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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Reginal Bicentennial Commissions and
Montana Tribal Lewis & Clark Tribal Representatives Meeting
Cottonwood Inn, Glasgow, Montana
June 17, 2002
12:30 - 4:00 P.M.

Call to Order

Mr. Blackwood opened the meeting at 12:30 p.m. and welcomed meeting attendees.

I. Introductions

Mr. Blackwood called for introductions. Attendees included:

Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission:
Betty Stone, Hal Stearns, Jack Lepley, Arnie Olsen, Betsy Baumgart, Homer Staves, Kathy Doeden, Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright

Regional Bicentennial Commissions:
Doug Smith, Carla Hunsley, Mareta Brusett - NE Plains Bicentennial Commission
Phil Scriver, Steve Kubick - Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission
Jeff & Sandra Dietz - Yellowstone Co. Bicentennial Commission
Dick Alberts - L&C Bicentennial Comm. of L&C Co.
Marilyn Strange - Stillwater Co. Bicentennial Commission
Becky Douglass- Great Bend of the Yellowstone L&C Heritage Bicentennial Commission
Bob Moritz - Golden Triangle Bicentennial Commission
Katie Bump - SW Montana Bicentennial Group
Sheila Simanton, Missouri Breaks Bicentennial Commission
Arch Ellwein, Linda Wolff – Lower Yellowstone River Bicentennial Commission
Hal Stearns - Western Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission

Not Represented:
Marias River Chapter
Crimson Bluffs Chapter
Gallatin L&C Bicentennial Association

Tribal L&C Bicentennial Representatives:
Kaneeta Red Star Harris - Crow Tribe
Henry Anderson - Little Shell Tribe
R. J. Young, Ray Ogle - Fort Peck Tribes
Jim Wilke – Fort Belknap

Not Represented:
Salish/Kootenai
Blackfeet
Rocky Boys Chippewa-Cree
Northern Cheyenne

Additional Attendees:
Dave Walter, Rich Arstad - Montana Historical Society
Richard Hopkins – BLM, Great Falls
Jane Weber – USFS, Great Falls
Carol McBryant – NPS Corps of Discovery II
Mary Helland – Valley Co. Pioneer Museum
Henri Thompson – MTTA secretary

Mr. Blackwood reviewed the list of agenda items to be covered during the meeting. Betty Stone invited everyone to attend the ribbon cutting/dedication ceremony for the Milk River Observation Point at Fort Peck following the meeting. A change in the start time for tomorrow’s commission meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. was announced.

II. Corps of Discovery II “Mini Workshop”

Mr. Blackwood introduced Carol McBryant, logistics coordinator for the Corps of Discovery II, NPS in Omaha. He referenced the Questionnaire that was provided to RBCs through the Commission office, noting that some RBCs have submitted more than one site for their area by the June 1 deadline. Those forms have been forwarded to Ms. McBryant, and as of today 3 RBCs had not submitted forms. Mr. Blackwood explained that at the request of Gerard Baker, tribal questionnaires were to be submitted directly to the NPS in Omaha. He offered copies of the Project Overview for Corps II to anyone who had not previously received a copy.

Carol McBryant addressed the group and thanked the Commission for inviting her to speak. Her work with Corps II began last October and she is striving to meet the kickoff date of January 14, 2003 in Monticello. Her work for the NPS involves taking the lead and designing a program that will pull together events along the entire Trail, noting that to date, 26 federal agencies have signed onto a Memorandum of Understanding. Ms. McBryant said the L&C National Historic Trail was established in 1978, and was staffed solely by Dick Williams who was mandated to coordinate private and public partnerships along the Trail. Discussions began in 1998 regarding what the NPS would do for the L&C Bicentennial and have evolved into the Corps of Discovery II concept. She said last fall the Freedom Forum donated two trailers to the National Bicentennial Council with the understanding that the NPS would gain ownership and use of the trailers for Corps II. She said it is Mr. Baker’s desire to have: 1) a place where people can come, see, and learn and reflect on their stories; 2) a place where they can come and tell their stories; and 3) a place that would logistically be pleasing for visitors. She displayed a conceptual design of the footprint for Corps II that included a staging area, theater, exhibit space, and a tent that serve as an outreach into communities and be available for local community use. When fully assembled, the two semi-trailers would cover an area the width of six semi-trailers, forming a theater that will seat 45 people and provide 1,800 feet of exhibit space. She said setup and teardown would take 2 days each with the help of 26 people, at an estimated cost of $5,000 per move. Ms. McBryant estimated that any less than two weeks would be detrimental to visitation, as advertisement would be by word of mouth. In an effort to fulfill Mr. Baker’s commitment to bring Corps II to smaller communities, the idea of utilizing a component of Corps II developed, which was identified as the “Tent of Many Voices.”

