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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
I. Call to Order
Oct. 1-2, 2003
Chairman Hal Stearns called the meeting to order at 1:15 p.m., reviewed the meeting’s timeline, and invited everyone to attend the RBC/Tribal reps meeting this evening. He introduced Commission staff and acknowledged Clint Blackwood for his strong leadership role. Chairman Stearns then called for introductions.
Commissioners attending were: Hal Stearns, chair, Betsy Baumgart, Darrell Kipp, Jack Lepley, Wyman McDonald, Darrel Martin, Doug Monger, Arnie Olsen, Tootie Rasmussen, Homer Staves, and Betty Stone. Staff included Clint Blackwood, Rita Cortright and Amy Baird.
Chairman Stearns announced that Kathy Doeden was not able to attend and had also not sought reappointment to the Commission. He noted the reappointments of Darrel Martin and Jack Lepley.
Guests included: Mike Sweeney, Sheila Simanton, Grace Nesbit, Ron Clark, Lois Roby, Ltc. Jon Jackson, Dick Fichtler, Dave Walter, Steve Kubick, Jane Weber, Walt and Sharon Martin, Ron Nusbaum, Gail Stensland, Melody Dobson, Robbie Carpenter, Dick Williams, Latona Old Elk, Jane Weber, Linda Juneau, Carla Wambach and Jeff Dietz.
VII. Old Business
C. Lolo Visitor Center Dedication
Mr. Stearns circulated photographs taken at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center and Rest Area Grand Opening on June 27, 2003. During the ceremony, a plaque dedicated to the memory of Stephen Ambrose was unveiled, and is wife Moira and daughter, Stephenie Ambrose-Tubbs were in attendance.
Mr. Stearns displayed a copy and reminded Commissioners to periodically review the Commission’s Master Plan.
III. Approval of May 27-28, 2003, Meeting Minutes
Mr. Stearns called for additions or corrections to the May 27-28, 2003, meeting minutes. Mr. Monger made a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Ms. Baumgart seconded and the motion carried.
IV. Director's Report
Mr. Blackwood welcomed everyone back to Lewistown, as the first conference was held here in 1999. He delivered highlights of the September 2003 Director’s Report.
NPS Challenge Cost Share Grant Funds
Mr. Blackwood noted the Commission was successful in obtaining additional CCS grant funds and said Ms. Cortright would report in more detail during the Grants Committee report.
Educator’s Resource Directory
The newly released edition of the Educator’s Resource Guide, published by Project Wet at MSU, was displayed by Mr. Blackwood. He said Mr. Stearns would report further on this topic during the Education Committee report tomorrow.
Lolo Pass Visitor Center Dedication
Mr. Blackwood reported that Hal Stearns, Tootie Rasmussen and Wyman McDonald accompanied him to the dedication of the Lolo Pass Visitor Center. Mr. Stearns delivered a very moving tribute to Stephen Ambrose attended by the late author’s wife Moira and daughter Stephenie Ambrose Tubbs. He reminded the Commission of their $500 contribution to the bronze memorial plaque for Mr. Ambrose and said the visitor center was a beautiful facility.
Ms. Baumgart said that Travel Montana had an arrangement with the Forest Service to provide $15,000 to help fund staffing at the Lolo Visitor Center, much the same as they do for other visitor centers across Montana. In return, literature on Montana would be available for distribution at the center.
Three requests had been submitted: 1) The request through Senator Burns for public safety monies did not make the ‘mark up’ process. 2) A request for VA/HUD funds for our regrants program was not successful. 3) A request for interpretive signage through Rep. Rehberg’s office was not successful. Mr. Blackwood said there was yet an opportunity to reapply during the second half of the 108th Session in 2005.
Travel Montana’s Contracted Call Center in Missoula
Mr. Blackwood reported on his recent visit to the Call Center in Missoula and his concern with the staff’s lack of knowledge of Lewis and Clark. He said this raised a challenge for himself, and maybe others, to revisit the center to conduct some periodic training. The Signature Event representatives and staff from Travel Montana planned to meet with Mr. Blackwood on October 10th to discuss the general picture of marketing, what Travel Montana was doing with marketing, and how it would fit in with the Signature Events and Significant Event plans.
Corps of Discovery II
Mr. Blackwood announced that Corps II was a reality, and that Carol McBryant would be attending the Conference. He displayed enlarged photos of Corps II and said as of yet, formal notice had not been issued by NPS confirming the Montana host community locations. A map was displayed indicating the host locations in Montana, based on his recent conversations with Carol McBryant. He reviewed the list of communities for 2005: Wolf Point, Glasgow/Ft. Peck, Dodson/Malta/Ft. Belknap, Rocky Boy, Fort Benton, Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Dillon, on to Salmon, Idaho, and back to Hamilton, Lolo and to the Coast. In 2006, Corps II will visit Missoula, Lincoln, Browning, Crow, Billings, Miles City and Sidney. Representatives from each of the 18 host communities had been invited to meet with Carol McBryant tomorrow morning to discuss logistics and programming requirements for the Tent of Many Voices. Mr. Blackwood said that both Livingston and the Crow wanted to host Corps II; however, the NPS was very clear that interested tribes would be given priority. Mr. Lepley asked if the dates were negotiable and Mr. Blackwood said he did not think so because of the tear-down and moving schedule. Mr. Lepley said the dates for their community were off by one week and Mr. Blackwood expressed surprise as he felt communities were happy with their selected dates. Mr. Lepley said he was unaware of the chosen date before yesterday. Ms. Weber said NPS had changed the dates and Peggy Bourne had already scheduled a meeting with Ms. McBryant for tomorrow. Mr. Blackwood said once the formal letters of notification were issued by NPS, the dates and locations would be posted on the Commission’s web page. Ms. Weber announced that in Nov. – January, Corps II would be sent to California for refurbishing, which was a change from the original plan of sending Corps II off-Trail for the winter months. Mr. Martin said some textual changes would also be addressed during that time. He has provided programming at three Corps II locations to date and said there were logistical challenges that needed to be worked out. Ms. Weber said the 38-minute audio tour would be reproduced and shortened.
