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Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission
Reginal Bicentennial Commissions and
MontanaTribal Tourism Alliance Meeting
Billings Hotel & Convention Center, Billings, Montana
October 10, 2001
6:30-8:30 P.M.

Call to Order

Clint Blackwood called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and welcomed attendees on behalf of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission.

Introductions

Mr. Blackwood called for introductions. Attendees included:

Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission:
Betty Stone, Pam Gosink, Kathy Doeden, Jack Lepley, Hal Stearns, Tootie Rasmussen, Darrell Martin, Clint Blackwood and Rita Cortright

Regional Bicentennial Commissions:
Betty Stone, Doug Smith, NE Plains Bicentennial Commission
Phil Scriver, Jane Weber, Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission
Jeff Dietz, Jim Van Arsdale, Yellowstone Co. Bicentennial Commission
Sheila Simanton, Darrell Martin, Missouri Breaks Bicentennial Commission
Linda Wolff, Mike Casler, Kim Prill, Lower Yellowstone River Bicentennial Commission
David Purviance, Margaret Gorski, Western MT L&C Bicentennial Commission
Amy Teegarden, Clete Daily, Dick Alberts, Bicentennial Comm. of L&C Co.
Marilyn Strange, Stillwater Co. Bicentennial Commission
Penny Carpenter, Sandra Cahill, Great Bend of the Yellowstone L&C Heritage Bicentennial Commission
Elaina Zempel, Golden Triangle Bicentennial Commission
Mike McGinley, Southwest Montana Bicentennial Group

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

Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance:
Henry Thompson, Northern Cheyenne, Dull Knife Memorial College Extension
Kaneeta Red Star Harris, Crow Tribal Tourism Dept.
Darrell Martin, MTTA vice-chair, Fort Belknap Indian Community
Mardell Plainfeather, Crow Tribe, Little Bighorn College
R.J. Young, MTTA president, Fort Peck Sioux & Assiniboine Tribes
Marvin Dawes, Sr., Tourism Coordinator, Little Bighorn College
Richard Hopkins, BLM-Great Falls

Additional Attendees:
JoAnn Juliano, Beaverhead County Commission
Jim Boetticher, Beaverhead County Commission
Ken Soderberg, FWP, Helena
Gerard Baker, NPS, Corps II
Margaret Gorski, US Forest Service
Andy Banta, Ft. Union Trading Post NHS
Jeff Altizer, Williston, ND CVB
Chandler Jackson, University of Great Falls
Carla Wambach, Helena, Montana
Sara Groves, Montana History Foundation, Helena
Dave Walter, Montana Historical Society
John Bentz, Charles Bentz Associates
John Jackson, Montana National Guard, Helena
Mike Cooney, Montana Sheriff's & Peace Officer's Association
Jane Weber, USFS L&C Interpretive Center
Melanie Dobson, Yellowstone County
Dan Crum, Yellowstone County Commission
Kim Prill, BLM, Billings
Gail Stensland, Fort Benton

Mr. Blackwood stated that the RBC/MTTA structure is the first line of communication with the state Commission. He explained that the RBC's are set up on the county/multi-county level and MTTA represents 6 of 7 Montana tribes. Mr. Hopkins announced that Luanne Belcourt has been designated as Rocky Boy's representative and they are interested in passing a resolution.

Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance

Mr. Blackwood called on Darrell Martin to provide background on MTTA. He distributed a handout on MTTA, explaining that the group serves as a conduit for government agencies, RBC's, and anyone wishing to contact people on Montana's reservations. They are working on both state and national levels to promote culturally appropriate economic development through tourism. Mr. Martin explained that to become a member of MTTA, the appropriate tribal government must pass a resolution designating members to sit on MTTA. He said MTTA has just filed for and received their 501(c)(3) status. They are in the process of developing a business plan and are considering the possibility of hiring a director and a fundraiser. Mr. Martin stressed that Lewis & Clark is only one of many areas of focus for MTTA. At their September 29th meeting the following slate of officers were elected, R.J. Young, president; Darrell Martin, vice-president; Henry Thompson, secretary/treasurer. Mr. Martin said copies of their bylaws and articles of incorporation would be available on a table outside the meeting room and he welcomed questions and comments. Mr. Blackwood explained that there are tribal bicentennial contacts that may differ from MTTA contacts and he asked Mr. Martin to share those names with him.

