journal notes

July 2001    Issue No. 3 Vol. 2

2001 Montana Lewis & Clark Conference Set For Billings, October 11-12

The 3rd annual Montana Lewis and Clark Conference will take place at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center October 11-12, 2001. The conference, co-sponsored by the Montana and Yellowstone County Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commissions, will focus on national, regional and local planning and preparation efforts. Information about keynote speakers, break out sessions and other conference details will be coming your way soon.

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


Upcoming Meetings, Workshops, Conferences

NCLCB Exec. Cmte. Meeting:
- Aug. 14, 2001, Minneapolis
COTA Meeting:
- Sept. 9, 2001, Bismarck, ND
Natl. Indian Tourism Conf.:
- Sept. 10-12, 2001, Bismarck, ND
3rd Annual MT Lewis & Clark Conference:
- Oct. 11-12, 2001, Billings
COSA Meeting:
- Oct. 26, 2001, St. Louis, MO
NCLCB Board of Dir. Meeting:
- Oct 27, 2001, St. Louis, MO
Natl. Council's Meetings & 7th Annual Planning Workshop:
- April 11-14, 2002, Lewiston, ID

Thirteen Montana L&C Projects Awarded $155,000 Through State Commission's Grant Program

The Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission awarded $155,000 in grant funds to 13 projects at its June 12 meeting. The funded projects were selected from fifty applications requesting over $757,000 in grant funds. Funding for the Commission's grant program was provided by the Montana Department of Transportation ($100,000), Travel Montana's Tourism Infrastructure Investment Program ($50,000), and the state Commission ($5,000).

The Year 2001 grant recipients and projects include:

  • Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes ($7,000) - Production of a 30-page book telling of their peoples' encounter with the Lewis & Clark Expedition through the words of 9 Salish elders.
  • Blackfeet Tribe ($15,000) - To plan, develop and construct a multi-functional Tribal Lewis & Clark Bicentennial/Visitor Center.
  • Montana Community Development Corporation & Travelers' Rest Preservation & Heritage Association ($20,000) - Provide services and interpretation at the new Travelers' Rest State Park outside of Lolo.
  • Mustang Foundation, Inc. and Malta School District 14A ($10,995) - Implementation of cross-cultural Lewis & Clark-themed instructional units for grades K-12.
  • Rochejhone Chapter, Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation ($6,500) - Fabricate and maintain a series of traveling, educational, hands-on exhibits interpreting Captain Clark's journey down the Yellowstone River, and provide docent training to high school students.
  • Glacier County Historical Society ($20,000) - Complete a 3-part project creating an indoor L&C exhibit, an summer outdoor exhibit of craft and cooking demonstrations, and a quality school program.
  • Golden Triangle Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission ($25,000) - Design, construction and installation of outdoor gazebos with windbreaks at the Lewis/Blackfeet Encounter site on the Two Medicine River, and at Camp Disappointment.
  • Jefferson Valley Presents, Inc. ($6,000) - Construction of a dressing room and stage area for an amphitheatre to feature the play "Journey of Discovery."
  • Peter Yegen, Jr. Yellowstone County Museum Foundation Board ($3,500) - Production of educational/informative brochures and a weatherproof map.
  • Valley County Museum ($8,355) - Purchase selected items from the Joshua Wetsit collection for a Lewis & Clark exhibit in the Valley County Pioneer Museum.
  • Lower Yellowstone Lewis & Clark Regional Commission ($20,000) - Development of an interpretive sign and kiosk depicting Clark's route along the Yellowstone River and of Lewis' northern route.
  • Blackfeet Community College ($10,000) - Prepare 5 Tribal College students for participation in 3 L&C symposiums through the development of resource guides, curriculum, and other educational tools.
  • Lewis & Clark Interpretive Association ($2,650) - Develop a traveling exhibit based on the L&C Interpretive Center's 2000 exhibit, "Montanans Honor Lewis & Clark: Memorabilia from the Robert M. Weir, Jr. Collection."