Ms. McBryant explained that because the NPS is still struggling to obtain funding for Corps II, the date when the trucks would actually come on the Trail is unknown. Therefore, they have scaled back the original footprint for the January 2003 kickoff at Monticello and plan to cover the story in the “Tent of Many Voices” by focusing on three areas: 1) the land, water and resources; 2) the people on the land and in the Expedition; and 3) the story of the Corps of Discovery. She said the exhibits would be limited in terms of text, and the story would be told through the use of audio units. She said this plan is what NPS feels they can accomplish by January 2003, while fundraising continues for the full footprint. It is their hope that the full Corps II exhibit would be ready for Wood River in 2004. Ms. McBryant said the “Tent” will have its own separate tour and would be available for smaller communities. It would require less than one day to set up with 7-10 people and would be housed and supported with one truck.

All of the logistical requirements for Corps II were covered in the questionnaire provided previously, and Ms. McBryant reviewed some of those requirements. She said Corps II would provide two John Deere generators on the back of the trucks to generate the necessary electricity. Preferred sites were noted as level gravel or asphalt areas, however grass areas could be utilized, but she was concerned that heavy traffic would damage the area and would be problematic in the event of rain. The driving clearance height for the trucks is 13 feet, and increases when the trucks are set up. She asked people to evaluate their sites prior to the logistics team visit to ensure the trucks would be able to access recommended sites. Ms. McBryant displayed photos of potential sites and pointed out the features that made them either questionable or unacceptable for Corps II. Mr. Blackwood asked how close they would locate Corps II to other attractions and Ms. McBryant responded that it depended on the numbers of people the local community wanted to draw to a particular site. She said they would not locate in a sacred site or riparian zone. Attendance at past events would be used to help them calculate the amount of parking that would be necessary. It is their intention to locate along the Trail as closely to anniversary dates as possible, both on the westbound and eastbound journeys.

In terms of priority, Ms. McBryant said that Signature Event locations have automatically been selected as Corps II sites. The exact locations would be determined by signature event committees and the NPS logistics team. The second priority is tribal lands, and it remains the goal of the NPS that the Indians tell their own stories. The third and fourth priorities were noted as other communities and federal land management agencies that control segments of the Trail and sites in these areas would be selected based on logistical support and how they fit into the story of the L&C journey.

Ms. McBryant was asked what has happened with regard to funding, based on the congressional lobbying effort, and what would happen if that effort proved to not be as successful as they hoped. Ms. McBryant said both congressional and private funding options were being considered. She said last week federal agencies received a “capability statement” from representatives and senators for $4 million of operations funds from the 2003 budget cycle, and her response to them confirmed that the funds could be readily expended along the Trail through partnerships, advanced planning and contracts.

Ms. Weber inquired about requirements for telecommunications hookup for Corps II. Ms. McBryant explained that the satellite Distance Learning program would have a team of students and team leader who would film events and lectures, and provide the footage to the University of Nebraska at Omaha for editing and linking to teachers and others via the Internet.

Ms. McBryant said there would be no direct cost to the communities for Corps II. She said there is also a second “capability statement” for an additional $2 million dollars that would be added to the NPS CCS program, which would bring the total for CCS to $ 7 million for next year. Communities are being asked to provide volunteer labor and law enforcement support and the National Guard has been asked to provide logistics support for Corps II. She estimated it would take 7-10 people to set up the smaller footprint and said as a last resort they would hire day labor. Ms. McBryant plans to schedule pre-visits with her advance team and community representatives six months in advance of Corps II arriving in communities. She estimated a 2-week minimum stay with the large footprint and a few days with the smaller footprint. Communities were encouraged to use the “Tent of Many Voices” as either a centerpiece or supplement to their planned activities.

Ms. McBryant responded to a question regarding how competing sites would be determined for Corps II by saying the decisions would be made in concert with the state Commission. However, she said it has been her experience with five other states that communities have reached consensus without state Commission involvement.

When asked about the total financial need for Corps II, Ms. McBryant said that for the larger footprint, including 3 semi trucks, entrance area and satellite truck, about $3 million dollars was needed. Operations expenses for 12 months on the road were estimated at $3.6 million. The smaller footprint’s financial need was estimated at $1 million to get it on the road, with $600,000-$800,000 in annual operations expenses, which included the cost of logistics and staffing. Mr. Blackwood asked where the NPS was with the $3 million needed to construct the large footprint and the $1 million for construction of the smaller footprint. Ms. McBryant said they were looking solely for private donations to fulfill the financial need for the larger footprint, which was a separate effort from the capability statement. The smaller footprint would be funded with $500,000 from the director of the National Park Service and $500,000 from the user fees collected at national parks and federal lands. She said the supplemental appropriation request did not happen.

