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Tasks Completed July 2005 - June 2006

  • The Commission office was open and staffed all year.
  • On-going communication continued with the Regional Bicentennial Commissions, the agencies participating in the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI), and the Bicentennial contacts on Montna's seven Indian Reservations. All of these groups were given time to report on progress made during our Commission meetings. The MTRI Focus Team met regularly this past year.
  • The Commission's 'journal notes' newsletter was drafted, printed and distributed in July and November, 2005, and in March 2006. The Commission continued to issue "list serve" updates as necessary. Interested persons were encouraged to register on-line to receive these updates.
  • Monthly Director Reports were drafted and distributed to Commissioners, and key stakeholders.
  • The Commission again coordinated with the Montana Historical Society to issue pertinent press releases as follows: (NOTE: As the Commemoration gained local momentum in Montana many articles were drafted and issued by local event organizers, and are not included in this list of Press Releases)
    • 9/8/05 - Montana and Idaho Exchange as the Commemoration Heads East
    • 11/23/05 - Work Continues on Lewis & Clark Events for 2006
    • 12/16/05 - Lewis & Clark Meet Santa Claus (an article to remind Christmas shoppers to purchase Lewis & Clark license plates)

  • Participated in numerous TV, radio talk shows, newspapers and magazines featuring Lewis & Clark story lines:
    • 8/16/05 – I was interviewed on Helena's KBLL "Coffee Break" show
    • 9/2/05 - Was interviewed by Federal Reserve re: a Bicentennial Update
    • 11/4/05 - Pat Williams conducted a PBR show with Bud Clark
    • 11/27/05 - Conducted a PBR show in Billings re: Clark on the Yellowstone event
    • 11/28/05 - Three radio interviews in Miles City, and two in Sidney to promote Bicentennial
    • 12/5/05 - Interviewed with Western Montana Monthly re: Bicentennial
    • In January I initiated discussions with the Great Falls Tribune for the creaton of 40,000 "placemat maps" showing key L&C events for 2006
    • 1/3/06 - Interviewed on Helena's KBLL "Coffee Break" show
    • 1/18/06 - A press conference was held in the Montana Senate Chambers to promote Senate Art Project
    • 1/25/06 - Hal Stearns interviewed for a PSA on KPAX TV to promote Senate Art Project
    • 2/1/06 - Hal was interviewed for a news segment bu KPAX for Senate Art Project
    • 2/16/06 - Interviewed by Miles City Star re: Bicentennial Update
    • 3/27/06 - Interviewed by Bozeman Daily Chronicle, and local CBS TV station re: Senate Art Project
    • 3/28/06 - Interviewed on "Berg in the Morning" show in Billings, and also conducted a "Face the State" segment for Billings area CBS affiliate
    • Mid-March - was interviewed for 2006 edition of "Re-Discover Montana" publication
    • 5/11/06 - Interviewed with a writer for Courier Magazine
    • 5/24/06 - Interviewed with Bob Struckman for article in Missoulan


    • After repeated efforts to gain additional funding support from Montana’s Congressional delegation, it became apparent that no funding was available for events planned in-state.
    • Annual funding from the Tourism Advisory Council (via Travel Montana) in annual amounts of $200,000 continued through FY’06.
    • The full $250,000 in Montana Board of Investments funding (loan) was repaid exclusively with proceeds from sales and renewals of Lewis & Clark license plates.
    • Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the delivery of the 2005 Challenge Cost Share Grant of $75,000 to the Montana Historical Society. The Commission received a grant of $13,000 to hire a graduate student from the University of Montana to prepare a “Legacy Document” which will summarize the work of the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission from 1998 through 2006.
    • The state Commission continued to partner with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial as we attended periodic meetings in FY’06, and supported the distribution of $1.5 Million from the sale of commemorative coins through the U.S. Mint to the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation for Trail Stewardship projects.
    • Travel Montana joined the state Commission in FY’06 to contribute $50,000 to the state Commission’s grants program of $145,477. Of this amount, $14,977 in Organization & Planning Grant funds was distributed to 15 regional commissions and tribal governments. Program Grants totaling $179,500 were distributed by the state Commission to key programs, including Signature and significant event grants and Corps II host communities.
    • The sales and renewals of the Montana Lewis & Clark license plate experienced a rather steady decrease through FY’06 as the Bicentennial activities wound down, and competition from other specialty plates significantly increased (I think there are over 50 such specialty plates now available in Montana). However, $132,724.00 was realized as revenue to the Commission during the previous 12 months from the sales and renewals of L&C plates.
    • The Lewis & Clark Legacy (fundraising) Campaign officially closed in January 2006. This past year the campaign was left “open” to collect and distribute pledge payments to four campaign partners. The final campaign recap shows $617,789 in total Gifts and Pledges received, and total expenses of $516,985. The Total Revenue for the campaign was $443,215.


