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LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
Montana Historical Society
September 10, 1998
Commission members in attendance were Leif Johnson, Darrell Kipp, Teresa Korpela, Jack Lepley, Jeanne Eder, Edythe McCleary, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone, Curley Youpee, Brian Cockhill, and Clint Blackwood. Members unable to attend were Doug Monger and Matthew Cohn.
Betty Stone called the meeting to order at the close of the Commission's two-day Strategic Planning Session. Ms. Stone called for a motion to approve the minutes of the May 12, 1998, meeting. Mr. Cockhill made a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. Ms. Korpela seconded and the motion carried.
Ms. Stone called on Clint Blackwood to deliver his Director's Report. He referred to the August 17, 1998, report mailed to Commission members and spoke briefly about a conversation he had with Montana Department of Transportation regarding their role in the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. He suggested it may be appropriate for this Commission to meet with the Highway Commission to discuss areas where the two might work cooperatively. Mr. Blackwood said from subsequent conversations he has the feeling MDOT will work with the Commission as a part of the MTRI group. He has asked MDOT to provide him with an inventory of the rectangular Lewis & Clark highway signs, but they have not yet been able to respond. He also plans to discuss with them shield signs for specific sites, as they do not at this time have criteria for placing these signs and Mr. Blackwood said they will be receiving requests in the future for placement of additional signs at sites. Mr. Blackwood spoke about "Enhancement" program monies which are granted directly to counties and larger communities. This program was slated for redesign, but Mr. Blackwood has been informed that it will now remain intact. Mr. Lepley urged members to contact county commissioners regarding application for these CTEP funds. Mr. Blackwood said he will continue to work with MDOT, and announced their upcoming December meeting in Helena. Mr. Cockhill suggested working together with counties and cities to pool the money they are eligible for and directing it towards Lewis & Clark type projects. Ms. Eder asked how this would impact counties with large Indian populations and Mr. Blackwood answered that the money will go directly to tribes and reservations, which may be a change from the old program where the money came through the county commissioners.
Mr. Blackwood addressed the Memorandum of Understanding between the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council and American Rivers. In late June in Great Falls, he learned that the Council was about to sign this MOU which would address the restoration of the Missouri River as much as possible to its condition of 200 years ago. Mr. Blackwood made them aware of the situation with American Heritage Rivers and the Yellowstone River last year regarding private landowner rights. He has been assured that this is a totally different organization, but said the public perception may be the same. Mr. Blackwood's concern is that Montana's agricultural groups may think that the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial is a cover for some kind of environmental or conservation effort. Ms. Eder explained that Steven Ambrose sits on the American Rivers board and prior to the time this MOU was presented, he gave the National Bicentennial Council a check for $10,000 and the next day brought up the MOU. She said some of the members were not very pleased at having to deal with the MOU. Ms. Eder said she expressed concern that the MOU uses the word "restore" with regard to ancestral lands along the river, but was out voted by the rest of the Council. Mr. Blackwood said he understood it to mean that parts of the river would be free flowing areas, with adjacent areas remaining in their current developed state. Revising BLM grazing permits may be a part of the agreement. Ms. Stone read a letter that she received from a Fairview resident who serves on the Missouri River Tourism Board. This letter said, "There is a rumor rumbling around that Lewis & Clark state coordination effort is being used to slide the America Heritage Rivers program in under the radar...this rumor could kill the effort in our area." She will respond that she was unaware of this MOU, and explain that it is not connected with Montana's Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Youpee recapped his experience with a coalition of tribes that were interested in participating with the American Heritage Rivers program. He noted Senator Burn's subsequent rejection of the program in Montana. Ms. Stone said she did not feel this Commission should debate the MOU, but should be aware of its existence and the potential for people in the state to align this Commission inappropriately with that effort. Mr. Blackwood referred to Michelle Bussard's cover memo on the MOU and said if Commission members have questions to call her. He has also notified Montana's congressional delegation that this MOU is about to be signed. Mr. Stearns agreed with Mr. Blackwood that this Commission should remain absolutely neutral.