OPI L&C Website
Mr. Blackwood announced the newly launched OPI L&C website, www.opi.state.mt.us/Lewis&
Clark/Index.htm. OPI had been a partner on the Education Committee in previous years, but had fallen away. He said the new website would be a great resource for teachers and more details would be provided during tomorrow’s Education Committee report.
American Rivers Exhibit
Mr. Blackwood toured the American Rivers Exhibit recently at the Southgate Mall in Missoula. He said it contained more L&C information than he expected and encouraged people to view it or consider scheduling the exhibit in their community if possible. The exhibit has already toured Bozeman, Billings and Missoula, and Billings has discussed bringing it back for their Signature Event.
Dedication of Sacajawea Center in Salmon, Idaho
Mr. Blackwood reported on attending the dedication of the new Sacajawea Center at Salmon, Idaho, where the L&C Honor Guard and Steve Morehouse participated in a re-enactment. The site has a natural amptheater and large meadow for re-enactments. He also announced the newly opened Confluence Center in North Dakota. Together with the Lolo Visitor Center, Lost Trail Visitor Center, and the MDT new rest areas on I-90 coming in from Coeur d’Alene, one at Sweetgrass and Wibaux, he said Montana now has excellent gateways into the state.
Montana Sheriffs’ and Peace Officers’ Association
Although MSPOA was not successful in obtaining federal funds, they did receive $35,000 from the BLM for public safety. Mr. Blackwood reported that several of the sheriffs met in Billings recently to discuss the allocation of those funds and determined that the 11 counties from the North Dakota border to Fort Benton should share those funds as that was the area that would be impacted first, and also contained the most inaccessible portions of the Trail. He said before MSPOA could receive the BLM funds they must first develop an emergency response plan. Mr. Blackwood had been stressing the importance of public safety and was pleased to see this planning taking place.
MDOT “Historic Marker Ahead” Signs & Rest Area Sign Installation
Mr. Blackwood had hoped to bring a sample sign to the meeting, but one was not yet available from MDOT. The trapezoid shaped signs will bear the images of Lewis, Clark and Sacajawea. Guidelines were made available for the placement of the signs and questions were directed to Jon Axline, MDOT, (406) 444-6258. Mr. Blackwood did have for display a sample “Gateway Interpretive Sign.” The Commission received CCS grant funds and partnered with MDOT to place 13 signs in rest areas across Montana. Posters would also be produced and distributed statewide as a part of the grant.
Report on National Council Meeting, Philadelphia
Jane Weber provided a handout and reported on the highlights of the National Council’s meeting held in Philadelphia, August 8, 2003. Their next meeting is scheduled for October 25, during the 2-week long “Falls of the Ohio” signature event that ends on October 26. Karen Goering has been named as the official Executive Director for the National Council and the Missouri Historical Society was covering her salary costs. The new slate of officers was announced: Bob Archibald, President, Bobbi Connor, Vice-President, Phyllis Yeager, Secretary, and Patti Thompson, Treasurer. Ms. Weber said the purpose of the National Council was to attract large sums of money that would be granted to states; however, this never materialized. She did say launching of the national Ad Council PSA campaign in October would be very beneficial in raising the level of awareness for the Bicentennial. The ‘draft’ versions of four print ads were displayed. Plans called for 5 TV spots, 3 radio spots and 4 print ads. She said the ‘draft’ TV spots would be shown tomorrow during the Commission meeting. Ms. Weber expressed concern that some of the visuals in the TV spots were of sites off the Trail. She said this had been discussed and the advertising agency said their whole premise was ‘awareness’ and they included identifiable geographic features that people readily associated with vacations. Ms. Baumgart asked if the decision was final, and Ms. Weber said they were far enough along on the first ad that she did not expect changes and that her concerns were overruled by the Council. She encouraged people to express their concerns to the Council prior to the production of the next spot. The Council had also received pressure to include advertising for signature events as a whole in at least one ad. Ms. Baumgart made a motion directing Mr. Blackwood to write a letter on behalf of the Commission, expressing concern that non-Trail attractions were featured in the Ad Council’s PSAs. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Baumgart said the Trail States have a commitment to help pay for the production of the ads and she planned to address this with the Tourism Advisory Council and the Trail States. Mr. Staves agreed and said the more letters the better. Mr. Stearns directed Mr. Blackwood to work with Ms. Baumgart in the formulation of a letter.
The National Council’s new website will launch in mid-October prior to the Ad Council PSA launch near the end of the month. The website will be heavily promoted in the ads. Distribution of the “National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commemoration” brochure began at the Philadelphia meeting. The brochure contains information on all 15 signature events, and will be updated and reprinted in the future. Regarding staffing, Amy Mossett is now the American Indian Involvement Coordinator for the National Council. Katie Hunn is assistant to Karen Goering, and Sammye Meadows continues as Cultural Awareness Coordinator and operates out of Gunnison, Colorado. The first round of Indian Involvement Grants were awarded to 23 applicants with funds provided by the Hewlett Foundation. The Council has signed contracts with all of the Indian Tribes preparing traditional pouches for the US Mint commemorative coin. The first sets of pouches were boxed and shipped to the U.S. Mint. Finally, Ms. Weber said the Council has begun to consider the transition of activities from the Council to the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation once the Bicentennial Observance was concluded. Mr. McDonald asked about Gerard Baker’s new position and Ms. Weber explained that because of ill health he has resigned his position with the NPS as lead person on the Trail effective June 2004 and will relocate to Montana next year.
Ms. Weber announced temporary closure of the Interpretive Center in Great Falls from Oct. 19 - January 2004 to allow for building modifications. Mr. Stearns commended Ms. Weber for the great work being done at the Interpretive Center, and for her service on both the Trail Heritage Foundation and National Council boards.
Mr. Blackwood said the National Ad Council’s PSA would be aired tomorrow along with Mr. Kipp’s Native Waters video, a stewardship video produced by the Trail Heritage Foundation, and possibly a Confluence of Cultures video.
