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Director's Report January, 2005

  • The Commission’s Education Committee continued to work this month to finalize the many components of Montana’s 2005 Arbor Day festivities and associated programs with Montana’s Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and the Dept. of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC). A new Lewis & Clark-focused curriculum was completed and placed on the OPI web site; a postcard announcing this year’s poster contest in schools was designed, printed and mailed; a news release was crafted and distributed; and a certificate of participation was finalized. The DNRC is planning to hold their main “state PR event” in a yet-to-be-determined location on April 29, 2005; the Education Committee will be a part of that event as well.

  • In early January the Qwest Foundation announced a new $15,000 grant to the state Bicentennial Commission. This grant will be utilized to offset community programming expenses to be incurred by the 2005 Montana Corps II host communities. Thanks to Montana President Rick Hays and the Qwest Foundation!

  • Publicity Update:
    • On January 4th I was interviewed for the Montana CNN “Legislative Update Program.” I addressed Montana’s overall preparedness for the Bicentennial and key legislation anticipated in the current session.
    • On January 22nd I was interviewed by Helena’s KBLL radio station to talk about the status of the Explore! the Big Sky National Signature Event. I was joined by Exlpore!’s new event manager, Julie Klesh.
    • I also this month made follow-up contact with both the Billings Gazette and the Great Falls Tribune regarding their respective interest in printing and distributing “over-prints” of 2005 Lewis & Clark inserts this Spring to visitor information centers.

  • The Salish commemorative event, to be held in the Sula, Montana area on September 9-10, 2005, is now entitled, “Encounter the Bitterroot Salish,” (modified from “Encountering the Bitterroot Salish”). A logo has been designed, and an application for funding was submitted to the 2005 Challenge Cost Share grants program. More event information is available on the Commission’s web site under “Events.”

  • January 14th was the “due-date” for 2005 Challenge Cost Grant Applications. I heard from the National Park Service that 142 applications were submitted this year requesting $11,229,021. Competition is still pretty keen! I know of numerous Montana applications; the state Commission submitted one for funding to complete a “Legacy Report.”

  • I have been in on-going contact with Larry McClain, the Executive Director of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles (DESC) re: their Montana plans for 2005. The trail has been split up and assigned to different DESC representatives to facilitate planning. Depending on where you live, you may hear from Mike Caswell (Fort Union to Fort Benton); Bryant Boswell (Explore! the Big Sky event); Tom Ronk (Great Falls to Camp Fortunate); or Bud Clark (Camp Fortunate to Lewiston, ID). These advance planners are now doing “re-con” trips to help determine what might be possible. Nothing is confirmed at this point, other than the Fort Union to Fort Benton segment. I plan to coordinate with these men over the next month with a plan being finalized by early to mid-April. Please call with any questions.

  • The US Army Corps of Engineers is working with the Lewis & Clark Training Academy in Great Falls to sponsor three training workshops in Montana this spring. These sessions will be in Billings on March 23-24, 2005; in Missoula on April 26-27; and in Great Falls on May 3-4, 2005. There is no charge to attend. Please call Ken Wilk at: 785-453-2338 with any questions.

  • The state Commission has been once again invited to partner with Montana’s two National Signature Events to host a display booth at the annual Tourism & Recreation Conference, which this year will be held at the Red Lion Colonial Inn in Helena on March 21-22. This year’s conference will again feature a Lewis & Clark panel session that will highlight the main 2005 events.

  • The recent Lewis & Clark “trail map” produced by the Montana Department of Transportation has proven to be a hit with many individuals and groups requesting copies. This map is now being updated to reflect the Encounter the Bitterroot Salish event and some minor changes with the Corps II visitation schedule (Corps II is now not planning a stop in the immediate area of Fort Belknap). This revised map will continue to be available on-line from the Commission’s website (www.montanalewisandclark.org, under What’s New).

  • This month Rita and I were very busy planning a February 14th Legislative Reception in the lobby of the Montana Historical Society. The reception will run from 5 to 7 PM. This reception will primarily focus on Montana’s two National Signature Events. Interested persons are welcome to attend. An Interim Report was also drafted and printed and will be distributed to all Montana Legislators to highlight recent accomplishments and planned events through 2006. The two National Signature Events will also have display exhibits in the Capitol rotunda during the day on Monday, February 14th.

    NOTE: The state Commission will meet next on Tuesday, February 15th in the Boo Auditorium of the Montana Historical Society. The meeting will run from 8:30 AM until approximately 4:00 PM. The agenda for this meeting has been posted to the Commission’s website.

  • Darrell Martin, a current state Commissioner, announced that he is now working full time for the National Park Service. His primary focus through 2006 will continue to be as an Indian Liaison for Corps II. Future plans have Darrell and family moving to Mount Rushmore in Rapid City, SD.

  • On January 13th I participated in a conference call of the Circle of State Advisors (COSA). In part the group discussed the following: the desire (and necessity) for continuing to meet as a state coordinating group after the Bicentennial; options for supporting the continuation of the Challenge Cost Share grant program; new material available from the National Council to include an educational CD and new poster; the on-going National Ad Council Campaign; winter plans for Corps II; COTA’s new Ad Campaign; and a transitional survey to be conducted of the trail states. The next meeting of COSA is tentatively planned in the Fort Benton/Great Falls area in early June to coincide with the opening of the Explore! the Big Sky Signature Event.

  • Legislative Updates – The state Commission has been following closely the following three bills this session: HB 164 and HB 301 both dealt with the continuation of sales of the state Bicentennial license plate beyond its 12/06 sunset date; and HB 417, which requested $1M to be split between Montana’s two National Signature Events. HB 301 and HB 417 have moved ahead, while HB 164 has been tabled in committee. If you would like to receive periodic Legislative Updates via our electronic List Serve process, please notify the state Commission office.

  • On January 19th the Executive Committee of the state Commission met in person and via conference call to discuss pending legislation, and the Commission’s position on key legislation. Notes from that meeting are posted on the Commission’s web site.

  • Also on January 19th I met and briefed MSG Ted Reichert, the new Lewis & Clark Bicentennial liaison for the Montana National Guard. Mr. Reichert will function through 2005 as the main point of contact for all Montana National Guard interaction with the Bicentennial. Please contact the state Commission office regarding specifics of National Guard involvement and support and for contact information for MSG Reichert.
 

 


 

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