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Director's Report December, 2000
- I attended a meeting of the MTRI Working Group on Tuesday, December 5th. This meeting of agency program managers discussed at length strategies to both involve respective agency directors as well as the new state administration in key travel and tourism issues. Shane Hedges, Governor-elect Martz's chief policy advisor participated in the meeting and was very interested in the MTRI group and its overall goals. A meeting will be set with the agency directors to coincide with the 2001 state travel & tourism conference for a signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding.
- On December 7th I spoke to a meeting of the Montana Sheriffs & Peace Officers Association (MSPOA) to discuss the concept of creating a statewide Bicentennial Public Safety Plan. Also participating in the meeting was a law enforcement representative from the BLM and the state director of the Montana Disaster & Emergency Services Division. It was agreed that "yes" Montana would be well served to have such a statewide plan in place to both coordinate emergency responses and to assist with necessary funding solicitation. I worked with the MSPOA and the BLM to draft and submit a National Park Service Challenge Cost Share grant by 12/31/00 in an effort to secure some critical start-up planning money.
NOTE: Following that meeting I made contact with the Montana National Guard, and had a briefing meeting with Major John Walsh, the "Bicentennial Liaison" for the Guard. The Guard is very interested in working to develop the statewide Bicentennial Public Safety Plan, and to also coordinate with the state Bicentennial Commission to coordinate ways partner on other efforts.
- During the early part of December the state Commission's Licensing & Sponsorship Committee reviewed the Fundraising Strategy submitted by The Hingston Roach Group's planning team. Following this review, the Committee agreed in concept with the planning team's preferred fundraising implementation option. With the Committee's concurrence, The Hingston Roach Group was then asked on 12/8 to submit a specific "Fundraising Implementation Proposal."
NOTE: On December 17th, I received communication from The Hingston Roach Group, citing that for various unanticipated considerations, they would not present a "Funding Implementation Proposal" to the Commission as had been anticipated. The Commission's Licensing & Sponsorship Committee will now re-group and explore alternative options for coordinating a statewide fundraising program.
- On December 8th I participated in a conference call of the Events Committee of the National Bicentennial Council. The main focus of this call was to discuss a process to move the proposed "National Signature Event" program forward. The Committee agreed to work with the National Council to review Signature Event proposals presently submitted to the National Council in an effort to "prioritize" those proposals, and to recommend a process to complete the selection of Signature Events trail wide. With the input of the Events Committee, the National Council will draft a program summary and mail it to event organizers and state coordinators in early January.
- The effort to bring together parties interested in the proposed grain loading facility near Pompeys Pillar continued this month with the Montana Consensus Council drafting and distributing an "Assessment of Findings." A conference call has been set for January 10th to determine if a face-to-face meeting of the parties would be beneficial.
- During December I worked with the Commission's Grants Committee to review and update the Guidelines for the 2001 Lewis & Clark Grants Program (anticipated to be officially announced in February, 2001). I also worked with the Montana Department of Transportation to update the necessary Interagency Agreement, as the MDT will be a major funding source for the 2001 grants program.
- In preparation for the upcoming Montana Legislative Session and the Congressional Session, I sent a memo to both the MTRI Interagency Bicentennial Focus team and the Regional Bicentennial Commissions throughout Montana asking:
- Were they aware of L&C-related appropriations received in 2000?
- Were they aware of pending L&C-related appropriation requests for 2001?
This information will assist the state Commission in maximizing, and not duplicating, efforts to solicit state and federal appropriations.
- On December 14th I traveled to Fort Belknap to address the MT/WY Tribal Leaders Council. I distributed copies of the new Master Plan, and stressed the necessity for tribes to be pro-active with bicentennial planning through the emerging Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA).
NOTE: I will address the next meeting of the MTTA, which will probably be held in mid to late January 2001.
- The agency partners of the Futures of the Past Task Force met at different times through December to coordinate legislative strategies for the upcoming State Legislature. The 2001 session starts January 4th.
- I participated in a conference call on December 19th to discuss the potential of presenting a Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Update as a part of a day-long workshop in Fort Peck in early April, 2001. Plans were tentatively made for this session to take place on April 5th.
- The new statewide Bicentennial Master Plan and Executive Summary was printed and distributed to approximately 500 key groups and individuals in mid-December. Contact the state office to request additional copies of the plan or summary. The Master Plan and Summary are available on the Commission's website.
- I took personal leave for much of the last week of December.
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