Mr. Kipp said there was a fairly large-scale film coming out of Bozeman on Lewis & Clark, as well as a Corps of Engineers’ film documentary. Mr. Blackwood reported on seeing the L&C Imax film in Seattle. He said the Missouri Historical Society’s L&C Traveling Exhibit opens in St. Louis on January 17, 2004, and will travel to Philadelphia, Denver, Portland, and Washington, D.C. Mr. Kipp announced the L&C exhibition planned by the Newberry Library. Mr. Olsen said next year the Montana Historical Society would be displaying four of the original plant specimens collected by Lewis on loan from the Academy of Sciences in Philadelphia.
V. Committee Reports
A. Conference Planning Committee
Betty Stone reported on the 5th Annual Fall Conference slated to begin tomorrow at 12:00 noon. As of Sept. 26, registrations totaled 95, and the budget reflected a $1,803.43 deficit. However, as of today, registrations were up to 120 people, which would improve the bottom line. She reported 10 exhibitors would be setting up tomorrow morning. Mr. Blackwood said one of the new components this year that added to the expense was the involvement of MTTA in an effort to bring strong Indian focus to this year’s conference through Indian speakers, presenters and performers at the Encampment. Mr. Blackwood said compared to last year, sponsorships were up but registrations were down. He expected the budget would end up in the red by about $1500 unless last minute registrations were strong. The Commission did receive a $5,000 grant from the NPS CCS to pay for the conference planner. The conference budget was originally projected at $10,000; however, it grew to $13,000. In the past four years the conference either broke even or was in the black.
Ms. Stone opened the floor to discussion on whether to hold another conference next fall and what the focus should be. Mr. Staves said the meeting served a valid function. Mr. Blackwood outlined a possible agenda to include the Commission meeting on Wednesday, with a speaker and joint meal Wed. evening. Thursday morning could be a series of partner meetings, with a “talent showcase” by speakers and performers. It was his desire to move away from the current format of charging a registration fee and suggested providing an optional meal for people. Mr. Monger asked if the RBC/Tribal reps meeting could be held at another time, not necessarily in conjunction with the Commission meeting. Mr. Blackwood said he felt we were past the ‘how to’ technical sessions. Mr. Stearns announced the upcoming meetings for Febr. 10 at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, and the proposed June 8 meeting in Livingston. He asked for a suggested venue for the Conference and asked if it could be planned in conjunction with the Society’s History Conference. Mr. Olsen said for the past 3 years the Society has had a L&C speaker and some of the tours are L&C-focused. Next year they will hold their History Conference in Bigfork, and return to Helena for 2005. Ms. Baumgart questioned why the numbers were dropping as the Bicentennial dates neared, as she felt that the Conference provided a great networking opportunity. Mr. Marten said the regional commissions needed to showcase what they were doing, and proposed offering them a booth space next year. Mr. Staves suggested a statewide “best of” competition in 5-6 categories, which would provide recognition for those doing an outstanding job and also provide them with an opportunity for booking future performances. Mr. Kipp said this was very successful at the National Council meeting in Great Falls. Mr. Kubick suggested holding the Conference after fall elections and making it very visible. Mr. Clark suggested partnering with the national Lt. Governor’s Conference to showcase L&C. Melody Dobson offered Billings as a potential location for the 2004 Conference. She serves as co-chair with Robbie Carpenter for the “Clark on the Yellowstone” signature event. Mr. Stearns referred the matter to the Conference Committee for a recommendation. Ms. Weber expressed concern with re-enactor burnout and said more people should be encouraged to help replenish the ranks. She proposed consideration of a L&C living history training session where people interested in becoming re-enactors could spend a couple of days (8-16 hours) immersed in L&C and tribal living history. Mr. Monger agreed that local talent would be pretty stressed and proposed enticing national level presenters, actors, and artists to come to a central location, or possibly two or three locations. He asked if there was a means of soliciting input from the conference attendees, and Mr. Blackwood said the Conference Evaluation Form addressed future conference plans. He said we did not want to continue with the same format if the drop in attendance was a reflection of peoples’ feeling that nothing new was being offered. Ms. Stone asked people to provide additional suggestions/comments to herself or Mr. Monger and the Conference Committee will bring a recommendation to the Feb. Commission Meeting.
Mr. Blackwood polled Commissioners regarding attendance at the Conference and distributed moderator assignments for the concurrent sessions Friday morning.
B. Budget Review
Mr. Blackwood said the Commission approved a budget at the May meeting; however some revisions were necessary. He explained that changes were highlighted in yellow for easy reference and reviewed them as explained on the worksheet summary. The major changes under the Income section were: an increase in the conference budget from $10,000 to $13,000; reflecting the CCS pass through grant amount of $176,000; the actual 2003 cash balance carry-forward of $35,960; an increase in the CCS Grants Administration to $4,500; and two additional CCS grants totaling $15,000. Those same items were accounted for under the Expense section of the budget. Additional changes under Expense section included: reduction of the L&C Training grant from $5,000 to $2,500; an increase in the Project Grants amount from license plate revenue to $80,849; an increase in Admin. Overhead to $35,832, the addition of the Senate Art Project for $7,500, and the total August BOI loan payment (principal and interest) of $38,273.
Mr. Blackwood stressed that the $80,849 amount for Project Grants was a projection; the actual amount for project grants would not be determined until the February 2004 meeting. The Admin. Overhead was calculated at 6% on administrative funds and 3% on grant funds. He clarified that in May he was asked if we were paying overhead on the expenses or income side, and at that time he said it was paid on the expense side. Subsequently, he learned from the Society that the overhead was being administered on the income. The $7,500 for the Senate Art project was a loan that would be repaid to the Commission through the sale of the maquettes. The July and August columns reflected actual expenses; the remainder of the months indicated projected expenses. Ms. Stone asked for a recap of the BOI loan repayment and Mr. Blackwood referred to the handout that indicated the next payment of $38,444.52 was scheduled for Feb. 2004. Mr. Blackwood expressed appreciation to Mr. Olsen for facilitating discussions with the Business Office staff at the Society to implement more user-friendly reports. Mr. Stearns called for a motion. Ms. Stone made a motion to approve the revised budget. Mr. Lepley seconded. Mr. Stearns called for discussion and Mr. Staves requested that the $80,849 for project grants be excepted from the budget approval motion. Mr. Blackwood agreed and noted that he had failed to mention that there were no income or expense amounts plugged in for the Legacy Campaign. He noted that the Commission had previously voted that the first monies received by the Campaign would go to pay off the BOI loan. Mr. Monger requested that the Legacy Project – Senate Chambers item be noted on the budget as a loan. Ms. Stone restated her motion to approve the revised budget excepting the $80,849 for project grants until the Febr. 2004 meeting, and noting the Legacy Project – Senate Chambers item in the amount of $7,500 was a loan to be repaid by the sale of maquettes. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Rasmussen requested that the Legacy Project – Senate Chambers be referred to as the Senate Chamber Project in the future.