US Army Run (2004)

Ltc. Jonathan Jackson was called on to address the Army National Guard's planned Relay Run in 2004. He announced plans to relay an espontoon across the United States, noting that over 860 miles will be covered across Montana. The Relay Run is funded by the Dept. of Defense, and participation will also be open to the public. They plan to cover 50+ miles a day, starting on the Hi-Line, through Great Falls, Dillon, the Bitterroot, into Idaho and back. Ltc. Jackson explained that the run is not tied specifically to anniversary dates. He is coordinating the participation of 19 states and said Montana has the most miles of any state. He referred to their proposed designated route, noting that there would be some flexibility in adjusting the route to accommodate planned events. Ltc. Jackson referred to his upcoming presentation on Friday morning during the Conference when the dates and route will be discussed more fully. His deadline for establishing the route is April 2002, at the National Council's Planning Workshop in Lewiston, Idaho. Ltc. Jackson said he would also address what the National Guard could do to assist communities with the Bicentennial. Mr. Blackwood proposed setting aside time at the February meeting to cover more details of the planned Relay Run. Mr. Van Arsdale proposed scheduling a return trip Relay Run along the Yellowstone River.

Public Safety Plan

Mike Cooney addressed the group regarding his work with the Sheriff's and Peace Officer's Association, one of a core group that has been meeting to discuss issues surrounding the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, and public safety issues that may be a part of that commemoration. Mr. Cooney listed as partners the BLM, Montana Disaster and Emergency Services, and the Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission. He read their mission statement, "Bringing people together to begin developing a unified strategy to ensure visitors and residents have a safe and healthy Trail experience while protecting irreplaceable resources along the Trail." He explained that their main focus has been working with counties along the Trail to identify possible situations in or around their counties, challenges those may present, and the available resources to address those situations. Mr. Cooney cited the L&C County L&C Public Safety Committee as an example of planning that has begun taking shape on the county level. As an example, this group has identified Gates of the Mountains as a focal point in the county, and they are in the process of identifying what sorts of activities and opportunities might lead to public safety issues.

Mr. Cooney said it would be very helpful for law enforcement and public safety people to have advanced notice of planned events. He said eventually the core group plans to develop a calendar of events to be utilized as a planning tool for law enforcement and public safety. He noted that the Trail passes through counties that have very limited resources, and advanced planning will allow them to have contingency plans in place to deal with multiple county-wide situations. He requested attendees to contact their local DES or sheriff when they return home and ask them if they have considered holding local, regular public safety meetings. Mr. Cooney said he has already contacted the sheriffs in all 56 Montana counties, urging them to begin holding these meetings, recognizing that some counties are off the Trail and would not be affected. However, there will be major impacts for counties hosting Signature Events, or for those who have major L&C Trail sites. Mr. Cooney also urged people to contact local sanitation authorities, as they address concerns with food venders, public camping, clean water, porta-potties, etc. He said his presentation tomorrow would address planning in more detail.

Mr. Blackwood asked for a show of hands of people who have contacted local sanitarians, local sheriffs, and highway patrol. He listed the various calendars already available; the National Council's Calendar of Signature Events, the National Calendar of Public Events, and a Montana Calendar of Events compiled by Travel Montana that is linked to the Commission's web site. Mr. Blackwood urged planners to stay in close contact with their Tourism Countries and/or Chambers of Commerce to ensure that information on events will flow to Travel Montana. Forms for listing events with Travel Montana were sent to the RBC's and MTTA last April, and information is being gathered now for next spring's calendar. He said at this time the state Commission is not planning to compile a calendar. He explained that the calendar Mr. Cooney referred to would serve as a planning tool on the county level and would list all events specific to a given county.

