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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
I. Call to Order
Reginal Bicentennial Commissions and
Montana Tribal Lewis & Clark Tribal Representatives Meeting
National L&C Historic Trail Interpretive Center, Great Falls, Montana
February 9, 2004
6:30 - 8:30 P.M.
Mr. Blackwood opened the meeting at 6:30 p.m., welcomed the audience and called on them for introductions. Attendees included:
Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission:
Jack Lepley, Betsy Baumgart, Tootie Rasmussen, Marcy Hamburg, Hal Stearns, Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright.
Regional Bicentennial Commissions:
Steve Kubick - Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission
Dick Alberts - L&C Bicentennial Comm. of L&C Co.
Walt Marten - Stillwater Co. Bicentennial Commission
Bob Rainey - Great Bend of the Yellowstone L&C Heritage Bicentennial Commission
Joni Stewart - Golden Triangle Bicentennial Commission
Lois Roby - Gallatin L&C Bicentennial Association
Jeff & Sandra Dietz - Yellowstone County Bicentennial Commission
Jane Weber – USFS, Great Falls
Dave Walter – Montana Historical Society
Cheryl Hutchinson, Marvin Holtz - Reaching the Rockies Chapter
Chris Dantic – FWP
Lewis & Clark Honor Guard
Lee Ebeling, president
V. L&C Honor Guard Presentation of New Uniforms & Manual
Six members of the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard displayed recently completed uniforms funded with a grant from the state Commission. Norm Anderson explained the various components of the uniforms and sources of materials. The men displayed a captain’s uniform and enlisted men’s uniforms in various states of disrepair. Norm Anderson said it was their goal to have a full presentation of all 10 uniforms by July 2004; 2 captains, 1 sergeant and 7 enlisted men’s uniforms. Mr. Stearns complimented the Honor Guard members on their fine work and said they serve as a model for other re-enactors’ groups across the country.
Gene Hickman addressed the process of scheduling the Honor Guard for events. He said their primary mission was education through first or third person presentations and noted they strived to be as accurate as possible. They participate in approximately 70 events annually and prefer outdoor programs where a mini-camp with shelters is set up. The group contains experts on navigation, medicine, trade goods, etc. He provided a handout and said their fees were negotiable, ranging from $250 to $1500, depending on the requirements. The Honor Guard has a lot invested in their interpretive items; the trade goods box alone contains over $2,000 of items and the hide tepee under construction is valued at $10,000. Mr. Hickman said they were able to fill requests from a 1-man show up to a full encampment camp.
Mr. Hickman spoke on their new 250-page publication, “A Manual for Interpreting Lewis and Clark: A Guideline for Individuals, Groups, Historic Sites and Re-Enactments,” by Gene Hickman, illustrated by Ron Ukrainetz and Susan Hickman. Funding for the manual’s research and production was provided by a grant from the NPS Challenge Cost Share program. Mr. Hickman passed around copies of the manual and an informational summary sheet, noting that he had invested over two years in its production. Partnering groups were represented by 21 attendees from the states of Montana, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and Nebraska, who met at Fort Atkinson, Nebraska, for four days of training provided by Jon Luzader, an interpreter who has worked for the HOPS for many years. Their purpose was to standardize how they presented Lewis and Clark through interpretation techniques, uniforms and equipment. Steve Allie, curator of the Frontier Army Living History Association, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, provided expert advice on uniforms and equipment. The manual contains information on manufacturers, patterns, interpretive techniques, ideas, clothing, accoutrements, weapons, military drill, and safety. It is intended to provide current and specific historical information for individuals, groups, and historic sites to accurately interpret and portray the Lewis & Clark Expedition for the public. Mr. Hickman is filling orders for the manual at a cost of $24.95, plus $3.50 for shipping and handling, made payable to the L&C Honor Guard. Requests are to be directed to: Gene Hickman, 8842 Douglas Circle, Helena, MT 59602, (406) 458-3884, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Ms. Weber said bringing together experts and multi-state representatives was an incredible endeavor. Mr. Blackwood added the manual was a tremendous resource for groups planning re-enactments and events, and noted that Norm Anderson and Ritchie Doyle appeared in the film shown at the Grand Opening of the L&C Traveling Exhibit at St. Louis.
Mr. Blackwood apologized to those who had traveled to Great Falls expecting to attend a COTA/MTTA meeting that was postponed at the last minute. He also noted that there were no tribal representatives in this meeting.