The meeting recessed for a 10-minute break.
C. Grants Committee
Ms. Cortright began by recapping the 2003 Project Grants awards, noting the first round of awards for $54,500 was approved by the Commission in February. The Grant Scoring Committee had recommended funding 5 additional projects totaling $34,902. During the May meeting, the Commission authorized payment of the remaining project grants through the following motion: “Betty Stone made a motion that the Commission authorize payment of the remaining project grant funds up to $34,902; that the Grants Committee contact applicants regarding timing of payment and provide that information to the Executive Committee; and that the Executive Committee make a determination of the grants to be awarded based on the current budget, leaving a balance of $3,056 to be carried forward into the 2004 budget, by June 30th.” Subsequently, the Grants Committee met via a conference call on June 25, 2003, and agreed to recommend to the Executive Committee that the remaining 5 grants be paid, leaving the required carry-forward balance. The recommendation was forwarded to the Executive Committee who provided unanimous approval to accept the Grants Committee’s recommendation and release the balance of the 2003 project grant funds in the amount of $34,902. The actual amount granted totaled $31,450 as the $3,452 grant to the Upper Missouri River Institute was funded by an outside source. She reported that all grant funds had been issued and 6-month reports were in with the exception of the report on Headwaters State Park from FWP.
A handout was provided that outlined the status of both the Project Grants for 2000-2003 and the O&P Grants for 2001-2003. Ms. Cortright noted that for 2000 Project Grants only the Camp Fortunate Chapter grant was not completed, as it had been extended to Dec. 31. 2004. Of the 13 Project Grants awarded in 2001, 9 were completed and 4 extended to either September or December 2003. Of the 13 Project Grants awarded in 2002, 11 were completed; the final report for Jefferson Valley Presents was in but questions remained; and the final report from the Crow Tribe was delinquent. The 2003 O&P Grants were reported on next, and Ms. Cortright stated that checks had been issued to 18 RBC’s and Tribes, with the exception of the Blackfeet, as their 2002 O&P Grant report remained delinquent. The Final Report for the 2002 O&P Grant to the Crow Tribe was received in February 2003; however questions regarding the report have not been answered. The remaining 17 grants were completed. In 2001, 18 O&P Grants were awarded, and all were completed; however questions remained unanswered related to the final report from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe’s grant.
Mr. Blackwood explained that Amy Baird works diligently to make contact by phone and through the mail to obtain 6-month and final reports; however, after repeated requests go unanswered, information is forwarded to the Commission’s attorney, Paul Johnson, with the Dept. of Justice, accompanied by a request that he contact the grantee. Mr. Johnson issues a letter informing the grantee that non-response would negatively affect their ability to receive future grants from the Commission. Ms. Cortright noted that the Commission had made the determination that if grantees were in default, they would not be eligible for future grants.
Ms. Cortright explained that staff was in the process of developing the 2004 Grants applications and guidelines. Comments were solicited from the Grants Committee regarding changes to the forms, and those changes had been incorporated into the draft applications, guidelines and scoring criteria that were distributed to the Commission for review and approval. Recommended changes to the forms were highlighted for easy reference and were individually reviewed by Ms. Cortright. Significant changes to the Project Grant Application were: Sections 1 and 6 were changed from a ‘pass/fail’ to “5 to 0” points, and Section 2 was decreased from “60 to 50 points.” Mr. Blackwood clarified that this change was made to eliminate confusion on the part of the Scoring Committee as to whether a grant failed the process if it failed in either Sections 1 or 6. This change would allow for scoring of all sections for a grand total that would then be ranked. Mr. Blackwood said as we got closer to the official Bicentennial, there would be less bricks and mortar projects and more emphasis would go to funding appropriate events and activities. Ms. Cortright noted only one change to the 2004 O&P Grant Guidelines, which was the change in wording from “…recommended” to “…strongly encouraged” to send one representative to the State Commission’s meetings. She said the Grants Committee had discussed making this a recommendation; however, the Commission realized the difficulty in sending a representative to every meeting and had opted for the “strongly encouraged” wording. Once approved by the Commission, the application forms would be made available to the public and posted on the Commission’s website, with a December 19, 2003 deadline. The Scoring Committee’s work would be completed by mid-January and their funding recommendations would be presented to the Commission at the February 10th meeting. The amount of project grants funds available would not be determined until the February meeting; however the O&P grants remained at $2,000 maximum per applicant in 2004.
Ms. Cortright referred to the handout and reported on the National Park Service Challenge Cost Share Program. The Commission received an additional $15,000 which represented previous years’ funds granted to Montana projects that were not expended. The Commission has since partnered with 5 regional bicentennial commissions to utilize $5,000 for interpretive signs. The remaining $10,000 will fund the installation of 13 gateway interpretive signs at rest area locations statewide in partnership with the Montana Dept. of Transportation. Mr. Stearns thanked Ms. Cortright and Ms. Baird for their efforts in managing the Commission’s Grants Program.
Richard Williams, NPS, joined the meeting and was introduced. He thanked Ms. Cortright for her efforts in working with his assistant, Midori Raymore, to close out the grants under the previous Cooperative Agreement, and to manage the 14 grants totaling $205,500 in the current Cooperative Agreement. He expressed his appreciation to Congress for funding the Challenge Cost Share program through NPS and said Congress passed a continuing resolution yesterday that allowed federal agencies to continue operations for the next month. Mr. Williams said there was a $5 million request in the House Bill, the Senate Bill and in the President’s request through the NPS, and he felt confident that there would not be a problem securing the funding. Applications for the 2004 CCS program were released today and Mr. Williams distributed a flyer containing the application process, which must be done electronically. They are concentrating on events and legacy projects related to education and infrastructure. The application deadline is January 15, 2004, and grants would be announced in April; however, funds would not be released until July. Mr. Williams said the program had Congressional support and he expected it to continue through 2006. He expressed his appreciation to the state Commission for their efforts in assisting with the program in Montana. Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Williams for his support and comments.