The group adjourned outside to view the 200’ long by 150’ wide footprint for Corps II that Ms. McBryant had staked out. She had also staked out the footprint for just the trucks and trailers that measured 110’ long by 60’ wide.

Ms. McBryant said she was still waiting for Tribal questionnaires before decisions could be made regarding sites in Montana. She will then set up a meeting with Mr. Blackwood and key RBC representatives to sit down with maps and anniversary dates and begin plotting the route and timeline for Corps II in Montana. Then individual community sites will be selected and a detailed timeline and list of items that will help prepare for the visit will be developed and shared with communities by Fall 2002. Six months prior to the day Corps II will be in communities, an advance team will visit and spend time getting acquainted with community contacts and the area. This same team will also visit a week prior to Corps II’s arrival to ensure all arrangements are in place. Mr. Blackwood suggested holding approximately 6 meetings statewide in the next few months to coordinate with RBCs and representatives from communities that have submitted questionnaires and Ms. McBryant agreed. Mr. Blackwood noted that Crimson Bluffs, Golden Triangle, Upper Missouri and Stillwater groups have not submitted questionnaires. He encouraged groups to submit quickly if they were still interested in hosting Corps II.

III. Discussion of Upcoming Fall Conference

Mr. Blackwood reviewed a list of potential topics for the fall conference scheduled for Oct. 3-4 at the GranTree in Bozeman, stating that it was his intention this year to not provide “how to” sessions, but rather present updates on the following: Corps II including decisions on locations; the Boy Scout Trek; US Army Relay Run: the National Council’s PR/marketing effort tied Travel Montana’s plans; National Signature Events; and regional break out sessions. The following topics were suggested: regional updates; updates on what is happening in other communities, such as the Whitehall amphitheater; a slide show by Rick Graetz; a Tribal breakout session; and updates from Idaho and North Dakota.

Mr. Blackwood posed the possibility of both pre- and post-conference workshops, noting there would be additional fees for attending. Ms. Weber suggested offering a grants workshop on Wednesday or Thursday, as well as a history content workshop on the Three Forks/Headwaters area on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the conference schedule, noting the Commission would meet Wednesday afternoon and Thursday morning. A couple of hours have been slated for a RBC/Tribal meeting on Wednesday evening. The conference runs from Thursday at 1:00 p.m. through 2:30 p.m. Friday afternoon. A reception/event is planned for Thursday evening at Headwaters State Park and this time may be spent on the history content of the area in lieu of a separate workshop. Mr. Blackwood asked that people share ideas with the Commission office over the next few weeks. The Conference Committee members were listed as Betty Stone, Doug Monger, Clint Blackwood, John Langenheim, Marilyn Strange, Gwen Childs and Penny Carpenter. Mr. Blackwood said Gail Brockbank would serve as the conference planner again this year and noted that a “mark your calendar” postcard would be mailed soon. The registration information would be mailed about 6 weeks prior to the conference. He said the Commission would be deciding the locations for both the June 2003 and October 2003 meetings during tomorrow’s meeting and solicited invitations from communities interested in hosting those two meetings.

IV. Discuss “Packaging” of Events, Activities and Attractions

Mr. Blackwood said this idea came from Lorraine Roach, Hingston Roach Group, who suggested the Commission should work to make Montana visitation information more user friendly. He said the Commissuion and Travel Montana are partnering in this effort. He referred to a handout prepared by Amy Baird, who is working with Travel Montana’s staff to accomplish enhancements to the Lewis & Clark section of Travel Montana’s web page. He reviewed the proposed enhancements that include clickable links to L&C tours, events, activities, attractions, travel packages and contact information. Mr. Blackwood urged people to submit their events information to Travel Montana so that it could be included on this web page and on the Commission’s Montana Events page. He also suggested people think about how to encourage the creation of travel packages in their areas through contact with tour operators and the six tourism regions. Mr. Blackwood said, tomorrow during the Commission meeting, he would be addressing the development of an in-state public relations campaign that would include creation of a press kit that could be provided to media in response to the many requests he receives from newspapers, magazines, TV and radio.