Mr. Cooney said he was glad to see MTTA representatives at this meeting, noting there had not been much representation from tribal law enforcement, and said it would be very useful to get their input on events planned during the Bicentennial in and around the reservations. Mr. Martin stressed the need to seek permission to bring tours through Indian Country, and said sheriffs and the public need to be made aware of local tribal laws. Mr. Blackwood asked if MTTA or tribal bicentennial contacts were to receive a communication from Mr. Cooney, again inviting Indian Country participation, would they be able to forward the information to the correct contacts and encourage participation. Mr. Martin said if the information were sent to the MTTA address, it would be disseminated to the responsible parties. Henry Thompson said the police force for the Northern Cheyenne is BIA, and they would want the request to flow down from their area BIA office. Mr. Cooney responded that they were contacted for an earlier meeting in Great Falls, but he did not receive a response. He agreed that there is a need for educating the public with respect to private landowner rights. In closing, Mr. Blackwood identified two main purposes for the planning work that Mr. Cooney is spearheading: 1) development of a plan with contact information, and 2) identifying items for a "needs list" that can be presented in the form of an appropriations request to Congress. He said this same plan could be utilized to obtain funding from other sources as well. He urged planners to contact Mr. Cooney (406-443-1570) if they had questions. Ms. Gosink referred to bus tours, saying they are planned a year in advance and that local hotels and major attractions would be a source of information on tours. Mr. McGinley urged RBC's to contact their local County Commissioners regarding the development of a "large event ordinance" which contains a checklist of required county contacts.

Review Compliance Guidelines for RBC's

Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of the "Regional Bicentennial Commission Program Outline," which makes reference to providing periodic updates to respective county commissions. He reviewed the 8 points listed on the Program Outline: recognition, contact, minutes, representation, membership information, changes in directorship, meeting schedules and planning and preparation updates and urged RBC's and MTTA contacts to adhere to the requested information.

Review of Commission's Grant Program for 2002

Ms. Cortright delivered a report on the grants program, noting that following the June Commission meeting the Grants Committee met and revised the application, guidelines and criteria for the 2002 Project Grants. Those revised documents were presented to and adopted by the Commission during today's meeting. She named this year's funding partners as the Tourism Advisory Council/Travel Montana, Bonneville Power Administration, and the state Commission who have combined resources totaling $158,717. This year the O&P and project grants have been combined with one application deadline of December 21, 2001. Applications will be available early next week through the Commission's office. She noted that the O&P application and guidelines remain unchanged from last year's program, but noted that discussion would take place during the Commission meeting regarding the minimum/maximum amount of the grants. Applications for the O&P Grants will be mailed to RBC's and tribal representatives. Ms. Cortright said following the application deadline, the Grants Committee would score applications and make their funding recommendations to the Commission at the February 12, 2002 meeting in Dillon. Project grants cover 18 months and 6-month reports will be due in August 2002 with final reports due in August 2003. She noted that any funds remaining unexpended at the end of the contract period must be returned to the Commission.

Mr. Blackwood highlighted the change in this year's schedule and the deadline of December 21. He explained that the amount of the grants pool fluctuates because the funding partners change annually. In 2001, the grants pool was $200,000 and the Commission directed $43,000 off the top to fund the O&P grants. The remainder of the pool, $155,000, was granted for projects.

Proposed Fundraising Strategy

Mr. Blackwood announced the hiring of Sara Groves by the Montana History Foundation, who will begin fundraising efforts on behalf of the Commission. In addition, a fundraising consultant will be contracted to develop the fundraising campaign that will help identify how much money could be raised and from what sources. The Commission will fund these efforts through its operations budget. He explained that a $200,000 loan had been secured from the Board of Investments based on future sales of the bicentennial license plate. Mr. Blackwood displayed the license plate, noting that plates would go on sale January 2, 2002. He said this loan would help underwrite the Commission's efforts to develop a larger fundraising program and said the Commission would be addressing this item during tomorrow morning's meeting.