The 13 project grants bring the Commission's total grant investment in Montana's Lewis & Clark Bicentennial planning and development efforts to just $200,000 for Fiscal Year 2001. Earlier this year, the Commission awarded $43,473 in organization and planning grants to fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions and four Tribal Governments. These $2,500 matching grants were to be used to help these organizations cover member travel expenses, postage and other miscellaneous expenses incurred as part of the regional and tribal planning efforts.

Statewide Public Safety Plan in the Making

The state L&C Commission joined with the Montana Sheriff's and Peace Officers' Association, Montana Department of Disaster & Emergency Services, Bureau of Land Management, and the National Park Service (with a Challenge Cost Share Grant) to host an initial planning meeting for key emergency response agencies and private-sector stakeholders in Great Falls, May 15-16. A statewide safety and emergency response plan is expected to be developed by the agencies and their partners by the end of this year. Equipment and funding support requests for the plan will be submitted for Congressional appropriations in 2002. The plan will provide for a coordinated response to potential "incidents" along the 2000 miles of Montana's Lewis & Clark Trail system that may require law enforcement or emergency responses.

National & Regional Update

The sixth annual national Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Planning Workshop and related meetings took place in Omaha, NE on April 21-25, 2001. During the national council's strategic planning session five focus areas were identified for Council funding. In priority order, the focus areas are:

  1. Indian Involvement
  2. Corps II
  3. Signature Events
  4. Trail Stewardship
  5. Corp of Education Partners

At the Omaha meeting, the council announced that two Montana events would be among twelve national Signature Events to be featured along the national trail during the Bicentennial. The Montana events are: "Discovering the Big Sky," July 3-4, 2005, Great Falls; "Clark on the Yellowstone," July 25, 2006, Pompeys Pillar. The council also announced that National Geographic (who will premiere an Imax show in the Spring of 2002), and the Smithsonian Magazine would be national media partners. In other council developments, a Public Relations/Fundraising Strategy Plan is currently in the works. Prior to the national council meeting, both the Circle of State Advisors and the Circle of Tribal Advisors gathered to discuss issues and identify opportunities.


Kipp Elected To Lead Montana Commission, Lepley Vice Chair

Darrell Kipp of Browning was elected as the Chairman of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission at its June 12th meeting. Jack Lepley of Fort Benton was voted to the Vice-Chair post. Joining Darrell and Jack on the Commission's Executive Committee is Fish, Wildlife and Parks' Doug Monger and former commission chair Betty Stone of Glasgow. A special "thank you" goes to Betty for serving as Commission Chair since its inception in 1997. The Commission looks forward to her continued leadership and enthusiasm!

National Park Service Makes Big Investment In Montana L&C Projects

The National Park Service (NPS) has awarded $148,370 in 2001 Challenge Cost Share Grants to 15 Montana L&C projects. NPS Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Manager Dick Williams said the Montana investment was the largest received by any individuals state. The NPS grants will be coupled with local funds and in-kind services to move forward or complete a variety of Montana projects. Currently, the U.S. Congress is debating whether to increase funding for the 2002 Challenge Cost Share Program. Let the Montana Congressional Delegation know how important you feel these funds are.

Fundraising: New Focus of Commission Efforts

The Montana Commission has decided to step up its efforts to attract funding for Montana's Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Observance. The Commission plans to hire a Fundraising Coordinator who will develop a fundraising "game plan." Funding sources being looked at by the Commission include corporate sponsorships, grant funding, and private foundations as well as Congress and the Montana Legislature.

Lewis & Clark Guide Training Coming Soon

The state Commission has joined with the US Forest Service and its Lewis & Clark Training Academy to develop and offer a Lewis & Clark Guide Training Program. Students completing the program will be "certified" as qualified guides trained to tell the story of Lewis & Clark in Montana accurately. Current plans are for this new training course to be offered in the Spring of 2002.