V. Update on License Plate Sales and Marketing

Rita Cortright reported on marketing efforts to date, noting that plate sales through May totaled 6,667, for a total net to the Commission of $133,340. She reported that collector plates are available through the Commission office for $30.00 per plate, and to date sales have totaled $400. In the near future the plate image will be posted on a license plate collector’s website, which will hopefully generate additional sales.

She reported that 500,000 inserts were printed last December and to date 74,700 have been distributed through community contacts across Montana. Twenty-one county license bureaus have agreed to receive and distribute approximately 19,000 inserts. She reported that work continues to identify additional distribution points as approximately 400,000 inserts remain on hand and asked for suggestions. Rural co-ops, banks and car dealers were suggested by members of the audience.

Another item she reported on was printing the bicentennial plate image and purchase information on the reverse side of the DOJ vehicle registration renewal card. Due to a design problem experienced this past January, the renewal cards had to be reprinted and the May renewal forms were the first to carry the bicentennial plate information on the reverse side in red ink. The DOJ estimated that 800,000 renewal cards are mailed annually and this process will continue through April of 2003.

A public service announcement promoting the license plate was produced and distributed in January to 18 TV and 60 radio stations by H20 Advertising. Mr. Blackwood added that the license plate image was also displayed on the program guide of a cable TV channel in Helena. A web banner was also developed but has not yet been placed.

Ms. Cortright said the idea of a web auction had been considered that would allow people to bid on personalized plates reserved by the Commission. However, at the February Commission meeting, the decision was made to distribute those plates to RBCs and tribes for their use in fundraising and as a means of publicizing the plate. Plates numbered “L&C 1” through “L&C 22” were distributed in April through a random drawing. The Commission reserved “L&C 200” and this plate will be offered through the web auction and possibly be awarded during the Fall Conference. Mr. Blackwood asked for a show of hands of those groups who have given away their plates and/or used them for publicity purposes. Several groups have or are planning raffles. He encouraged use of the personalized plate to generate press on the availability of the bicentennial plate and reminded people that the plate is a collector plate until the second plate is released through Deer Lodge and the license fees are paid allowing for the plate’s use on a vehicle. He asked groups to provide the Commission with the names of plate recipients so Deer Lodge could be notified to release the second plate. Groups were also encouraged to visit their local licensing bureau to encourage the display of the sample license plate, poster and inserts. Mr. Blackwood said another aspect he would like to see included in press coverage was that ongoing plate sales would create a “legacy” funding source for future trail enhancement and protection. He said competition would increase for the bicentennial plate as other groups produce specialty plates.

Ms. Cortright reported on the 2-month billboard campaign, noting that boards were installed in seven Montana communities; Billings/Laurel, Missoula, Great Falls, Miles City, Glendive, Butte and Helena. She concluded by noting that several requests had received to utilize the license plate image in a variety of ways.

VI. 2002 Grant Program Review

Ms. Cortright reported on the Commission’s grants program, noting that a large number of reports came due December 31, 2001, both for projects and O&P grants. Amy Baird has been contracted through the Montana History Foundation to provide grants administration for the Commission and works afternoons. She is currently working to receive and review final reports from the 2000 projects that had requested extensions and a few 2001 O&P grants that remain overdue. Ms. Cortright stressed the fact that timely reporting was required to protect the integrity of the grants program, noting that grants are subject to review by the State Auditor’s Office. She encouraged grant recipients to be timely with their reporting and contact Ms. Baird if they needed assistance or had questions related to filing their reports. Mr. Blackwood added that reports are being reviewed to ensure that funds are expended in compliance with the purposes outlined in grant applications. This review is being done for the enhancement and preservation of the grants program long-term. He stressed that grant recipients are responsible for maintaining accurate supporting information and receipts pertinent to their grants.

Mr. Blackwood said a budget would be presented tomorrow that anticipates both O&P and project grants for 2003; however, the amount of the grant pool would be determined based on the Commission’s discussions and actions with regard to the proposed 2003 budget. He reinforced the requirement and importance of sending representatives to the Commission’s meetings.

VII. Corridor Signing Projects

Mr. Blackwood announced that the Dept. of Environmental Sciences Department at the University of Montana-Western received funds to produce geology signs and have chosen to relate them to Lewis & Clark. He has met with and informed University staff that there are already interpretive signs well under way in the state and provided a handout outlining the Geological Roadsigns Project. Mr. Blackwood said to expect contact from the geology project managers, and suggested groups be proactive and contact Sheila Roberts, (406) 683-7017, if they were aware of pending sign projects in their areas.

