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Tasks Completed July 2000-June 2001
Administration & Communication:
- The Bicentennial Commission office was open and staffed all year at 600 North Park Avenue; no office move was made this year.
- Fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions were recognized by the state Commission and form a statewide network of community-based planning groups.
- Three 'journal notes' newsletters were published (August & December 2002 and March 2001).
- The second annual Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Conference was held in Great Falls in September.
- The Commission's web site was maintained and updated with pertinent group contact lists, meeting notes and project summaries.
- Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the timely delivery of Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant funding to five Montana groups who were CCS recipients in 2000.
- Worked in partnership with the Futures of the Past Task Force to craft legislative alternatives to create a Montana Heritage Tourism Program. Efforts failed in the 2001 Montana Legislature to pass any of the resulting proposed legislation.
- The 2001 Montana Legislature did pass legislation for the creation of a Montana Bicentennial License Plate to go on sale by January 1, 2002.
- Travel Montana pledged to continue funding the Commission's annual operations budget of $200,000 via grants of accommodations tax revenue for Fiscal Years 2002 & 2003.
- Prepared and submitted a Montana Project Inventory for consideration of the Congressional Lewis & Clark Caucuses; was submitted in Washington, DC during a Congressional briefing on April 4, 2001.
- The Tourism Advisory Council, together with the Montana Department of Transportation joined the Commission in funding the second-annual Lewis & Clark Grants Program. New in 2001 were Organization & Planning Grants, in the amount of $2,500 each, made to Regional Bicentennial Commissions and the members of the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance. The total of these two grant programs for 201 was $200,000.
- Through a report generated as a part of Montana's new Bicentennial Master Plan, the Commission continued to analyze options for the implementation of a coordinated fundraising program. Efforts continued as well to coordinate with the fundraising efforts at the national level.
- The Commission, in partnership with the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative, applied for and was awarded a $20,000 National Park Service Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant for the initial implementation of the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Sign Strategy. The Commission also partnered with the Montana Sheriffs' and Peace Officers' Association to secure a CCS grant in the amount of $10,000 to initiate the planning for a statewide Bicentennial Public Safety Plan.
- Montana's statewide Bicentennial Master Plan was completed and adopted by the Commission during its October 2000 meeting. Accompanying the Master Plan document was a Fundraising Strategy and a Product Licensing & Sponsorship Feasibility Analysis Report.
- The planning process was initiated to generate a statewide Bicentennial Public Safety Plan, with the first stakeholders meeting being held in Great Falls on May 15-16.
- Coordination continued with neighboring states and at the national level. Montana joined with the remaining 16 "trail route states" in forming the Circle of State Advisors (COSA) to assist and advise in the planning efforts of the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial.
- Worked in partnership with Travel Montana to facilitate the creation of the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance, a coalition of 6 of the 7 Montana Indian Reservations. A Bicentennial presentation update was given to the MT/WY Tribal Leaders Association in December 2000.
- Worked with three Regional Bicentennial Commissions in Montana for the submission of National Signature Event Proposals to the National Lewis & Clark Council. Two of Montana's Signature Event Proposals were selected to be within the select number chosen nationally. Montana's two Signature Events are: 'Discovering the Big Sky' (Great Falls area) in July 2005; and 'Clark on the Yellowstone' (Billings and Pompeys Pillar area) in July of 2006.
- Met quarterly with the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative to facilitate coordination and communication of key state and federal agencies.
Education & Research:
- Coordinated with the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research (ITRR) on an in-state Lewis & Clark visitor profile research project.
- The Commission's Education Committee continued its work on three key programs: The "Lewis & Clark; Montana's Story" 20-minute video was completed and shown in Montana SuperHost training sessions; the Commission initiated an "e-mail update" process and enhanced its web site to include key program documents and links; the Commission partnered with the University of Montana to plan for the 'Confluence of Two Cultures Symposium' now set for May of 2003.
- Presented numerous Bicentennial updates to groups in meetings and conferences.
- In partnership with the Montana Stockgrowers Association and Travel Montana, presented three "Lewis &' Clark Farm & Ranch Recreation Business Workshops."
- The Commission coordinated a mediation effort with various interested parties and United Harvest regarding the building of a rapid grain loading facility adjacent to Pompeys Pillar.
- The Commission went through a Legislative Audit and passed with only three minor "infractions" to be corrected.
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