Mr. Stearns reviewed the Grants Committee’s membership and asked for a volunteer to serve as committee chair. Betsy Baumgart accepted the position.
D. License Plate Committee
Homer Staves reported that sales were down about 11% compared to last year, which he attributed to the impact of the number of other specialty plates now available. Beginning in June, the Dept. of Justice began reporting on new sales versus renewed sales. Mr. Monger asked about plans to use the supply of inserts and Mr. Blackwood explained that when the large quantity of inserts was ordered, we were led to believe they could be inserted in utility bills; however this has not been feasible due the high cost. We have been in contact with one of the state’s larger banks and remain hopeful that they will allow the inserts in their mailings, which would utilize the remaining supply. Ms. Cortright said inserts had been placed in utility bills in Great Falls and Billings for the past two years and some Chambers and Visitor Centers have placed inserts on their counters. Inserts had also been mailed annually to the 56 County Treasurers for distribution. She welcomed suggestions for other sources of distribution.
F. Fundraising & Promotion Committee
Mr. Olsen delivered a brief update on the Legacy Campaign based on the handout prepared by the Campaign staff. He noted the following contributions: $100,000 from PPL to be used for the Statewide Interpretive Sign program; $25,000 for the Stephen Ambrose Endowment at the GF Interpretive Center; $5,000 from an individual with a $5,000 match from his employer; $50,000 of free marketing and advertising for the Bicentennial from Pepsi in the form of advertising on cans, as well as free product give aways. The Campaign Steering Committee met last week and approved a year-end direct mail appeal that planned for November. He noted the Bentz relationship had been terminated and the Campaign was moving forward with two staff, Sara Groves and Mary Asbach, as well as through the local teams. Mr. Olsen reviewed the Campaign Teams and noted the current status of each. The Custer Country Team had brought in approximately $50,000 to the Campaign. Corporate Sponsors had been identified and work was ongoing with ConocoPhillips and Plum Creek Timber. Grant applications were currently being prepared for submission to two foundations and one trust. Mr. Olsen said the $14 million target was no longer realistic given the economic effects following the September 11 attack. The Steering Committee planned to meet in December to reassess cash flow, the loan repayment schedule, schedule of pledge payments, and said the Campaign’s goals would most likely be adjusted at that time. Mr. Olsen said the Campaign’s lower than anticipated success was not for lack of trying, but resulted from a very difficult economic climate.
Mr. Blackwood announced the cultivation event planned at the Yellowstone Art Center in Billings tomorrow evening and invited interested commissioners to accompany him; Mr. Staves planned to attend. Mr. Marten asked what pledges totaled and Mr. Blackwood said the amount was about $850,000. Mr. Kipp asked if the Bentz people had provided any observations on why their strategies had not worked in Montana. Mr. Olsen responded that the Bentz team was optimistic until the end; the results were just not there in terms of bringing in sufficient cash to offset the $20,000 monthly expense for the Bentz team. Mr. Blackwood said the Bentz team was used to a campaign focused on a specific project, whereas we were asking them to raise funds statewide for a multitude of projects that resulted in separate mini-campaigns across the state. He did not think Bentz anticipated the reality of that situation. Mr. Staves said Bentz developed excellent materials and a business plan and did an outstanding job of getting the Campaign started on the right path. However, the economy of the state hampered the fundraising efforts. Letting Bentz go cut the expenses, but the groundwork they laid was being utilized.
H. Senate Art Committee
Mr. Lepley reported on the Senate Art Project, noting that potential artists were solicited from several sources. This solicitation resulted in 72 artists receiving a solicitation packet. Of that number, 19 artists from both Montana and out of state submitted samples of their work. Two sub-committee meetings have been held and the list was pared to six finalists who were then submitted to the full committee. Guidelines for the art project would be mailed shortly to the 6 finalists who would then have 90 days to prepare artwork for consideration by the committee. The finalist will be selected on January 23. Mr. Lepley said start-up funds of $7,500 were identified in the Commission’s budget, and would be used to bring the 6 finalists to Helena to present their work before the Committee. The finalist would also need funds to purchase materials in preparation for submitting his artwork to the Committee. The contract with the artist will be for the 17’ wide x 6’ high relief artwork for the Senate Chambers. The project would be funded by the sale of limited edition maquettes and Mr. Lepley said the Committee had discussed castings in a couple of sizes, but this would not be determined until the final piece was created. Ms. Rasmussen asked if the 6 finalists could be named and Mr. Lepley declined to name them as they had not yet been notified of their selection. The Committee is comprised of six ex-senators, five members of the state Commission, one member of the Society’s board of trustees, and one Society staff member. There was discussion of replacing Kathy Doeden on the committee, but the decision was made not to at this time. Mr. Lepley estimated the casting cost of the original artwork at $40,000 to $50,000, and estimated the artist’s fee to be close to that same figure. Mr. Clark asked if the 19 artists could be identified and Mr. Olsen responded that none of the names could be released at this time, as none of the artists had been notified. He agreed to release the names once the notifications had gone out. Mr. Clark asked when the 6 would be notified and Mr. Olsen said it would happen soon. Mr. Stearns said the guidelines were developed with the input of the full Committee and they felt that the 6 finalists were all excellent choices. He thanked Mr. Olsen and the Historical Society for taking the lead on the project and facilitating a very objective selection process. Mr. Blackwood said he hoped the artwork could be dedicated in the summer of 2005. Mr. Olsen said this would be a great time as it coordinated with the Great Falls area signature event. Mr. Clark urged selection of a Montana artist and Mr. Blackwood said the legislation did not specify a Montana artist. Mr. Olsen said the decision would be based on the best quality artwork. Mr. Lepley said some members of the Committee strongly desired a Montana artist and others desired the best quality artwork.
Mr. Stearns adjourned the meeting until Thursday morning at 8:30 a.m.