Mr. Blackwood then explained that this year's grant pool of $158,717, which is less than last year's amount, would available for both O&P and project grants. He said the Commission would be determining how much money to designate to O&P grants for 2002. He said last year's maximum O&P grants were $2,500 and asked if groups could get by on less this year. He noted that some Commissioners were wondering if groups had reached a stage where they could get by without the O&P funds. Mr. Blackwood said he wanted to take a recommendation from this combined group to the Commission meeting tomorrow. He said there was a chance that another funder might be identified by next February, and there may be a little more money available from the Commission's budget. He explained that the Commission is attempting to get by on less this year and invest in a fundraising program that would result in considerably more funds in the future. Mr. Dietz asked how the money raised by the Foundation would be allocated and Mr. Blackwood responded that revenue from the license plate sales would come to the Commission's budget. Allocation of funds raised through the Foundation would depend on the funder, as they may want to designate their support to a particular project or effort. Mr. Dietz urged caution when entering into exclusivity agreements with sponsors as this could handicap fundraising abilities at the local level. Mr. Blackwood agreed and also cautioned against the perception that the Commission's fundraising efforts would meet all of the funding needs. He urged groups to continue their own fundraising efforts on the community level, but added the challenge would be coordinating those efforts statewide and locally. Mr. Purviance said the Western Montana L&C Commission discussed the O&P issue last week and agreed to request that some portion of the O&P grants be retained. Elaina Zempel, Golden Triangle L&C Commission, reported that they might be returning a portion of last year's O&P funds. Phil Scriver, Upper Missouri L&C Commission, said they rely on the O&P grant because their group does not generate funds. Jeff Dietz, Lower Yellowstone L&C Commission, said most of the RBCs are comprised of volunteers and the $2,500 was very important to them and he felt that the grants should continue. Gerard Baker fielded a question on possible changes in funding at the national level by saying he felt the current situation might result in an improved budget situation through the Dept. of Interior. Mr. Blackwood added that he just learned this evening that the NPS Challenge Cost Share grant program would be funded at $5 million for fiscal year 2002. Penny Carpenter, Great Bend L&C Commission, reported that their $1,500 grant was appreciated and utilized, but added that volunteers would continue the program regardless of the availability of the O&P grant funds. Mr. Blackwood noted that tonight's attendance was a testimony to the success of the O&P program. Jane Weber expressed concern with reducing the O&P funds, as she said tribal representatives have more than their regional scope of influence, and are asked to be involved with more than one region which results in larger travel budgets. Mr. Martin explained that the Bicentennial is not a high priority for tribes, and said some have chosen not to participate as this event signifies the 'beginning of the end' of their way of life. He said tribal governments might have funding priorities other than travel expenses to L&C meetings. For that reason he said there was a need to continue the O&P grants. Mr. Blackwood recognized the commissioners in attendance at the meeting, and said he was hearing a consensus to retain the O&P grants, but that given the current funding level, groups would be willing to consider less than the $2,500 level. Mr. McGinley, Southwestern MT L&C Group, felt groups should ultimately reach the level of funding their own operations. Mr. Stensland proposed lowering the maximum amount on the project grants which would result in funding more projects. Mr. Blackwood noted that the Commission accepted the revised project guidelines today, but said they could reconsider their decision tomorrow. He then proposed funding the O&P grant pool at $31,500, which would allow for 21 grants of $1,500 each. Mr. Dietz suggested keeping the maximum at $2,500 and said if some groups chose not to apply for the maximum, the remaining funds could go to a community that needs them. Mr. Blackwood said he was attempting to avoid making the O&P grants competitive. He thanked everyone for their input and said the Commission would take up the matter tomorrow.