Mr. Blackwood provided background information on the bicentennial focus team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative, a group is comprised of 8-9 federal and state agencies who have been working on bicentennial projects for the past 3-4 years. One of their projects was the creation of an Interpretive Sign Strategy. He said this group was successful in past years in obtaining NPS CCS funds to do two projects: 1) the design of gateway interpretive signs, the first of which is planned for installation at the Wibaux Visitor Center; and 2) the creation of corridor entrance signs to be installed in the 7 designated corridors along the Trail in Montana. These signs are designed to provide an overview of the corridor and would tie with individual site-specific interpretive signs throughout the corridor. Mr. Blackwood displayed a copy of interpretive sign at Livingston and the proposed 3 panels for the Blackfoot Corridor to be located at Bonner, Clearwater Junction, and Lincoln. The Yellowstone Corridor received a grant from the state Commission and developed a kiosk that has just been installed on the Livingston side of Bozeman Pass; dedication is scheduled for July 15. Becky Douglas reported on this sign project and the problems experienced with keeping the former rest area clean. Mr. Blackwood said signs are also planned for Big Timber and Glendive. He announced the sign dedication planned for the Milk River Observation Point later today at Fort Peck, and said the Forest Service has plans for signs in the Bitterroot Valley. Bozeman has a new sign installed at the I-90 interchange rest area and signs are planned for the Teton rest area and at the Fight Site. He said MTRI received CCS funding again this year and they are in the process of selecting their next corridor sign project. He urged groups to contact the Commission or the MTRI focus team for assistance with interpretive signs or with developing a gateway corridor sign strategy.

VIII. Old Business

Ms. Cortright reported that links have been established from the Commission’s web page to RBC websites. As minutes are received from RBCs in electronic format they are also posted on the Commission’s web page. She encouraged groups to provide their minutes in electronic format for posting. Mr. Blackwood said it would be preferable for groups to develop their own website and post minutes and the Commission would then provide a link to their site. However, he said the Commission would continue to provide this service to those who do not have their own site. He asked if people were accessing the minutes of other groups to see what was happening.

Mr. Blackwood asked the RBCs and tribal contacts to keep the state Commission updated with changes in contact information. He asked if the monthly Director Reports and list serve messages were helpful. Ms. Cortright invited people to submit information to her via e-mail for dissemination through the list serve.

Rich Arstad was called on to address his role with L&C at the Historical Society. Mr. Arstad joined the Society staff last August to serve as their Lewis & Clark reference historian. He reported on the development of a L&C page on the Historical Society’s website that provides access to sources of information on the expedition and related themes from the collections of the Montana Historical Society. The web address is: http://www.montanahistoricalsociety.org and Mr. Arstad can be reached at the Society, (406) 444-1988 or by e-mail at mhslibrary@state.mt.us. Mr. Blackwood called for questions and asked if people were experiencing problems finding information for projects and events.

General Discussion

Mr. Blackwood called for general discussion and Marilyn Strange suggested producing placemats with the Missouri River on one side and the Yellowstone River on the reverse for distribution in 2005-06 to every restaurant in Montana. Ms. Stone said their tourism region submitted and received approval for a placemat project covering their section of the Missouri River and suggested that RBCs could work with the other tourism regions on this type of project. The placemat project funded with Noxious Weed Trust Funds headed by Carla Hoopes, MSU, was briefly discussed. Mr. Blackwood said it was a great idea either statewide or regionally, but said he did not envision the Commission taking on a project of this type. He suggested working with the Tourism Regions, Travel Montana, and possibly the Tourism Advisory Council to obtain uniformity statewide.

Mr. Blackwood said he would propose tomorrow that the state Commission authorize the office to move forward with an in-state PR campaign. The first task would be the development of a media kit, which would involve gathering a lot of information from the RBCs and tribes. This kit, available in print and electronically, could then be used proactively in communities to create visibility. He also spoke about a series of radio interviews he provided in Helena that were aired over a two-week period, noting he would like to duplicate that activity in other communities across Montana to keep Lewis & Clark in the forefront.

Ms. Cortright requested that anyone who has brochures on events, regional group activities, maps, or any other printed materials, send a small supply to the Commission office in Helena, as they frequently receive requests for printed materials and it is helpful to have a supply on hand.

Arch Ellwein spoke about his work in North Dakota on “The Trails of the Pioneers,” PSAs highlighting experiences along the trail, and suggested this could be adapted to the Lewis & Clark Expedition.

Next Meeting

Mr. Blackwood asked if RBC’s and Tribal Representatives desired to hold a meeting in October in conjunction with the Commission’s meeting in Bozeman. The next meeting was set for Wednesday, October 2, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

The meeting adjourned at 4:00 p.m. and was followed by a dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony at the Milk River Observation Point at Fort Peck.

 

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