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Tasks Completed July 2003-June 2004

Administration & Communication:

  • The Bicentennial Commission office was open and staffed all year. An agreement was renewed with the Montana History Foundation to "out-source" grant administrative duties during the past year. Amy Baird continued to work for the Commission part-time grants administrator as well as performing other administrative assistant duties on an "as needed" basis. After May 7th Amy went to work full time for the Montana Historical Society, and worked only limited "moonlight hours" to maintain the Legacy Campaign database.
  • On-going communication continued with the fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions, the agencies participating in the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI), and the Bincentennial contacts on Montana's seven Indian Reservations. Coordinating meetings involving the regional commissions and tribes were held on October 1, February 9, and June 17. The interagency MTRI Focus Team met quarterly through 2004.
  • The Commission's 'journal notes' newsletters was printed and distributed in July and November 2003 and in March 2004. The Commission continued to provide timely updates via an email "list serve" process. Interested persons continue to register on-line to receive these updates.
  • Monthly Director Reports were drafted and distributed.
  • The Commission worked with the Montana Historical Society to issue pertinent press releases as follows:
    • 6/24/03 - Montana and Idaho to Celebrate New Lolo Pass Center
    • 7/03/03 - L&C Awards $31,450 in Local Grants
    • 9/23/03 - Latest in L&C at State Conference
    • 10/23/03 - State and National L&C Grants Available
    • 2/02/04 - L&C Educator's Resource Guide Available Statewide
    • 3/15/04 - Sites Announced for National Traveling L&C Tour and Performers Sought to Help Tell the Story Here
    • 3/29/04 - L&C Awards $129,641 in Local Grants
    • 4/19/04 - State L&C Projects Get $967,000 in Federal Grants

  • Participated in numerous interviews with TV, radio talk shows, newspapers and magazines featuring Lewis & Clark story lines.
    • July, 2003 - Harlowton's Times Clarion - "L&C Meet Charles M. Bair"
    • August & September - KXLO Radio in Lewistown - October L&C Conference
    • September - Local radio re: Fall Conference
    • September - Lewistown Argus re: Fall Conference
    • October - Missoula Independent paper re: Bicentennial planning progress
    • January, 2004 - Great Falls Tribune re: anticipated visitation estimate
    • February - KBLL radio in Helena for "Coffee Break" show
    • February - Missoulian and MSU Collegian for L&C articles
    • March - Great Falls Tribune re: license plate sales

  • The Commission's website continued to grow throughout the past year with the Resource Library expanding with additions to the Tour Guide section, and more national and state events being listed.
  • Partnered with the National Bicentennial Council for the distribution of National Ad Council publicity campaign radio and TV spots starting in mid-November.
  • Launched a six-week in-state multi-media Publicity Campaign in mid-April. The main goals were to generate awareness and excitement.
  • The fifth annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference was held in Lewistown on October 2-3.
  • Jack Lepley and Darrell Martin were re-appointed by Governor Martz to serve new three-year terms on the Commission. Marcy Hamburg from Sidney was appointed as a new Commission member when Kathy Doeden elected to not be considered for re-appointment.


