in the best interest of the Commission for local residents to visit individually with their legislators to see where they stand on the issue. Mr. Stearns spoke in support for the need for improved signage at Headwaters State Park. Ms. Ryan agreed that local support should be ascertained first. Mr. Cohn agreed with the Commission's sentiment, but said there may be some creative way to make improvements aside from State Parks' involvement. Mr. Cohn made a motion requesting that Mr. Blackwood meet with representatives of the Three Forks and Dillon areas to determine their views on the primitive parks status and determine if they are planning to introduce legislation to change that status. If they are, then encourage them to bring something back to the Commission's October meeting. Ms. Ryan seconded and the motion carried.
Ms. Ila Kolstad addressed the Commission regarding her community's celebration and table decorations that incorporated the entire Lewis and Clark trail as their theme.
Election of Officers
Ms. McCleary, chair of the Nominating Committee, delivered the committee's report. Her committee included Arnie Olsen and Hal Stearns. They met by conference call and nominated the current slate of officers, Betty Stone, chair and Darrell Kipp, vice chair, to another term. Ms. Stone called for nominations from the floor three times. Mr. Lepley made a motion to cast a unanimous ballot for the slate of officers. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood complimented Ms. Stone on her role as chair.
Ms. Stone reviewed the list of committees. Hal Stearns and Arnie Olsen were appointed to the Executive Committee for the upcoming year, replacing Jack Lepley and Matthew Cohn. Ms. Stone called for an additional member to serve on the Funding Committee. Homer Staves was suggested and Ms. Stone said she would discuss this with him at the next meeting. Mr. Bookbinder volunteered to serve on the Funding Committee. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Lepley, Mr. Monger and Mr. Blackwood if they were willing to serve on the Grants Committee again for the coming year and all three agreed. Mr. Youpee will also be asked to remain on the committee. Representatives of all contributors to the grants program will be included on the committee for next year. The Community Projects Scoring Sub-Committee will be appointed next spring. Ms. Ryan was added to the Conference Planning Committee.
Mr. Blackwood announced that Marilyn Ryan was elected to serve as secretary/treasurer of the MEA/MFT.
Ms. Stone invited the Commission to attend the 7:00 p.m. reception at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center this evening honoring Dr. Gary Moulton.
Ms. Stone convened an executive session to conduct the annual review of the Executive Director.
The meeting adjourned at 5:00 p.m.
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