Corps of Discovery II

Gerard Baker, Superintendent of the L&C National Historic Trail, based in Omaha, Nebraska, spoke on plans for Corps II. He has been on-board for a year and has spent much of the time on the Trail. He said the planner positions referred to at past meetings have been filled by Sue Pridemore and Carol McBryant. Mr. Baker's office has relocated, and his new phone numbers are (402) 514-9311 (office) and (402) 203-8132 (cell). He said awareness of the Bicentennial is growing, but there are many differing perspectives, noting that the Bicentennial observance is considered a commemoration, not a celebration. He considers Corps II to be totally an educational initiative and reported that the National Council would be visiting with Laura Bush in the next couple of days about Corps II. Mr. Baker said the planners would be traveling the Trail from November 12-23, from Wood River, Illinois, to Fort Clatsop, visiting selected communities. On their second trip, Mr. Baker said it was his hope that the planners could meet with communities in an open house format. He will be sending letters of introduction to State Commissions and Tribes along the way. Mr. Baker has secured two trailers from the Freedom Forum to house Corps II, which when joined together would total 2,000 sq. ft. and contain a 50-seat auditorium. He passed around mock-ups and said he is working with Busch Creatives of St. Louis, Missouri, a company that has been instrumental in developing traveling displays. Corps II will interpret four aspects of the bicentennial: what life was like before L&C, during L&C, what has happened over the last 200 years, and what to expect in the future. Cultural and natural resources are the two subject matters to be addressed. Mr. Baker recognized the University of Montana EOS program based with NASA, Newsweek, Smithsonian and the History Channel as some of the project partners. He stressed that the Bicentennial would serve as both an educational and economic opportunity and estimated that it would take approximately one year to determine dates and locations for Corps II. They will be addressing infrastructure needs, security, EMS, environmental concerns, broadcasting capabilities, etc. in their planning with communities. Mr. Baker referenced the Corps II Checklist that Mr. Blackwood developed and distributed at the June RBC/MTTA meeting. Mr. Blackwood encouraged those communities that have not yet completed the checklist to do so and return them to the Commission office. He asked when to expect guidelines on the minimum site needs for Corps II and Mr. Baker said this information might be available by February or March 2002. Ms. Stone asked about housing for staff, (i.e. camping facilities, hotel rooms, host families) and Mr. Baker estimated that number at 12 people and said whatever could be provided would be very helpful. Mr. Blackwood said that priority sites would surface, such as Signature Events, and said that some pots of money might be applicable to enhancing community host sites for Corps II. More details will be made available during Mr. Baker's presentation on Friday morning during the Conference.

Education Committee Update

Confluence of Cultures Symposium

Hal Stearns delivered an overview on the work of the Education Commission. He first addressed the Confluence of Cultures Symposium scheduled for May 28-30, 2003, on the University of Montana campus. The Symposium Committee will very soon hire a half-time coordinator who will be responsible for the planning, directing and implementing of projects and events that relate to the symposium.

Lewis & Clark: Montana's Story Video

Mr. Stearns explained that Jeri Mae Rowley with SUPERHOST! at Flathead Valley Community College, produced a 22-minute video snapshot of the Expedition in Montana, funded in part with grant support from the Commission in 2000. The video contains marvelous photography and interviews with several Montanans. He said Ms. Rowley has ordered 1,000 copies that will be available for $10 each and urged their purchase for schools, RBC's, Foundation Chapters and libraries. Mr. Stearns said plans are underway to produce print support literature to accompany the video.

Lewis & Clark Educator's Resource Guide

This Guide was produced by Bonnie Sachatello-Sawyer with Project WET and The Watercourse at Montana State University in Bozeman with grant support from the Commission. He explained that a half-time employee worked for a year gathering materials that were examined by a cross-section of Montana teachers. The Guide covers elementary and secondary books, a curriculum guide, traveling trunks, videos, websites music and CD-roms. Mr. Stearns said 3,000 copies have been ordered and complimentary copies would be available for conference attendees. The guide would also be distributed at the state teacher's conference next week. He reported that Ms. Sachatello-Sawyer intends to update the Guide annually and welcomes comments and additions.

Lewis & Clark Guide Training Program & L&C Training Academy

Mr. Stearns recognized Jane Weber from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center in Great Falls, where courses are offered through the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Training Academy. Beginning January 28 - February 1, 2002, the Training Academy will offer courses for people interested in serving as local L&C guides. Experienced and knowledgeable Montanans, available as Lewis and Clark guides, will have an opportunity to be included on the state Commission website's resource list. Tour companies and visiting groups will be encouraged to use this resource list to arrange local guides for tours traveling through the state. Mr. Stearns reviewed the five areas in which those listed must demonstrate at least a minimum level of experience and knowledge. Mr. Blackwood closed by saying applications would be available from Jane Weber or the Commission office.

Mr. Blackwood thanked everyone for attending the meeting and announced that the Commission meeting would continue tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m. The meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

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