    • Continually coordinated with regional bicentennial commissions, the eight recognized tribal governments in Montana, and the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team agencies. The state Commission again gave a financial contribution of $5,000 to the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA). The interagency MTRI Focus Team was instrumental in providing key support for the Bicentennial statewide as agencies participated in various ways to support the Corps II program (which is primarily sponsored by the National Park Service). The same agencies are now charged with submitting interpretive signing reports to the state Commission to complete a comprehensive sign inventory for Montana.
    • The Montana Commission continued to participate actively with the Circle of State Advisors (COSA), and to interact closely with the National Council of the Bicentennial. The Commission was represented at COSA and National Council meetings in Astoria, OR on November 8-9-10, 2005, and on March 31st in Great Falls. The Montana Commission, and Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls co-hosted a BBQ and informational meeting at the Interpretive Center on March 31st to show the success, and to suggest the continuation of the Challenge Cost Share Program after 2006 to Montana Senator Conrad Burns.
    • Montana communities hosted the National Park Service’s Corps II traveling exhibit in FY’06. Those communities hosting Corps II were Fort Peck, Glasgow, Fort Benton, Rocky Boy, Great Falls, Helena, Bozeman, Dillon, Hamilton and Travelers’ Rest at Lolo. Missoula and Lincoln will complete the Montana host sites for FY’06.
    • Montana presented many, many memorable Lewis & Clark commemorative activities in FY’06. From the remaining 4 days of the very memorable 34-day Explore! the Big Sky National Signature Event in Fort Benton and Great Falls, to the last event held in Montana at Traveler’s Rest near Lolo in early September, 2005, agencies, tribal entities, and countless community volunteers worked to put Montana’s best foot forward this past year. The return journey in 2006 will likewise create strong agency, tribal and community support from the Missoula area in late June, to Sidney in early August.

    Education & Research:

    • The Commission’s Education Committee scaled its work back significantly in FY’06. However, the following did occur:
      • Presented numerous updates and presentations to civic groups and organizations throughout Montana in FY’06
      • Worked with the Office of Public Instruction on updates for their Lewis & Clark web site. A new agency contact for OPI was welcomed on-board in January, 2006
      • Coordinated efforts with the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana to gauge the effectiveness of Montana’s Bicentennial through 2005. The state realized a 4% annual visitation increase overall, but visitation to Montana’s two national parks were down between 1 and 5%, while winter visitation was down almost 18% in that same time period. That seems to indicate that Lewis & Clark visitation to the state might be have been a contributor to at least a portion of that 4% increase.


    • The Undaunted Stewardship program managed by the Montana Stockgrowers’ Association, the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University gave an update on March 31st in Great Falls highlighting the various sites they have successfully developed on private farmland in the state. This is a very attractive addition to Montana’s Bicentennial.
    • Through the work of the state Commission’s Transition Committee, direction was given on the many details of how the Commission was going to transition out of its state-appointed mandate to lead and coordinate Montana’s Bicentennial activities. The Executive Committee of the state Commission will stay on-board through 2007 (which is in-line with the original Commission enacting legislation timeline) to handle any left over duties that may arise.
    • The state Commission joined in partnership with the Montana Historical Society to contract with a bronze artist to develop a large (16.5’x 8’) bronze bas-relief for permanent placement on the west wall of the Montana Senate. Miniature “maquettes” are now being sold, as are bronze and silver medallions to pay for this project. This will be a very visual, and long lasting legacy for all Montanans to enjoy for many years.



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