journal notes

August 2000    Issue No. 2 Vol. 2


MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the second annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference scheduled for Great Falls October 5-6, 2000. The conference opens at 1:00 p.m. Thursday and concludes mid-afternoon Friday. In addition to getting the latest updates on state, regional and national planning, a special evening is planned at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center. The conference will be preceded by a 3-day workshop focused on community-based volunteering & innovative partnerships. The workshop is co-sponsored by the state Commission, USFS, BLM and Upper Mo. Bicentennial Commission and will be offered for a very modest fee. More conference information will be mailed in August


Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission meetings;
- October 4-5, 2000, Great Falls Holiday Inn
- February 13, 2001, Helena
- June 12, 2001, Billings/ Pompey’s Pillar

32nd Annual Meeting of Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation;
- August 13-16, 2000, Dillon (waiting list to register)

2nd Annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference;
- October 5-6, 2000, Great Falls


The Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission voted unanimously at its June 15 meeting to provide $200,000 in grants to 17 Montana non-profit groups sponsoring a Lewis & Clark-related project. The Commission received 41 grant applications totaling over $620,000. The new grant program is a partnership effort involving U S WEST ($50,000), the Montana Department of Transportation ($100,000), and Montana's Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission ($50,000). With the required $1 local match for every $2 in grant funds, the Commission's new program is leveraging over $300,000 for key Lewis & Clark projects as part of the state's preparation of the upcoming Bicentennial. Funds are already being gathered for the 2001 round of grants. Travel Montana has committed $50,000 in tourism "bed tax" funds to the grant pool with the requirement that the Commission provides $50,000 and finds at least one other funding partner to provide $50,000.

The Year 2000 grant recipients include:

  • Golden Triangle Area of Glacier, Pondera and Teton Counties ($6,250) - Design & construct interpretive sign at the Teton River Rest Area near Dutton.
  • Beaverhead County ($8,500) - Design & construct interpretive signs at three sites in Beaverhead County.
  • Lolo ($22,000) - The Montana Community Development Corporation and the Traveler's Rest Preservation Project to complete Lewis & Clark archeological research and assessment at the Traveler's Rest campsite area.
  • Kalispell ($25,000) - The Flathead Valley Community College, through its Montana SUPERHOST contract with Travel Montana, will develop a new Lewis & Clark training curriculum featuring a short video highlighting the Montana experiences of the Expedition.
  • Livingston ($20,000) - Park County will develop an interpretive sign and kiosk west of Livingston showcasing Clark's return down the Yellowstone.
  • Stevensville ($5,870) - The Stevensville Civic Club/Project Pride will create a living legacy Native Plant Park.
  • Pryor ($5,000) - Renovating a museum display that tells the story of the Expedition along the Yellowstone River.
  • Lincoln ($28,000) - Develop a Lewis & Clark Pass interpretive site along the Blackfoot River corridor that includes the restoration of a historic cabin with exhibits, artifacts and interpretive signs.
  • Great Falls ($5,000) - University of Great Falls will conduct research and develop specific curriculum for a week-long Lewis & Clark summer seminar.
  • Great Falls ($12,000) - Make necessary park repairs in anticipation of developing portage route and Lewis' grizzly bear encounter interpretation for residents and visitors in Clara and Russell Parks.
  • Great Falls ($4,700) - The Lewis & Clark Honor Guard will create 2 complete captain uniforms, a sergeant uniform and at least 7 private uniforms for display and historical recreations of the Expedition.
  • Bozeman ($25,000) - Watercourse and Project WET Montana will develop a teacher's guide that lists, describes and comments on primary resources available to educators.
  • Bozeman ($2,568) - The Gallatin County Historical Society and Pioneer Museum will prepare for display and storage of 300 volumes on Lewis & Clark donated by Don Nell.
  • Whitehall ($10,500) - The community of Whitehall will create 12 or more murals depicting the Expedition's passage through the Jefferson Valley.
  • Zortman ($7,690) - The Missouri Breaks Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, in partnership with the BLM, will create an outdoor amphitheater to facilitate the telling of the L&C story to the public.
  • Helena ($8,000) - The Montana Science Institute will develop four teaching trunks to more effectively educate students about the science of the Expedition.
  • Three Rivers-Gallatin Valley Area ($14,000) - The Headwaters Chapter of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation will develop interpretive signs of the Expedition's adventures in the Gallatin Valley at the new rest area in Bozeman at the I-90/North 19th Interchange.


The National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council announced progress on a number of fundraising, planning and marketing projects during the 5th Annual Bicentennial Planning Workshop held in Kansas City in late April. Stephen Ambrose announced the formation of a national "Circle of Advisors" to the council. The "Advisors" will assist with fundraising for council activities as one of its activities. Ambrose personally pledged to contribute $1 million to the National Council and challenged his fellow "Circle of Advisors" to either pledge to donate or raise a million dollars each for the Council. The formation of a "Circle of Tribal Advisors" was also announced. This group, led by Amy Mossett of the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, will provide invaluable tribal input and guidance as trail-wide planning progresses. The National Park Service discussed its on-going efforts to staff and fund the proposed "Corps II." This moving classroom will follow the trail providing state-of-the-art educational opportunities to visitors and residents along the route.

The National Council also announced plans to identify a select number of "Signature Events" that it will promote as the nation's premier Lewis & Clark Bicentennial happenings. Smaller, more regional or local events will be highlighted in a Calendar of Events the Council will develop in coordination with the trail states. The Montana Commission will selectively endorse Montana events prior to submitting them to the National Council for consideration as Signature or Calendar of Event candidates. Contact the state Commission 's office for more information.

* * * * * *

Commission headquarters: 600 North Park, Helena
Mail: PO Box 201203, Helena 59620-1203
Phone: 406-443-2109 FAX 406-841-4004


Rita Cortright joined the Commission as a full-time administrative assistant on May 23rd. Rita comes to the Commission with very strong credentials, having been the administrative assistant to the Director of the Montana Historical Society in Helena for the past six years. Rita is not a stranger to the world of Lewis and Clark as she has worked with the Commission over the past two years taking meeting notes and performing various support services to the Commission Director. Welcome aboard Rita!


Montana’s Bicentennial Master Plan continues to take shape under the leadership and guidance of the Hingston Roach Group planning team. This statewide plan will strategically interconnect numerous Bicentennial planning elements. Key projects have been identified at the community, agency and tribal levels, and will be stratified within the plan to set priorities and focus for completion in an effort to prepare for the upcoming Bicentennial. Events will be targeted, and revenue-generating strategies outlined. A draft of the new plan was presented to the Commission in mid-July. Public comment is being solicited through August and a final plan will be presented at the October conference in Great Falls.


Researchers at the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) have completed two national L&C visitor studies. Based on these studies, researchers estimate that 8.9 million visitors will come to Montana specifically for L&C events or sites in addition to the roughly 10 million people currently visiting the state. It is anticipated that this increase will span 3 to 4 years, which should decrease any negative social and environmental impacts while making the positive economic impacts more widespread. ITRR is currently gathering information on Montana’s L&C visitors at 10 L&C sites in the state. ITRR is surveying these visitors regarding who they are, where they come from, their travel patterns, satisfaction with Montana’s L&C sites, and the importance L&C history had on their decision to visit the site and Montana. Results of this study will be available in Jan.