  • Continued to work with the Montana Congressional delegation in an effort to secure funding appropriations to prepare and respond to Bicentennial Public Safety issues, to enhance the Commission’s grant program, and to prepare and present Montana’s two National Signature Events. No new Congressional funding has thus far resulted for these programs; renewed efforts are continuing in the 2004 session of Congress.
  • Annual funding from Travel Montana ($200,000) continued in FY’04, allowing the Commission to continue with a base of operations.
  • A $200,000 loan from the Montana Board of Investments (BOI) that was initially secured in March, 2002 was fully drawn in FY’03. Payments on that BOI loan were made in August, 2002, in February and August, 2003, and in February, 2004. A draw of $50,000 was made on a second BOI loan on February 20, 2004 as a loan to initiate the Senate Art Legacy Project.
  • Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the delivery of 2003 Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant funding to 14 Montana groups. In addition 2 Montana groups received unclaimed previous year CCS funding in 2003. The Commission partnered directly in 5 CCS grants in 2003; $20,000 for state gateway signage and corridor orientation kiosks; $5,000 for annual planning conference; $4,500 for administration for pass through grants; $5,000 for corridor interpretive signage; and $10,000 for gateway signage in 13 rest areas.
  • Continued to work in partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. The National Council was successful in securing a $2M grant from the Hewlitt Foundation in late 2003. These funds will in part be utilized to gain meaningful Indian involvement in the Bicentennial; 14 National Signature Events; a revamped national web site portal; a new national Bicentennial brochure; and for administrative support for the Council.
  • Travel Montana, the USDA Forest Service, and the Qwest Foundation joined the Commission to fund a grants program in the amount of $229,864.66 for 2003. $34,298.66 was pledged to 17 Organization & Planning Grants to regional commissions and tribal governments; $158,066 was pledged for Project Grants to 13 recipients this year. Additionally, $37,500 was pledged in Program Grants to be distributed by the Commission to key programs.
  • The Commission worked to maintain market awareness for Montana’s new Bicentennial License plate by placing ads in Lewis & Clark supplements in the Great Falls Tribune, and distributing 4”x 5” promotional inserts. Some 15,800 Lewis & Clark plates will have been sold and/or renewed through June 30, 2004. There are now approximately 50 specialty plates available or in design in Montana which significantly increases marketplace competition.
  • In partnership with the Montana History Foundation, and four key Montana partners, the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign was designed and very pro-active fundraising efforts were initiated in mid-2002, and continued through 2003. However, due to the continuing cost of operating and maintaining a central campaign office, and the sluggishness of securing campaign gifts and pledges, the campaign took a significant new direction as of January 1, 2004. The central, staffed campaign office that had been established in Helena was closed. On-going campaign management is presently being provided by staff of the state Commission. Regional fundraising efforts are continuing in the Billings and Great Falls areas; as well the Montana Historical Society has undertaken its own fundraising efforts for a new Lewis & Clark Exhibit. Travelers’ Rest will likewise undertake a local fundraising campaign in the near future. The Campaign Status Report of February 25, 2004, showed the campaign had Total Gifts and Pledges of $616,371; Total Expenses of $543,871, and Total Revenue of $371,722.


  • Continued to work with the Montana Sheriff’s & Peace Officers’ Association, the Montana National Guard and other key agencies to prepare a Bicentennial Public Safety strategy for Montana. The National Guard secured some Congressional funding in FY’04; the BLM secured some FY’04 funding for counties from Sidney to Fort Benton; a presentation was made in October during a state Disaster & Emergency Services Conference; and the state Commission joined the Montana National Guard and other key partners in an aerial recognizance and planning tour of the trail from Fort Union, ND to Lolo, MT on March 23-25, 2004.
  • Coordination continued with periodic meetings of the regional bicentennial commissions, the eight recognized tribal governments in Montana, and the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team agencies. The Commission once again granted the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) $5,000 which in part resulted in MTTA being able to retain their full time coordinator. The interagency MTRI Focus Team continued to assist in interpretive signage planning in various corridors and in 13 rest areas, and set in motion planning for hosting and programming Corps II’s Tent of Many Voices in 18 Montana communities.
  • The Montana Commission continued to participate actively with the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), and to interact closely with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. The Commission was represented at COSA and National Council meetings in Louisville, KY on October 24-25; and in St. Louis, MO on January 16-17, 2004.
  • In partnership with the National Park Service, the Commission worked to finalize the selection of 18 Montana host community sites for the Corps of Discovery II for 2005 and 2006. On-site logistical visits to many host sites were conducted by the National Park Service in February, 2004; the remaining sites will be visited by mid-2004. A Corps II “Tent of Many Voices” programming workshop was sponsored by the state Commission in Billings on Wednesday, April 7th. To assist communities in securing quality Lewis & Clark related programming for various venues, a “Performing Arts Showcase” was held in Livingston, MT on June 17-18. Twenty performers and presenters were featured.
  • In addition to providing on-going financial support for the continued planning for Montana’s two National Signature Events (“Explore! the Big Sky”, and “Clark on the Yellowstone”), the Commission worked closely with Montana’s two “significant events”. The “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence; this long wished for spot” will be held on April 29-May 1, 2005 in the confluence area of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers on the Montana/North Dakota border. The “Lewis & Clark in the Rockies” will be a 17-day series of community events in the Bitterroot and Missoula valleys from June 21 to July 7, 2006.
  • Planning efforts were energized with the Salish Indians for a commemorative event and/or monument in the Ross’s Hole area in August of 2005.

