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Director's Report January 2006
- On January 3rd in a radio interview on Helena’s local KBLL Coffee Break show I reviewed the main events scheduled for this coming summer, put in a plug for people to retain their Lewis & Clark license plates, and reviewed the Senate Art project.
- Throughout January I had meetings with the state’s Budgeting Office to clarify the receipt and allocation of license plate revenue. It was eventually agreed that any revenue realized through 2006 would be credited to the Commission’s account even though we will have closed our offices as of 12/31/06. The Commission’s Executive Committee will however remain in tact through 2007, the date set in statute for the sun setting of the state Commission.
- The Senate Art Project gained most of the staff’s attention through January. A complete project report will be given during our February 16th state Commission meeting. The following are the highlights of meetings and discussions:
- In early January I contacted the lady in charge of suggesting appointments to state boards and commissions, and asked her if we couldn’t approach these governmental groups to market our maquettes and medallions. That answer was “no” (I thought that since ours was a state sanctioned project, maybe we could prospect for “buyers” from these boards and commissions). However a suggestion was made to visit with other possible contacts and seek their support.
- I had a meeting with Amy Sullivan with the Montana History Foundation, and she said she would contact Tom Nygard for possible purchase of a maquette
- On January 5th I took a maquette to Home Town Helena, a weekly meeting of prominent local businessman (good interest, but no immediate buyers)
- On January 6th members of the Historical Society and General Services met on site in the Senate Chambers to review options (and costs) for installation
- On January 18th a Press Conference was held in the Senate Chambers with Betty Babcock (a Chair of the Capital Restoration Project), and Duane Grimes (the now ex-Senator who sponsored the Legislation to create the Senate Bronze) present. All TV networks, print correspondents, and radio covered the conference that reached a statewide audience
- The Senate Advisory Committee met via conference call on January 20th to review progress made on the project, and to brainstorm sales and marketing strategies
- On January 17th I met with Ian Marquand with CBS station KPAX out of Missoula, who tapped a segment for airing on his Under the Big Sky program. That show was shown statewide on Sunday night, January 22nd.
- On January 25th Hal Stearns and I met with (KPAX) station manager Bob Hermes in Missoula, and discussed options for modifying the Under the Big Sky show to create a PSA. Hal will pursue that PSA the week of January 30th.
- The Circle of State Advisors (COSA) met via conference call on January 19th. We primarily discussed how we as a group would coordinate efforts to extend the Challenge Cost Share Program in some reasonable amount beyond 2006. Personal visits were made to key Congressional offices in Washington, DC by David Borlaug and Karen Seaburg the week of January 23rd. We also discussed the details of our proposed March 31st reception/dinner scheduled at the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Senators from Idaho, Montana and North Dakota will be invited. We agreed to also have a COSA meeting at the Holiday Inn from 1-3 PM on March 31st. The reception and dinner at the Interpretive Center will be from 4-7 that evening. An email was crafted by Mark Vessey, Rita Cortright and myself that was sent out late in January to get preliminary commitments from COSA members to attend this event. Tom Daubert, with the Undaunted Stewardship Program, will also make a short presentation at the dinner on the 31st.
- On January 9th and 10th I traveled to Cut Bank to attend another meeting of the Lewis & Clark Expedition in Blackfeet Country planning group. This commemorative event will be held at the Meriwether Meadows Campground area (approx. 6 miles north of Hwy 2, on Hwy 444) from July 26-29th. The next meeting has been set for February 20th in Browning. Tours will be offered to the Camp Disappointment area, and the Fight Site during this event. We also discussed having food and select merchandising vendors at the campground during this four-day event.
- The Montana Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign Fundraising Committee met via conference call on January 11th to discuss details of the formal closing of the campaign. Among items discussed Dan Krum offered to continue to distribute undesignated pledge payments to the Pompeys Pillar Historical Association, the Travelers Rest Preservation Association, the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center Foundation, and the Montana Historical Society. The partners voted to evenly split the monies held in the checking account. The final vote was to officially end the campaign as of January 11th, 2006. That final motion passed without dissent.
- On January 12th I traveled to Lincoln, MT to attend a community meeting in advance of the Corps II locating in that community. The usual turnout for a Chamber-related function is maybe 5-6 people, but we had close to 20 community members attend to learn more about Corps II! Interest was high, but some concern was voiced regarding the crowd already expected in town over that 4th of July weekend. Community leadership was discussed, and it was agreed to let folks think about the project, and then meet again to select various community leaders. Corps II will be in Lincoln from June 30 to July 2nd.
- A Livingston representative called and requested $1,000 to off-set anticipated expenses to bring in nationally recognized speaker Gary Moulton to their July event to dedicate their Sacajawea statue. Also in January the Lewis & Clark Honor Guard sent me a note requesting $2,000 for their group in 2006. I emailed both to say “no guarantees”, but I would bring both requests up to the state Commission during our next meeting in Miles City on February 16th.
- In my last report I believe I alluded to some film that was shot in the Loma area by KRTV out of Great Falls that we might be able to obtain for our archival files. This footage I thought would be some additional shots of the re-created 1805 campsite at Decision Point. As it turned out that footage was the same as what we already had in our files that Peggy Bourne had sent to us. We cancelled our order with KRTV.
- The National Park Service Advisory Board sent notice in January that they had recently voted to recommend to the Secretary of the Interior that the new (larger) boundaries of the Traveler’s Rest State Park be officially recognized, along with the archeological significance of that site.
- Also in January I have been working with the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles representative, Bryant Boswell (Captain Lewis to those that know Bryant), and assisting him in his fundraising effort to have a heroic sized bust of Captain William Clark bronzed and placed at the Pompeys Pillar site this coming summer. The fundraising is going well at this point in time. I have been in close contact with Bureau of Land Management in this effort.
- I went to Billings on Monday, January 23rd to participate in their “Media and Partner Luncheon”. This event was held at the Mansfield Center located near the St. Vincent’s Hospital complex. Following this luncheon I met briefly with Melody Dobson and Robbie Carpenter to discuss some event planning details. They are very close to having all of their fundraising complete.
- On January 25th I was in Missoula to attend a meeting of their Regional Bicentennial Commission. The turnout was great, with probably 25-30 in attendance. They first updated their organizational structure and elected new leadership (which was the same as had been leading this group the past few months). The Lewis & Clark in the Rockies Bicentennial Rendezvous will take place from June 21 to July 9, 2006, with Corps II being at the South Gate Mall from June 21- July 25th. The 200-year observance of Lewis & Clark being at Traveler’s Rest runs from June 30 – July 3rd. Congrats should go to Margaret Gorski and Scott Sproull for conducting this very informative and timely meeting.
- I have been lately looking for the COSA Trail States Banner. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, please let me know. It is about 8’ tall by 10’ wide, and was last seen in the Explore! the Big Sky vendor area. I have folks in Great Falls trying to locate this banner, which if found will be next on display at Idaho’s National Signature Event in mid-June.
- I have contacted the Great Falls Tribune and have talked to them about producing a new “placemat map” for 2006. This map has advertising around the borders, and has the current Lewis & Clark Corps II sites listed as well as the key state events noted. The Montana Department of Transportation will make the necessary map changes, and then forward to the Tribune for printing (are only getting 40,000 made this year). We plan to have this map available as handouts during the upcoming Governor’s Travel & Tourism Conference on April 10 & 11 (Rita and I are planning to attend and have display booth; I will moderate a panel with 2006 event coordinators).
- A new OPI contact has been named. She is Tara Jensen. Hal and I met with her on January 31st to brief her on key Lewis & Clark projects planned for 2006.
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