Mr. Blackwood addressed the status of the Headwaters State Park, saying because it is considered a primitive park, no improvements can be made at the site other than replacement of existing signs, etc. There is concern on the part of the park about their role in a statewide observance. Under its current status, they cannot even install new interpretive signs. Repairs can be made to existing structures, but nothing new can be constructed. Mr. Stearns explained that this situation resulted from fee changes at other state parks for overnight camping. Parks without a fee structure are considered "primitive." Mr. Cockhill said this commission needs to be concerned about the infrastructure it provides to the visitor in the actual Bicentennial period. He explained that the status of this park must be addressed in the Legislature, but recommended that the 1999 Session may not be the best for timing considerations. Mr. Blackwood said that same condition exists at Beaver's Head Park. Mr. Cockhill suggested that a committee of the Commission meet with the Fish and Game Commission to begin dialogue on the impacts of the Bicentennial on existing parks and the need for additional parks. Mr. Blackwood said this Commission has been invited to visit Headwaters State Park. Mr. Cockhill suggested talking to Doug Monger at the November meeting to get his advice on how best to proceed.
Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has been invited to join MTRI. He said this association would provide a good coordinating point for information on other agencies' Lewis & Clark activities. MTRI has created a focus team, which Mr. Blackwood will lead, and they will meet on October 1or 2 to coordinate agency activities. Mr. Blackwood said there is no membership fee, just a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 1993 or 1994, and as subsequent agencies join, an addendum is drawn up to that MOU. Mr. Johnson made a motion that the Commission join the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood reported on his travels statewide, to include Dillon, Cut Bank., Browning, Three Forks, Bozeman, Billings, Pompeys Pillar, Fort Benton, Havre, Malta, Glasgow, Wolf Point, Fort Belknap, across the Highline to Culbertson, down to Sidney, Glendive, Miles City, and Forsyth, where he met with, in most cases, the Chambers of Commerce or tourism contacts if a Lewis & Clark group had not yet formed. He introduced the Commission to communities, shared its mission and efforts to coordinate statewide events, and assist them in planning community events. He has encouraged all of the sites to form at a county level, a Lewis & Clark Bicentennial group. So far, Lewis & Clark county is the first to do so and Mr. Blackwood used their prototype as an example for other counties. He estimated that approximately 8 counties plan to structure their groups after Lewis & Clark County. He said this may serve as the basis for our Affiliate Group. He also requested from them a list of interested people in their communities which will be the start of a mailing list and these names are now coming in. Mr. Blackwood said Mr. Youpee and Mr. Kipp introduced him to their Tribal Councils. He found that most communities are in need of advice on organizational structure and are in various stages of formation. He said at some point the Commission may be approached to provide letters of support for various community projects. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Blackwood for his sense of support for a Statewide planning Session and he said there is support for it, as well as for the "moving marker" concept. There was brief discussion on Ken Karsmizki's work in locating campsites. Mr. Blackwood displayed a map that locates existing Lewis & Clark interpretive center sites, including the Interpretive Center, and noted the Fort Peck $5-6 million appropriation for a visitor center on the lake, Pompeys Pillar $2 million appropriation which has to be matched, and the possible Interpretive Center in Dillon. He said Cut Bank may be interested in a center as well. Mr. Johnson suggested that state parks that interpret Lewis & Clark should also be noted on Mr. Blackwood's map. Mr. Johnson asked about producing a river guide and Ms. McCleary said one is almost completed for a segment of the Yellowstone River. Mr. Cockhill reported that a guide is planned for the stretch of Missouri River from the Gates to Three Forks by the Lewis & Clark County group in partnership with Broadwater County.
Mr. Walter displayed for the Commission a map produced by Bob Bergantino, which was done to scale and cites fairly specifically where the campsites were, based on readings from the journals.
Ms. Stone called on Mr. Cockhill to report on the Job Performance MOU. He reported that he, Hal Stearns and Doug Monger were appointed to conduct negotiations with Mr. Blackwood. As a part of that process, a performance MOU was produced to serve as the basis for evaluating Mr. Blackwood's work. Mr. Cockhill said any increase in Mr. Blackwood's salary will be based on his performance of the tasks listed in the MOU. Ms. Stone asked if there were necessary revisions as a result of the Strategic Planning Session. Mr. Cockhill said it may need to be revisited after adopting the Strategic Plan. Mr. Johnson made a motion to adopt the Job Performance MOU as it currently reads with the understanding that when the Strategic Plan is finalized, the MOU will be revisited to make any necessary modifications or updates. Ms. McCleary seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood pointed out that by the time the Strategic Plan is adopted he will have been in his position for about 7 months. Ms. Stone said the Strategic Plan will not be adopted for at lease two more months. Mr. Cockhill suggested taking the MOU as a basis after the Strategic Plan is in place and extending the measuring point.