III. Interpretive Sign Workshops
Mr. Blackwood announced that two of three interpretive sign workshops had taken place last week, one in Miles City and one in Billings. One more is scheduled for Feb. 19 in Helena with Keith Thurlkill, USFS, who was instrumental in the development of the Interpretive Sign Strategy. He encouraged anyone working on corridor signs to attend this workshop, as they would be addressing how to design, fabricate and install signs. Walt Marten reported that the Billings workshop was worthwhile, but added they did not have sufficient time to cover everything. Mr. Blackwood reminded people that any sign project funded by the State Commission must be in compliance with the Sign Strategy. Sign designs must be reviewed and approved by Ellen Baumler, Montana Historical Society, or Jon Axline with MDT in the final “rough” draft stage. He asked people to send photos of new signs to the Commission as they are completed.
Mr. Blackwood said at the last RBC meeting, Steve Kubick requested information regarding the location, message, funding and land ownership for new interpretive signs being planned statewide. The Commission prepared a survey and sent it to RBCs and Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters and the response was quite good; however, Mr. Blackwood said the information had not yet been compiled for redistribution. He offered to share the information with anyone interested in reviewing it, but did not want to expend a great deal of effort compiling it unless there was a specific need. Ms. Cortright added that copies of the sign surveys were copied to the presenters for their use in assisting interpretive sign workshop attendees. Mr. Blackwood requested digital images of completed signs, if possible, and said possibly a map would be produced for posting on the web site. He offered to work toward a database based on the sign surveys that would at least get the basics up, but could not promise when it would be completed. Jane Weber suggested contacting UM or asking a professor for a web student who could put the title and synopsis of the topic on the web in an effort to avoid repeating the same theme. Bob Rainey asked if a statewide paper map indicating the L&C sign locations would be produced. Mr. Blackwood said one was not currently planned, but this might be the first step in getting one produced. Lois Roby said at one time years back there was a map that showed both signs and statute locations. Ms. Weber said Undaunted Stewardship was creating a brochure that will mark where their signs are located statewide. Once their 15 signs are completed, Park County plans to produce a pamphlet showing their locations, but not the sign text. Mr. Stearns said Iowa and Nebraska indicate their state’s L&C sign locations in their state L&C brochures, and offered to obtain a copy for the Commission office. Someone suggested pursuing a colored dot on the state highway map for the next three years that indicated sign locations.
Mr. Blackwood displayed a copy of the new L&C directional marker for interpretive signs produced by MDT. The markers will be placed in conjunction with interpretive signs on or immediately adjacent to state highways. This sign would be the second of two signs; the first one would be the same shape but would indicate a “historical marker ahead.” The new sign would be posted at the point of exit. He said Jon Axline, MDT, had only received about 5 applications for signs, and had approved all of them. Sign production and installation was contingent on funding, and they agreed to review the process in the future if necessary. MDT wants to be informed of damaged L&C directional signs that are in need of replacement.
Mr. Blackwood explained the Commission received funds from the NPS CCS program to fund gateway interpretive signs for installation at 13 rest areas across the state. MDT partnered with the Commission to provide the metal frames for the signs. Several hundred posters of the sign image were also printed and MDT planned to install them in rest areas that have glass panels. He offered posters to the audience for distribution in their communities. Copies of the National Council’s Signature Event poster were also provided to the audience.
IV. National Ad Council Publicity Program
Mr. Blackwood said the National Council contracted with the National Ad Council for a $168 million publicity campaign. A series of four different spots were planned, and the first one had begun airing. The intent of the campaign is to make people aware of the Trail, create cultural awareness, provide historical perspective and encourage people to travel the Trail. He urged people to contact their local stations and ask for their support in airing the PSAs, as the FCC had removed the requirement to play PSAs. Mr. Blackwood asked to be informed if local stations were not aware of the PSAs, as he planned to ask Tom Cook to follow up with them. Ms. Weber said the “off-Trail” images were still included in the first PSA. Mr. Blackwood said the state Commission went on record at the National Council meeting as objecting to the use of Devil’s Tower, and other off-trail sites in the PSA.
Mr. Blackwood stressed that RBCs must take the lead locally with PR and publicity. He was concerned that word was not getting out in communities regarding Bicentennial plans and suggested having a media person included as a member of regional commissions. Suggestions included getting on local radio talk shows and making presentations to service clubs. Mr. Blackwood had recommended to the state Commission that an in-state PR/publicity program be launched this spring and he planned to work on the creative in the next couple of weeks. He planned to purchase a 6-week campaign to create interest and excitement that could be adapted to the local level. Mr. Blackwood asked local groups to share digital images with the Commission as he uses them in power point presentations. Mr. Kubick said funds needed to be expended to entice attendees from outside the area and felt that not enough emphasis was being placed outside of Montana. He cited as an example interstate signs that promoted the Bicentennial as a whole, and not just specific events. Mr. Blackwood agreed and suggested asking Betsy Baumgart to provide a marketing update for the Commission at the next meeting. Ron Clark said he had seen banners on the tops of billboards in Missouri advertising, “Visit our state during the L&C Bicentennial.” He also suggested utilizing the “Invite a Friend” program through the Governor’s Office to call attention to the Bicentennial. Mr. Blackwood agreed that there were other marketing approaches that could be implemented and said it was clear from attending a couple of signature events that people were not automatically going to attend events. Tootie Rasmussen noted the $10,000 National Council grant for each Signature Event, and Mr. Blackwood said Montana’s planners had already tied into that grant. Mr. Dietz said the Public Radio in Billings was working on producing and airing a L&C daily program through 2006 that included reading excerpts from the Journals. He said they were also looking for opportunities to plug local events, and asked people to contact Marvin Granger, station manager.