Education & Research:

  • The Commission's Education Committee continued to pursue the completion of several projects throughout 2004:
    • Worked in partnership with the Montana Superhost! Hospitality Program to initiate the creation of a printed informational supplement to accompany the Lewis & Clark segment of Superhost! Hospitality training in local communities.
    • Partnered with Project Wet/Native Waters at Montana State University and Qwest for the reprinting and distribution of a 2004 edition of the Lewis & Clark Educator’s Resource Guide. Qwest printed 10,000 copies of this revised guide at no cost, and the state Commission sent approximately 600 guides to public and state libraries throughout Montana.
    • Partnered with the University of Montana to successfully present the Commission co-sponsored Confluence of Cultures Symposium held on the UofM campus on May 28-30, 2003. Some 700 people attended the symposium and gave a very high rating to the events and sessions which were held. Symposium Proceedings are now available in print and on CD.
    • Partnered with the Lewis & Clark Training Academy to offer the Lewis & Clark Guide training program in 2004. A May 10-14 program was held in the Great Falls Interpretive Center. The Commission continued to modify the Resource Library on its web site to include the names of qualified guides verifying their expertise.
    • Provided training to Travel Montana’s Call Center on July 7th.
    • Renewed a partnership with the Office of Public Instruction, and provided links and information for their new Lewis & Clark web site.


  • Presented numerous Bicentennial Updates to communities, groups and agencies.
  • Worked closely with Lehrkind’s Coca-Cola Bottling Company to create a “Lewis & Clark Coke Panel” for new cans for the Helena and Bozeman markets. Lehrhinds was able to connect this new can to virtually all of Montana through Coca-Cola Enterprises.
  • Contact was also made in mid-May with Harrington Bottling from Bozeman to discuss having a Lewis & Clark image on Pepsi soft drink glasses starting in 2005.
  • The Commission continued as a participate on the advisory committee for the Undaunted Stewardship program being managed by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University.
  • Legislative Update:
    • The Executive Committee (which serves also as the Commission’s Legislative Committee) set the course for the 2005 session of the Montana Legislature. They recommended that the Commission not directly seek any new Lewis & Clark-related legislation, but offer strong support for locally generated legislation focused on funding for Montana’s two National Signature Events, provided that funding source is other than bed-tax revenues.
    • The Executive Committee committed to contact all candidates for Governor in advance of the elections to champion the Lewis & Clark cause.
  • The Commission, acting on legislation passed by the 2003 Montana Legislature, worked in partnership with the Montana Historical Society and the Senate Advisory Committee to select an artist and initiate the creation of the Lewis & Clark bronze art to be hung in the Montana Senate Chambers.
    • The Commission and Montana Historical Society received a favorable Performance Audit review by the Legislative Auditors Division in April regarding the new Senate Art Legacy Project.
  • The Commission joined the Idaho Bicentennial Committee for the creation and installation of a bronze bas relief plaque at the new Lolo Visitor Center to honor the late Stephen Ambrose. A dedication was held at the new Center on Friday, June 27, 2003.
  • The Commission partnered to present a February 22nd Lewis & Clark themed reception in Washington, DC as a part of the Western Governor’s Association conference.
  • Worked with the Montana Departments of Transportation and Fish, Wildlife & Parks for the transfer of Tower Rock to become Montana’s newest state park.
  • A February 5th press conference held at Travelers’ Rest State Park announced that the Lewis & Clark campsite at that location had been “officially documented”, becoming only the third site with that designation along the entire trail. The Commission provided research funding for this effort in its first year of grants in 2000.
  • Key Montana Lewis & Clark items were sent to Illinois to be placed in a time capsule to be opened in 2054.
  • The Commission partnered with the Great Falls Interpretive Center to present a May 14, 2004 “First Day of Issue” ceremony for three new Lewis & Clark stamps. Great Falls, Montana was one of only 11 such sites in the nation.




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