Adoption of Commission Bylaws was taken up next. Ms. Stone noted that revised Bylaws were mailed prior to this meeting. Mr. Blackwood said the Bylaws were unanimously adopted by a mail vote, with one change in Article I - Authorization, which was to correct the effective date from October 1, 1998 to October 1, 1997. Mr. Cockhill made a motion to immediately adopt the Bylaws as amended. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried.
Mr. Blackwood opened discussion on the Tasks to be Completed by saying that Matthew Cohn suggested to him that it would be more effective to assign timelines to individual tasks. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the dates he assigned under "Administration." Under the "Financial" heading, creating a marketing plan by March, 1999, was added and the timeline on licensing was changed to Sept./Oct. 1999. Under "Planning," drafting the Governance Plan was changed to December, 1998. After discussion the date for presenting a statewide planning workshop was changed to Sept./Oct., 1999. Dates for the remaining categories were left unchanged. Mr. Blackwood noted that these tasks were drafted before the Strategic Plan and may be adjusted accordingly. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Blackwood to keep the Commission updated on his progress in these areas.
Ms. Stone explained for Mr. Stearns' benefit that in the morning's session, each member was allowed one comment on the Logo Design which Ms. Tribe recorded for Clint's reference. With the Commission's agreement, Mr. Blackwood will make a decision on selecting the Logo. Mr. Blackwood said his approach will be to take these ideas and work with the graphic artist who helped develop the designs.
Joining the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation was discussed next. Mr. Blackwood asked if it would be appropriate for the Commission to join the Foundation. Mr. Cockhill explained it is legal to join as long as the reason is not for personal gain. Mr. Johnson made a motion to empower Mr. Blackwood to join the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation on behalf of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission. Ms. Korpela seconded. Mr. Cockhill asked that the motion be amended to join at the lowest appropriate level. Mr. Stearns seconded the amended motion. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Mr. Blackwood said he was considering the $50-$100 range. Ms. Stone called for a vote on the amended motion which carried.
Ms. Korpela was called on to present the Education Committee report. She distributed and reviewed her report on the committee's meeting held August 31, 1998, in Helena. Mr. Cockhill commented on the exhibit from the Missouri Historical Society referred to by the Museum of the Rockies, saying that the Montana Historical Society has a request in for the same exhibit which he was told will cost the Society about $75,000, plus the cost of renovating the Haynes Gallery. He said the exhibit may be in Bozeman, Helena, or possibly Denver where more revenue can be realized from the number of people viewing the exhibit. Mr. Cockhill said there will be one East Coast venue, the Missouri Historical Society, one Rocky Mountain venue, and one West coast venue, each for six months. Mr. Cockhill asked that the Society's Education Officer be invited to committee meetings in the future. Ms. Korpela explained how the past meeting was arranged and agreed to extend invitations to additional participants, but said the committee did not have funds available to cover travel costs for those other than committee members. At the close of today's meeting the Education Committee will meet to determine when to hold their next meeting.
Leif Johnson was called on for a presentation on marketing. He began by sketching a diagram of the components of a marketing plan and explaining each one. The relationship and coordination effort with Travel Montana was discussed. Mr. Johnson said that advertising, public relations and sales efforts could be handled by them as they have the resources and staff available and said the Commission needs to determine what Travel Montana's plans are regarding the Bicentennial. Licensing, endorsement, and sponsorship will help spread the word about the Bicentennial and serve as a fundraising source. The return on investment and market research were also discussed. Mr. Cockhill raised the possibility of the commission not wanting to do what Travel Montana has planned, i.e., if their image perception is different from the Commission. Mr. Johnson said this is a collaborative effort and said his hope is that Mr. Cohn will involve the Commission into Travel Montana's plans while they are still in the draft stages. Mr. Blackwood said there may be some advertising and public relations areas that may not be covered by Travel Montana and will need to be covered by the Commission. Mr. Johnson said hopefully once the sponsorship program is in place and generating funds, that some of them may be channeled to Travel Montana for the Bicentennial campaign. Mr. Cockhill raised his concerns with regard to the Society's work with Travel Montana on their website. Ms. Eder agreed with his concerns. Mr. Johnson suggested the Commission work with Mr. Cohn, but also impress on him the importance of coordination and communication with Travel Montana. He suggested utilizing the State's marketing arm in the best possible way. Mr. Cockhill said someone must recognize the concerns of the Commission with regard to historical accuracy and Native Americans on their web page. Ms. Eder expressed regret that Mr. Cohn was not in attendance today. Mr. Kipp spoke in support of some sort of agreement with Travel Montana. Mr. Blackwood said he would like for Travel Montana to hear their concerns and that they should be addressed directly with Mr. Cohn. Ms. Stone suggested the concerns should come from the whole Commission, not just the Marketing Committee and agreed to place the subject on the agenda for the November 10 meeting. Ms. Korpela suggested that Mr. Cohn be contacted prior to receiving the minutes and Mr. Johnson and Mr. Blackwood agreed to talk with him.
