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Director's Report September, 2000
- In early September, the Events Committee of the Commission reviewed three Signature Event proposals submitted by three Montana Regional Bicentennial Commissions. After careful review, the committee voted unanimously to support all three proposals with strong letters of support as they were forwarded to the National L&C Council. The proposals were from the Upper Missouri Bicentennial Commission ("Discovering the Big Sky" - June 2 through July 4, 2005); Yellowstone County Bicentennial Commission ("Clark on the Yellowstone" - July 15 through August 3, 2006); Gallatin Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Association ("Lewis & Clark at the Headwaters" - July 15 through August 8, 2005).
- I participated in a Working Group meeting of the MTRI in Helena on September 9th. This interagency group discussed such efforts as creating a new statewide tourism strategic plan, and a comprehensive inventory of assistance for the private sector.
- In coordination with Jeri Mae Rowley at the Flathead Valley Community College, I arranged for local area "scouts" to assist in filming location sites for the Lewis & Clark 101 video now under production. Additionally, interviews that will be included in this 15-20 minute video are scheduled for filming during the October 5 & 6 conference in Great Falls.
- September was the final preparation month for the October 4 & 5 Commission meeting and the October 5 & 6 Lewis & Clark Conference. Both will be held in the Great Falls Holiday Inn. This included finalizing speaker arrangements, outlining the conference notebook, and the issuance of a press release.
- Pompey's Pillar became a focal point in September as the Montana DEQ shut down the construction of a grain loading facility being located directly in front of this National Historic Monument. On behalf of the Commission I wrote a letter to express concern to the DEQ (cc: to Governor Racicot) stressing that more time may be necessary to allow for further impact studies to be completed. At the drafting of this Report, the DEQ has in fact granted to the facility developers the air quality permit which was being sought. The BLM and the National L&C Trail Heritage Foundation have been very involved in this issue. An appeal of this decision may be made to the Montana Board of Environmental Review Board by an October 14th filing deadline.
- On September 13th I attended the third meeting of the Futures of the Past Task Force that is strategizing ways to create an on-going funding source for historical and cultural projects. The fourth (and final) meeting of this group will take place in Helena on November 16th to review proposed legislative approaches and draft legislation. If created, such a funding source would make available significant funding for Lewis & Clark-related projects.
- The second submission of a Montana Projects Report was made to the National L&C Council on September 15th. The 34 Tier I projects submitted this second go-round is a smaller, but more focused list of projects than was submitted in January of this year. Also included in this September 2000 Project Report to the National Council was Montana's "Two-most Nationally Significant L&C Projects." With the concurrence of the Commission, those two projects were identified to be the Travelers' Rest Campsite Research and Acquisition, and the Pompeys Pillar Interpretive Center projects.
- On September 19th I met in Wolf Point with the Northeastern Regional Bicentennial Commission to update them on statewide and national bicentennial planning efforts, and on the 20th I held a similar meeting in Sidney with the Lower Yellowstone Regional Bicentennial Commission. I also learned more of what is being planned locally in those two areas of Montana.
- Montana's Bicentennial Master Plan continued its development during September as I reviewed and edited drafts of the various chapters. The Master Plan will be discussed and presented in Great Falls in both the Commission meeting and conference.
- The proposed Lewis & Clark Bicentennial license plate made significant progress this month as draft legislation was prepared by the Legislative Services Division, and layout designs were generated by the KHG advertising agency. The proposal to create this new Montana plate to generate awareness and revenue starting in 2002 will be a topic for the Great Falls Commission meeting and the conference to follow.
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