October 2, 2003
I. Call to Order
Chairman Hal Stearns called the meeting to order at 8:40 a.m.
Mr. Olsen announced the October 4th Exhibit Opening at the Society, “Youth Discover Lewis and Clark.” A statewide appeal for art created by youth from kinder garden through 12th grade resulted in a tremendous response, including oil and watercolor paintings, a quilt, a medicine chest, ceramic tiles, and many more works of art. The exhibit will be up for 6 months and he encouraged people to visit the Society to view it.
Mr. Stearns reviewed the day’s agenda, and announced plans for an executive session at the close of the meeting.
Chairman Stearns called for introductions.
Commissioners in attendance included: Hal Stearns, chair, Betsy Baumgart, Darrell Kipp, Jack Lepley, Wyman McDonald, Darrel Martin, Arnie Olsen, Tootie Rasmussen, Homer Staves, and Betty Stone. Staff included Clint Blackwood, Rita Cortright and Amy Baird.
Guests included: Sheila Simanton, Grace Nesbit, Gail Stensland, John Maatta, Sandra Cahill, Sheila Askins, Terry Selph, Jane Weber, John Jackson, Jeff Dietz, Mike Sweeney, Penny Carpenter, Ron Clark, Dick Williams, Margaret Gorski, Dan Krum, Marcy Hamburg, Latonna Old Elk, Lois Roby, Richard Williams, Margaret Gorski, Amy Mossett, Peggy Bourne, Carla Wambach, Dick Alberts, Penny Carpenter, Dave Walter and Loren Flynn.
Mr. Stearns asked for comments from Commissioners related to last evening’s RBC/Tribal reps meeting. Ms. Stone referenced the question of grants funding for speakers and said last year both the Commission and the NPS CCS program awarded $10,000 grants to the Montana Committee for the Humanities Speakers’ Bureau for Lewis and Clark speakers. Mr. Blackwood said the MCH grant would fund a portion of a speaker’s expenses. Ms. Stone asked if it would be possible to have a representative from the MCH attend the next Commission meeting and explain how their program functioned and who had participated. Mr. Blackwood agreed to contact Mark Sherouse. Ms. Baird said she had a list of the speakers funded through this grant and offered to provide it to the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said a link was available from the Commission’s website to the MCH website. Mr. Stearns estimated that 40 presentations could be funded with the $10,000 and said with Corps II coming, this might be a good source of presenters for communities. He offered to meet with Mr. Sherouse and Mr. Blackwood to discuss the possibility of increased funding for the Speaker’s Bureau. Mr. Martin addressed the cost for Native American participation at community events and encouraged groups to advertise all partners involved in community reenactments. Mr. Blackwood referred to Clint Brown’s comments last evening that were also echoed by Dyani Bingham, that MTTA and some of the tribes would be proactive in securing their own funding so they would not have to rely on outside funds to participate in community events. Mr. Blackwood said support letters on their behalf would be helpful. Mr. Kipp asked for information on a possible Blackfeet Encounter event for July 25-26, 2006, and Mr. Blackwood responded that he had been in contact with George Heavy Runner and Ms. Rasmussen said it was her understanding that Larry Epstein was also interested in planning something. Other events planned for 2006 were the mid-June event at Travelers’ Rest, Clark on the Yellowstone, July 22-25, 2006, Lewis Traveling the Marias, as well as the Corps II stops in 18 locations in ’05 and ’06. Mr. Blackwood encouraged groups to submit event information to Travel Montana for inclusion in the multi-year Calendar of Events; he also provides events information when speaking in communities. Ms. Baumgart said national and international motor coach tours were planning 1-2 years out and she stressed that if groups provided an event date to Travel Montana they must be committed and keep the date.
Wyman McDonald expressed his concern with the lack of interest in the Bicentennial on the part of tribal leaders. He suggested partnering with the Tribal Leaders’ Council Meeting to increase their level of interest. He said the Tribes did not see the 3-year Bicentennial as a positive event; the cultural changes brought about and the bitter legacy that followed were not discussed much by the Native people. He questioned whether there would be a lasting legacy or impact once the 3-year period had passed and said it bothered him. He called a couple of local meetings to get people involved and was disappointed they were not in attendance. He added that it did not seem that the Tribes’ stories were being told, as well meaning as the Commission had been in encouraging participation. He said his comments were not meant to be disparaging as he was trying personally without much success. Mr. McDonald said in his 3 ½ years as Coordinator of Indian Affairs in the Governor’s Office he experienced this same problem. He was able get commitments from people to serve in various positions but they would not actually participate. He questioned what would happen if an Indian Interpretive Center were built across the street from the Interpretive Center in Great Falls, where the Tribes could each tell their own stories. He said this would take a large amount of money and the commitment of federal, state and local partners to accomplish. Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Wyman for his comments.
E. Education Committee
Mr. Stearns spoke first on the Confluence of Cultures Symposium held May 28-30, 2003, on the UM Campus in Missoula. The Commission and the Univ. of Montana co-sponsored the symposium and Linda Juneau was recognized for her role in the planning effort. She expressed her appreciation to the Commission for their participation in planning meetings and reported that 92 presenters, 88 performers, 675 people participated in the Symposium. She said the biggest complaint was that there were too many sessions to choose from. She said the Tribes were surprised at being asked to participate in the Bicentennial, and they asked why they should participate as everything that happened after that initial contact was of detriment to their people. She felt that through their participation and sharing of stories Indian people were very open at this point in time. Ms. Juneau said a 5-chapter companion DVD to the proceedings document was available and would be viewable in the lobby throughout the conference. The proceedings would contain all of the papers presented at the symposium. She said the University was looking forward to the next Confluence of Cultures Symposium, and would be seeking advise from the advisory committee regarding dates and desired to partner with all of the Tribal colleges on the Trail. Stearns said some funds were left over, and welcomed the possibility of a second Symposium. He also possessed a copy of the summary and offered copies. Mr. Blackwood said a video segment of the Symposium would be shown later in the meeting. He said the second Symposium might become part of the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event in Great Falls.