Betsy Baumgart joined the meeting and was introduced.
Mr. Stearns said in his experience the most successful L&C trips had a tie-in with visits to either Yellowstone Park or Glacier National Park. He cited communities in Missouri who had joined together to publicize each other’s events, calling their program the “string of pearls.” He suggested emphasizing the “anchor” destinations in Montana along with L&C Bicentennial events. Ron Clark said it was his experience that people in the Flathead did not see any tie-in between the Bicentennial and Glacier Park. He suggested targeting the Park’s same audiences with the Bicentennial message.
Mr. Kubick said their Commission voted to support Tower Rock for the same reasons that Mr. Stearns cited. He said it was a readily accessible location along the Interstate, and if developed properly could serve as a place where tourists could stop and pick up information on other sites along the corridor. Mr. Kubick added that their Commission voted to recommend that future project grant funds from the Commission be directed to Montana’s two Signature Events, in an effort to ensure their success.
Ms. Baumgart said she had some materials with her and would present an update during tomorrow’s Commission meeting. She said Travel Montana uses the National Parks as a hook to get people to call their toll-free number or log onto the website where more information is provided. She said the 2004 Vacation Planner keys in on the National Parks and has a double spread on Lewis & Clark.
VI. Corps of Discovery II Visits
Mr. Blackwood reviewed the list of upcoming meetings scheduled for Corps II host community contacts and Corps II staff: Feb. 9, Fort Benton, Great Falls; Feb. 12, Lincoln; Feb. 16, Missoula; Feb. 17, Lolo, and Feb. 20, Bozeman. In the spring they plan to visit Glasgow, Sidney, North Dakota sites, and then travel to the southwest part of Montana and on into Idaho. Mr. Blackwood announced Gerard Baker’s plans to leave his current position with the Park Service in Omaha for a position in Helena. Mr. Baker wanted to have all of the sites chosen by the time he made the move. Mr. Blackwood distributed the Corps of Discovery II Schedule for 2005 and 2006. Three corrections were noted; Wolf Point, MT, not ND; Fort Benton dates are now June 3-June 12; and Bozeman should read July 22-July 31, not August 31. Mr. Blackwood explained that he did not expect further changes to the schedule, as it would affect too many people. The current list of Corps II community contacts was distributed and Ms. Cortright said the list would be posted on the Commission’s website very soon. She noted that Indian contacts were not included as the National Park Service chose to work directly with the Tribes and the Commission office was not aware of who those contacts were.
Mr. Blackwood announced the April 7 Corps II programming workshop at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana in Billings with Patricia Jones, programming coordinator for Corps II. He stressed the meeting’s importance for any community that planned to host Corps II. The meeting will start at 9:00 a.m. and end mid-afternoon. Ms. Jones planned to address the following: what has worked well along the Trail, what the community’s responsibilities were, how they envisioned Indian and state and federal agency involvement, and what types of auxiliary types of events have been successful around the Corps II locations. He said a letter was sent to Corps II host community contacts asking for RSVP by March 15. Mr. Stearns recommended videotaping this very important meeting for those unable to attend. Mr. Blackwood said that typically Corps II would like to have 6 hours of programming daily, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., with two hours each provided by the community, state and federal agencies, and Indian communities. They have found, however, that the schedule might need to be flexed to accommodate tourist attendance later in the day. In areas where the stay is longer, static displays might be utilized to fill the hours.