Mr. Johnson continued by reviewing their committee's draft Vision Statement (see attached.) Mr. Blackwood said he has been referred by Tom Daubert to a company called M-2000, who works on a national level for special event promotions. Mr. Blackwood has been in contact with their representative who is interested in continuing dialogue with the Commission to develop a very top-notch promotions program that may involve some national level sponsors. They are also discussing developing a product, licensing and merchandising program which will include a catalog of products. Their representative will fly to Montana for a day to share what he sees as the potential for Montana. Mr. Blackwood said this is not a proposal, but just an update on discussion with one entity who may provide some useful information. Ms. McCleary asked about utilizing the RFP process and Mr. Johnson said this party did not want to participate in an RFP process. Mr. Cockhill said it is state law that if you spend over $7,000 you must use the RFP process. Mr. Johnson continued that soliciting sponsorships is a big job and you must have the contacts and expertise to accomplish it. He is concerned about keeping out-of-pocket costs as low as possible. The selected promotion firm would be paid a percentage of sponsorship funds. Mr. Cockhill referred to the Vision Statement, specifically questioning whether a marketing firm would see the criteria for product development. Mr. Johnson said that was contained in the Vision Statement. Mr. Blackwood suggested at a minimum the Commission should have input. Ms. Korpela said she had concerns about not using an in-state marketing firm, and as a point of caution, questioned why the representative would come free of charge. Mr. Blackwood said no commitment has been made to use an out-of-state firm, that this is an issue the Commission needs to address, and was discussed by the committee without a conclusion. Mr. Johnson noted several of M-2000's clients; White House special events, Nancy Reagan's publicity trips, the Golden Gate Bridge Celebration, the Ellis Island Statue of Liberty Foundation's funding drive, and the American's Cup competition. He said criteria must be developed prior to further solicitation, and said maybe that would be the RFP process. Mr. Blackwood said the committee will meet with the M-2000 representative prior to making any recommendation to the Commission. Mr. Johnson said they will hopefully have a report at the next meeting.
Mr. Blackwood spoke about the proposed Sacagawea Interpretive Facility at Dillon, Montana. He said they are submitting a $100,000 grant application for a planning grant. They have prepared a concept paper for their proposed center which would be located next to the Clark Canyon Dam. He said it would be both an interpretive and education facility.
Ms. Stone addressed review of the standing committees. Mr. Cockhill suggested waiting until after the goals are reviewed at the next meeting. Mr. Blackwood said the governance plan may change everything. Ms. Stone asked if any other committee needed to meet prior to the Commission's next meeting. It was agreed that no other meetings were required.
Ms. Stone said a Commission Policy on requests for letters of support needs to be established. Ms. McCleary called attention to the guiding principle that no individual member could endorse an event or project and said a letter of support could serve as an endorsement. Mr. Kipp asked if there is a difference between a letter of support from the Executive Director and the full Commission. Mr. Cockhill said he performs this function on behalf of the Society, and suggested that unless something drew obvious concern that Mr. Blackwood be allowed to provide letters of support. Mr. Johnson made a motion to give Mr. Blackwood the authority as he sees fit within the goals and objectives of the Commission to provide letters of support on behalf of the Commission, and if he has questions, to refer them to the Commission. Mr. Youpee seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Cockhill said once an executive committee is in place they could provide guidance to Mr. Blackwood. Mr. Blackwood provided two examples of request that have been received to-date.
Ms. Stone announced the next meeting for November 10, at 8:30 a.m. in Helena. The Education Committee agreed to meet the evening of November 9th.
Mr. Blackwood briefly reviewed copies of maps prepared by the National Park Service and South Dakota that highlight in segments the Lewis & Clark route through the sate. He has talked with MTRI to investigate the possibility of preparing something similar for Montana. Funding would have to be secured and distribution points determined, possibly at rest areas, visitor centers, or pullouts. This would provide continuity through North and South Dakota and Montana for visitors. Ms. Stone asked for comments. Ms. Korpela suggested it could be incorporated into the statewide planning session. Mr. Blackwood agreed and Mr. Stearns offered to work with him on this.
Ms. Stone called for a motion to adjourn. Leif Johnson made the motion which was seconded by Ms. Korpela. The motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 4:25 p.m.
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