Mr. Stearns reported that the 22-minute video, “Lewis & Clark: the Montana Story,” produced in partnership with Flathead Valley Community College, would now be available for sale in retail outlets by spring, based on an agreement with the Ambrose family. Mr. Blackwood said a 1-page contract would be drawn up for Hugh Ambrose’ signature and a meeting with Jeri Mae Rowley needed to be scheduled regarding distribution plans.
Mr. Stearns announced the newly launched OPI L&C website, www.opi.state.mt.us that contains many useful features for application by teachers in the classroom. OPI’s site is linked to Commission’s web page. Mr. Blackwood said OPI has an electronic newsletter and print version and information on the website would be included in both publications. In addition, OPI and the Commission would jointly send a letter to social studies teachers regarding the new site. He said the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles was sending out lots of information on a weekly basis and the challenge was how to make that information available to teachers if they were so inclined to get involved. The St. Charles Group also has real-time links available between schools for utilization by interested teachers.
Mr. Stearns next addressed the Educator’s Resource Guide, produced by Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer, with Project WET, Montana State University, Bozeman. The first printing was approximately 5,000; the second edition printing of 4,000 copies funded by Qwest was just released. Mr. Stearns said 750 copies would be sent directly to Montana school librarians. Complimentary copies were distributed through the Commission’s display booth at the Conference and future copies would be available through the Commission’s website, www.montanalewisandclark.org/education/lewisandclarkcurriculums.htm. Mr. Blackwood read the dedication to Don Nell in the front of the guide. Sheila Simanton said it was her practice to forward information via email to her community’s high school history teacher and suggested others might want to adopt the practice.
Mr. Stearns spoke next on the Commission’s Tour Guide Training program conducted in partnership with the L&C Training Academy at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. People who meet the minimum qualifications are listed on the Commission’s website as tour guides. Mr. Stearns said the demand for step-on guides was increasing. However, Jane Weber had announced that the upcoming Guide Training at the Interpretive Center had been cancelled due to low registrations. He said $2,500 had been identified in the Commission’s budget for Guide Training, and he asked if people were interested in having the Guide Training go on the road to a couple of locations. He said the burnout factor was a real consideration. Mr. Staves asked if there was a possibility of tying guide training to the Superhost training program. Ms. Weber said they were different audiences and did not feel the two would blend well. She said communities needed to be in a position to place people in the Tent of Many Voices and suggested restructuring the Guide Training to address both stage performance and first-person presentations. Past Guide Training had been a 5-day workshop, although participants were not required to attend all 5 days. She had hoped that Tribal people would become involved in the Guide Training. Mr. Staves asked why the registrations were low and Ms. Weber cited two reasons; 1) the timing was not good, and 2) the training was too long. She said a 2-day session, one in eastern Montana and one in western Montana, was feasible but would be limited in content and she requested feedback on how to package it. Mr. Blackwood asked for a show of hands of those who would help promote local training. Ms. Baumgart asked if training could be done in two steps, a weekend education and a presenters’ seminar, and Ms. Weber agreed that was a good idea. Mr. Lepley said Fort Benton had already initiated a step-on guide training program. Mr. Staves suggested emphasizing this training as an income opportunity and said the Education Committee needed to focus on this topic. Hal Stearns, Sue Buchel, Carla Wambach and Jane Weber agreed to serve on a sub-committee and would meet and report at the February commission meeting. Mr. Staves made a motion to give the Executive Committee the power to act on the recommendations of the Education Committee if they were time sensitive and increase the budgeted amount of $2,500 if necessary. Mr. Martin seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Stearns announced that the December issue of the NPS publication Corps Explore was looking for articles about curriculum. He said the electronic request that was sent to Mr. Blackwood would be shared.
The meeting recessed for a 10-minute break.
G. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
Mr. Stearns displayed the newly released National Council brochure that contained information on the Signature Events planned trail-wide. Copies were made available for distribution. Mr. Blackwood said he would represent the Commission at the Falls of the Ohio Signature Event, a 2-week event from Oct. 14-26. He planned to travel to Clarksville, Indiana, the second week to attend both the COSA and National Council meetings and as well as some portions of the Signature Event. Mr. Stearns and Peggy Bourne also planned to attend. Mr. Blackwood said there would not be a Montana booth at this event, but the Montana Signature Events brochure would be available there. Seven signature events were planned for 2004, and Mr. Blackwood said attending all of them would be very expensive. He did not have any detailed information on the following two, but said attending both would make sense; the “St. Charles Departure” on May 24, and the “Circle of Cultures” in Bismarck in October. He offered to bring a recommendation back to the February Commission meeting, as the COSA group and National Council would be discussing future meetings during their October 2003 meetings. He noted that Mr. Olsen had raised the question earlier regarding the Commission’s ability to underwrite the expense of commissioners going to Signature Events, but Mr. Blackwood said that would be difficult to budget. He said Ms. Cortright had offered to attend part of the Fort Atkinson Signature Event in late July 2004 tied to a personal visit to the Omaha area. He suggested further discussion at the February meeting regarding a possible display booth and associated costs for the St. Louis and Bismarck events. He clarified that if a commissioner attended a Signature Event as an official representative, it was up to the commissioner to determine what they wanted to claim for travel expenses. Mr. Staves said he did not feel there was much to be gained by attending the Signature Events, compared to spending for other necessary items such as Guide Training. Ms. Stone suggested considering a display booth the North Dakota signature event as a marketing opportunity to promote Montana’s two signature events and the ‘Confluence’ event. Ms. Baumgart said the Northwest L&C Co-op, comprised of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana, had discussed sending staff but decided instead to produce a 4-color rack card on the four states’ Signature Events for distribution at the Falls of the Ohio event. Displaying the brochure at the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation’s annual meeting in Bismarck, Aug. 5-10, 2004, was suggested. Mr. Stearns offered to take brochures to most of the Signature Events. Mr. Blackwood said at Monticello there was a strong request that each state be represented at a booth; however, he did not know if this would be the case at future Signature Events. He said an 8x10 foot Trail States Banner, funded by the COSA groups, was on display during the state Conference, and would travel to each Signature Event. Ms. Cortright displayed the poster and said additional posters were available on the brochure exchange table in the lobby. Mr. Staves recommended reviewing current marketing efforts to determine what was being done and what needed to be done. Mr. Stearns recommended that Mr. Blackwood, Ms. Baumgart and he meet and discuss this topic.