VII. Calendar of Events
Mr. Blackwood stressed the need to inform Travel Montana ASAP once event dates and locations were set. Forms for submitting events to Jan Wirak at Travel Montana were provided to attendees. He said Travel Montana’s staff was working with Commission staff to revamp their web site and raise the visibility of the Lewis & Clark page. Mr. Blackwood noted that electronic submission of events had been discussed at past meetings. He said Travel Montana planned to make the event submission form available for downloading from the web. The form could then be printed, filled out and mailed to Travel Montana, but not submitted electronically. The technology was available, but Ms. Baumgart explained that the reason for requiring a hard copy was to obtain a signature and contact information. She said updates were solicited twice annually from those already in the system; however they were attempting to solicit events information from those not already listed. Mr. Blackwood noted the new multi-year search capability for events and distributed copies of both of Travel Montana’s and the state Commission’s web pages. Ms. Baumgart said she would provide copies of their Calendar of Events tomorrow, but noted there was not a separate printed calendar just for Lewis and Clark events, as they are relying on the electronic version. Mr. Blackwood said that ‘visitmt.com’ was the site that would be promoted by the Commission. He said the recently updated National Council website provided a ‘search by state’ capability and said Travel Montana was easily accessed by a link. This would be of particular importance once the National Ad Council’s L&C campaign was launched, as people would be driven first to the National Council’s web address and then linked to states’ web pages. Cheryl Hutchinson said that the amount of time required to complete and submit the paper form for listing monthly events with Travel Montana was deterring its use. Mr. Blackwood said Travel Montana’s calendar was never designed for monthly updates; however he noted the need to publicize time-sensitive events. Ms. Baumgart offered to address this request with Jan Wirak, but said any event submission must include a contact person’s signature. Mr. Blackwood said electronic submission was not easily solved; however Travel Montana was working toward a totally electronic events submission system in the future.
VIII. Grant Program Update and Discussion
Mr. Blackwood said a request had come from the L&C Co. Bicentennial Commission for a standardized budget reporting format that could be shared. Amy Baird, grants administrator, had searched the grant files for some examples of good project and O&P financial reports, which were distributed to the audience. Mr. Blackwood explained that accurate financial reporting was necessary as grants were funded with state dollars and the Commission was accountable.
Mr. Blackwood said as the Commission becomes aware of other funding sources, the information was provided through list serve messages and posted on the Commission’s website under ‘Funding.’ Copies of new funding sources were handed out to the audience. He asked others to also share funding sources.
Walt Marten noted the ongoing need for funding Native American participation at their events. He explained that Ron Clark offered to donate a print to their Commission to be used as a raffle item to raise funds. The print, produced in 1989 by Gary Carter and personally signed by four Montana governors, prominently features Lewis and Clark. Mr. Clark addressed the meeting, and offered the lithographs at no cost to any non-profit organization that would take them during the meeting, as he was not willing to ship them later. He requested that recipients fill out a form providing a contact and non-profit information. Mr. Blackwood thanked Mr. Clark for the offer.
Dick Alberts said Amy Teegarden was working on a NEH Grant Application, and in researching found that NEH was seeking Lewis & Clark projects to fund.
Mr. Blackwood said the NPS CCS grant program received 30-35 less applications this year than last; however the grant pool had not been reduced. Ms. Weber said Montana projects would benefit as funding requests from the eastern portion of the Trail had diminished.
Mr. Blackwood said that tomorrow the Grants Committee would present their summary and recommendation for funding projects and O&P grants through the Commission’s Grants Program. He expected the Commission would be discussing the future of the Grants Program, and whether to put more emphasis on Signature Events and Corps II host communities. He encouraged people to review the Funding section of the Commission’s web page for possible sources of funds for their projects.
IX. Discovery Expedition of St. Charles for 2005 & 2006
Mr. Blackwood said Peter Geery, who was known trail wide for his work with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, passed away unexpectedly last month. The Expedition planned to travel the water route from St. Louis to Bismarck in 2004, and information on their activities was available on their website, email@example.com. Peter Geery was replaced by a committee of 7 people who would now communicate with communities. In 2005, the Expedition plans to travel as far as Great Falls, and Mr. Blackwood said he had not heard of any plans for 2006 return trip in Montana.
X. General Discussion
Mr. Blackwood reported on the Education Committee’s meeting earlier in the day where the “Lewis and Clark: Montana’s Story” video was discussed. He said to this point the video had been sold through the Montana Superhost Program to chambers of commerce, larger hotels and some individuals. Ms. Rowley has sought permission from Hugh Ambrose to market the video for profit through retail outlets. She had also requested a printed supplement to the video for use in Superhost training sessions. The 1-page supplement would provide information on key L&C points of interest for a specific given area. Mr. Blackwood said the L&C Trail Heritage Chapters in Montana were contacted last year and asked to provide information via a survey form; however the response was light. He said the survey form would be sent to RBCs next to help fill in the blanks. Ms. Weber made copies of the form and distributed it to the audience. Mr. Blackwood asked that the forms be returned fairly soon, and said an e-mail reminder would be sent. Mr. Marten asked how many people attended the Superhost training and Mr. Stearns responded that 3,000 people attended training last year. Mr. Kubick suggested that a quality check program could be implemented with prize awards to community contacts that were the most knowledgeable in their area. Mr. Blackwood said he and Tom Cook had discussed the use if an “Ask Me” button for program attendees.
The meeting adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
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