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Tasks Completed July 2001-June 2002

Administration & Communication:

  • The Commission office was open and staffed all year. The office relocated to its new location (515 North Sanders, Suites 3B & 3C) on January 18th. An agreement was established as of May 20th to "out-source" grant administrative duties to the Montana History Foundation.
  • On-going communicaton continued with the fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions, the agencies participating in the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative, and the Bicentennial contacts on Montana's seven Indian Reservations. Coordinating meetings involving the regional commissions and tribes were held on October 10, February 11, and June 17. These three coordinating meetings immediately preceeded the three meetings of the Commission held during the past 12 months. The interagency Focus Team met quarterly through 2002.
  • The Commission's 'journal notes' newsletter was printed and distributed in July, November, and in March 2002. The current distribution list for the newsletter is 2,532. Additionally, the Commission developed and implemented a "list serve" process through which key updates are offered to interested parties. The current list serve database consists of 279 contacts, and continues to grow as persons continue to register on-line.
  • The commission worked with the Montana Historical Society to issue pertinent press releases as follows:
    - Sept. 27, 2001 - 3rd Annual State Lewis & Clark Conference Set
    - Jan. 2, 2002 - New License Plates Let MT Drivers Join L&C Expedition
    - Jan. 29, 2002 - Lewis and Clark Merchandising Program Announced
    - Feb. 13, 2002 - Commission Announces 2002 Grant Awards
  • Participated in an interview for the program, "Face the State" that aired in June. Conducted numerous radio, TV, newspaper and magazine interviews, in addition to several press conferences.
  • Additions and enhancements were made to the Commission's website, to include addition of a search feature, meeting notes and websites from the regional commissions, expanded Tour Guide information within the Resource Library, new funding programs, promotion of the bicentennial license plate, and order forms for video and resource guide.
  • The third annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference was held in Billings on October 11-12.
  • Two new Commision members, Jeanette "Tootie" Rasmussen and Germaine White, were appointed by Governor Martz.
  • Rita Cortright presented the Commission's Grants Program to attendees at two Grant Writing Workshops in Great Falls and Missoula.


  • Worked with the Montana Congressional delegation in an effort to secure funding appropriations for a Bicentennial Public Safety Plan, to enhance the Commission's grant program, and to further implement the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Sign Strategy. No new Congressional funding has thus far resulted for these programs; efforts are continuing in the current session.
  • Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the delivery of Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant funding to 9 Montana groups who were CCS recipients in 2001. This included two grants the Commission partnered in; 1) L&C Bicentennial Gateway & Travel Corridor Orientation Kiosks for $20,000, and 2) Public Safety Planning for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial in Montana for $10,000.
  • Continued to work in partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial to secure "national" funding. No new Project Inventory was prepared as in past years; however, the National Council entered into an agreement with the Metropolitan Group as of June 2002 to facilitate fundraising, communication and marketing efforts. The Commission worked to publicize the National Council's new Merchandising Program, and anticipates sharing the revenues to be generated through that program, as well as from other National Council efforts.
  • Travel Montana and the Bonneville Power Administration joined the Commission to fund a grants program in the amount of $158,000 for 2002. $38,000 was given out in $2,000 amounts as Organization & Planning Grants to regional commissions and tribal governments; $122,000 in Project Grants was awarded to 13 recipients this year.
  • The Commission coordinated the design of, and a marketing campaign for, Montana's new Bicentennial License plate that went on sale on January 2, 2002.
  • In partnership with the Montana History Foundation, a Bicentennial Fundraising Coordinator (Sara Groves) was hired in mid-October. At that same time, the Charles Bentz Associates consulting firm was hired by the Foundation to conduct a Leadership Planning Study as the first Phase of a comprehensive fundraising strategy. (NOTE: As the end of this current fiscal year approaches, that Phase I Study has been completed, and a comprehensive, multi-party fundraising campaign to be known as the Montana Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign is being developed.)


  • Continued to work with the Montana Sheriff's and Peace Officers' Association to create a Bicentennial Public Safety Plan. The Commission assisted in submitting a Challenge Cost Share grant application to the National Park Service, and an Appropriations Request to Montana's Congressional delegation in 2002.
  • Coordination continued with periodic meetings of the regional bicentennial commissions and the eight recognized tribal governments in Montana, and the Bicentennial Focus Team agencies.
  • The Montana Commission continued to participate actively with the Circle of State Advisors (representatives of the 19 "trail-route" states), and to interact closely with the National Council. The Commission attended planning and coordination meetings of these national groups in St. Louis, MO and in Lewiston, ID in 2002.
  • Worked closely with the initial planning efforts of the two National Heritage Signature Events slated for Montana (Discovering the Big Sky, July 3-4, '05; and Clark on the Yellowstone; July 26, '06).
  • In partnership with the National Park Service, the Commission has been working to identify potential host sites within the state for the Corps of Discovery II for 2005-2006.
  • Initiated the planning of a Montana event to coincide with the January 18, 2003, official start of the Bicentennial in Monticello, VA, and of a Spring 2005 event to mark the Expedition's first arrival into present day Montana.

Education & Research:

  • During 2002, the Commission's Education Committee continued to pursue the completion of several projects:
    -- Worked in partnership with the SuperHost! Program to publicize the new Lewis & Clark; Montana's Story video to teachers, chambers of commerce and visitor information centers.
    -- Assisted the Montana Historical Society in providing copies of the new Educator's Resource Directory to public libraries statewide.
    -- Continued to partner with the University of Montana to plan for the Commission-sponsored Confluence of Cultures Symposium to be held on the UofM campus in May 2003.
    -- Partnered with the Lewis and Clark Training Academy to launch a new Lewis & Clark Guide training program in January and February 2002.
  • Coordinated with the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research and the National Council in planning for future Bicentennial-related research.


  • Presented numerous Bicentennial Planning Updates to communities, groups, and agencies.
  • The Commission was on an advisory committee for the new Undaunted Stewardship program being developed and implemented by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Bureau of Land Management and the Montana State University.
  • The Commission served on the Montana Highway Map Advisory Committee of the Montana Department of Transportation.



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For more information please contact:
Montana Historical Society
P.O. Box 201201
225 North Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1201
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