VI. Montana National Guard Update
LTC. John Jackson, Dir. Of Military Support, provided an update on Montana National Guard plans and activities. He announced the cancellation of the Relay Run, a visionary play of Sherman Fleek who had since left the National Guard Bureau. Regarding the Guard’s budget, $4.2 million had been requested to support Lewis & Clark events nationwide; of this amount $400,000+ over a 3-year period was identified for support of Montana’s Signature and Significant Events. Part of the budget would also pay for a full-time National Guard officer to work strictly on L&C events. George Donnelley from Great Falls was identified as the contact person. They were awaiting Sec. Rumsfeld’s letter of authorization to release the funds. Ltc. Jackson reported on the upcoming October 15 meeting in Ohio of the general officers from Missouri, North Dakota and Oregon, and also the Trail State National Guard reps. He reported on possible plans to assist with the construction of the bridge at Travelers’ Rest. He said Gen. Pendergast was mainly concerned with safety and security issues along the Lewis & Clark Trail, and reported on past meetings with Col. Shawn Driscoll, MPH. Ltc. Jackson said their Honor Guard was available for the presentation of colors at events, and the National Guard could also provide equipment displays. ‘Discovery Boxes’ developed by the Corps of Engineers were now available, and contained replicas of many of the items Lewis & Clark took with them or brought back from the Expedition. The North Dakota National Guard band was also available for performances at events. Ltc. Jackson said Scott Mandrell with the Discovery Expedition is a member of the Montana National Guard and has been retracing portions of the Trail. He also noted L&C articles written by historian Charles White for the “Army Times” that contain detailed information on each member of the Expedition. Chairman Stearns asked Ltc. Jackson if a letter from the Commission to Sec. Rumsfeld would be of assistance and he responded that everything was in place, it was just a matter of time before the letter was signed.
VII. Old Business
A. Committee Membership & Chairs
Mr. Stearns asked Commissioners to review the list of standing committees. Betsy Baumgart had accepted the chair of the Grants Committee during yesterday’s meeting and it was also agreed that Kathy Doeden’s position on the Senate Art Committee would not be filled. He noted again that Jack Lepley and Darrel Martin had been reappointed to another term. A copy of the certificate of appreciation signed by Chairman Stearns that was sent to Kathy Doeden was displayed. He invited anyone interested in serving on the Commission to submit their resume and letter of interest to the Governor for consideration.
B. Statewide PR/Publicity Campaign
Mr. Blackwood referred to the Executive Summary for the Draft Public Relations and Publicity Plan developed in conjunction with Tom Cook, Public Relations Offficer for the Society, and part-time employee of the Commission. This multi-media campaign will involve electronic and print media designed to create public “Awareness and Excitement” leading to the Bicentennial Observance in Montana. Mr. Blackwood said a 10-page document has been drafted that called for radio spots on the Northern Ag Network, and PSAs on cable TV. Call-in radio interview opportunities would be enhanced and, as Mr. Blackwood travels to communities statewide, Mr. Cook will assist with arranging local media opportunities. This media will hopefully dovetail with what the regions and tribes are doing. He asked people to contact the Commission if they wanted to be involved. The budget contains $10,000 to kick off the campaign and the amount was split evenly between radio and TV. With the PSAs the radio value will double to $10,000. FirstInterstate Bank has been approached regarding the contribution of marketing dollars. Printed media will be primarily through press releases. Mr. Blackwood thanked Travel Montana for the development of an electronic press kit where media inquiries are now directed for information on the Bicentennial in Montana. Mr. Cook would be developing some untold story leads for inclusion on the electronic press kit as well. Mr. Blackwood offered copies of the full document to anyone interested.
VIII. New Business
A. Future Meeting Dates & Locations
The RBC/Tribal Reps meeting was scheduled for Feb. 9, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls.
The Commission will meet next on Feb. 10, 8:30 – 4:00 p.m. also at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Mr. Blackwood referenced the letter of invitation from the Federation of Fly Fishers in Livingston, offering their Discovery Center as a location for the June 8, 2004, meeting. He asked if the Great Bend RBC was award of the invitation and Penny Carpenter responded that she was unaware of the letter, but was entirely in support of the invitation and offered their assistance. Ms. Carpenter explained that she had e-mailed information on the Yellowstone Inn as possible location. Their commission had discussed a possible bus trip to the new interpretive sign and museum, possibly late on the 7th. The Commission gave general approval to Livingston as the meeting location and Mr. Blackwood asked the Great Bend Commission to coordinate with the state Commission office on planning.
Regarding the October Conference, Mr. Blackwood said there was definite interest in doing some type of conference, in combination with the Commission’s meeting. He said the host site needed to be identified first. Mr. Stearns noted that Ms. Stone had raised the question of a presence at the North Dakota Signature Event, October 22-31, 2004. Mr. Stearns suggested holding the Fall Conference in close proximity to the North Dakota Signature Event. The Society’s History Conference, Oct. 21-23 and the TAC Meeting Oct. 2-5 were noted as dates to avoid. Ms. Baumgart expressed concern with planning too many activities at one time. Planning for the October meeting/conference was deferred to the Conference Planning Committee for a recommendation.
Chairman Stearns explained that Mr. Lepley had indicated an interest in planning a White Cliffs Missouri River float for Commission members in September 2004. Mr. Blackwood said this would not be a meeting, rather a recreational activity, possibly 3-days long, and paid for personally by participants. Mr. Stearns offered to discuss this further with Mr. Lepley and provide details to Commissioners.
IX. Public Input Time
Chairman Stearns said there had been much public comment and involvement over the past two days and invited further public comment. Nothing further was offered from the audience.
Mr. Blackwood recognized Conference sponsors and provided a copy of the “Special Thanks” page from the Conference Resource Directory and asked Commissioners to extend their personal thanks as well during the Conference.
Videos were shown from the L&C Trail Heritage Foundation, the draft Ad Council PSA’s, segments from the Confluence of Cultures Symposium, and Darrell Kipp’s Native Waters.
The meeting adjourned and the Commission held an Executive Session.
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