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Director's Report September, 2004
- On September 2nd I met with LTC. Jon Jackson with the Montana National Guard and George Donnely with the National Guard Bureau to discuss plans for National Guard involvement in Montana as the FY’05 budget includes increased funding and revised language outlining the use of that funding. Jon Jackson will attend the state Commission’s meeting on October 14-15 to brief those in attendance.
- Throughout the month I coordinated with Larry McClain concerning his proposed trip to Glasgow on October 28th. Among many other duties, Larry is the “community coordinator” with the Discovery Expedition re-enactors who are planning to travel the Highway 2 corridor and the Missouri River to Fort Benton in May 2005. I am coordinating a meeting of key communities to allow Larry the opportunity to convey their group’s plans and expectations. Jon Jackson with the Montana National Guard will accompany me at the 10/28 meeting.
- I took some vacation time from September 3 to the 13th.
- On September 14th I traveled to Missoula to present a Lewis & Clark update to the Board of Directors of the Glacier Country Tourism Association.
- On September 15th I traveled to Bozeman to meet with the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) and Dick Basch (the Indian Liaison for the National Park Service’s Corps of Discovery II). Dick reported that the NPS has secured funding to assist Indian and non-Indian presenters in the Tent of Many Voices, and that he is working to hire possibly two additional Indian Liaison staff for Corps II. Great news for Montana! Dick also expressed his strong desire to personally visit the Indian host communities in October or early November.
NOTE: In a subsequent conversation with Pat Jones (the Chief of Interpretation for Corps II), I learned that the NPS is making plans to visit ALL of the 18 Montana Corps II host locations yet this Fall to re-confirm set-up locations and programming processes. As previously communicated Pat has, at least for the immediate future, assumed the Logistics Planning for Corps II in addition to her Interpretation coordination.
- I traveled to Townsend on September 16th for a 5:30 PM meeting with the Disaster and Emergency Services committee. They were wanted to get a jump on planning for Lewis & Clark visitation in Broadwater County this coming summer.
- Throughout the month I interacted with the License Plate Committee of the state Commission to work toward a strategy for identifying a new sponsor for the Lewis & Clark license plate revenue. The current statute that directs those funds to the state Commission has a December 31, 2006 sunset date. A recommendation will be brought forward and discussed at the Commission’s October 14-15, 2005 meeting.
- From September 19th through the 23rd I traveled approximately 1200 miles visiting communities from Billings to Glendive to Wolf Point to Williston, ND and back to Helena via Hwy. 2. The following is a summary:
- Monday (9/20) – I had a breakfast meeting with key members of the Clark on the Yellowstone Signature Event planning committee in Billings. Points of discussion included fundraising, a great new promotional PSA they had produced, and concerns they had about the proposed series of interpretive camps I had been working on from Hardy to Lolo in the summer of 2005 (the concept of these interpretive camps will be discussed in some detail at the state Commission meeting on October 14-15).
- Monday (9/20) – At 2:00 I met in Glendive with the members of the Lower Yellowstone Regional Commission at their monthly meeting. Miles City had a very successful L&C event earlier this summer and is planning a similar event in 2005. Sidney is planning a large L&C event the MonDak Center in October of this year.
- Tuesday (9/21) – I had a 10:00 AM meeting in Poplar with the Planning Department and later the Tribal Council. Interest is high, and they are looking forward to the Corps II advance planning team visiting them yet this Fall.
- Wednesday (9/22) – I participated in a planning meeting for the “Lewis & Clark at the Confluence” event at Fort Buford. With two states and numerous interested parties involved, the biggest challenge to pulling this event off will be communication and coordination. Space will be very limited especially at the new Confluence Center, and the weather could be very unpredictable in late April/early May. Monthly meetings will be held from now on to enhance the planning effort. Diane Brandt has been hired as the Event Coordinator.
- Thursday (9/23) – I conducted a radio interview on KLTZ in Glasgow before departing for Fort Belknap and Rocky Boy (I was unable to meet with my intended parties). I also stopped to visit with the Havre Chamber and with Jack Lepley in Fort Benton on my return to Helena.
- In mid-September Rita prepared and submitted a grant application to the Qwest Foundation for $15,000. We are seeking funds to assist Montana Corps II host communities in 2005.
NOTE: The Qwest Foundation recently announced a $320,000 grant to the National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council to create an educational CD-ROM, and for financial assistance to states within their region hosting National Signature Events.
- In visiting with Hal Stearns, the Education Committee Chair, it was agreed that the next meeting of the state Commission’s Education Committee would be held later this Fall in Helena. The committee had discussed meeting in Pablo in conjunction with the Commission meeting on October 14-15. A notice will be forthcoming on the date and location for this next committee meeting.
- On Monday, September 27th I met with Betsy Baumgart, the Chair of the Commission’s Grants Committee. This committee is charged with formulating recommendations for additional distribution of grant funding by the Commission (i.e. the “contingency funds” identified in the Commission’s annual budget). Possible new grant allocations based on a prioritized listing, as well as proposed revised grant agreements, etc. will be shared and discussed at the upcoming state Commission meeting.
- On September 28th I met with representatives of Explore! the Big Sky and Travel Montana to thoroughly review and discuss marketing strategies and timelines. This was also a coordination meeting to minimize duplication of efforts. What is learned in working with Explore! the Big Sky will be applied to Clark on the Yellowstone in 2006.
- And finally, on Thursday, September 30th I met in Sula, MT (adjacent to Ross’ Hole in the Bitterroot Valley) with Salish representatives, the Western Regional Commission and other local interested persons to discuss options for a commemorative event in 2005. It was with great excitement that we heard that the Salish Indians from the Flathead Reservation were very interested in presenting a two-day POW WOW to be combined with a Lewis & Clark “re-enactment” of the L&C Expedition meeting the Salish in 1805. Many details are yet to be worked out, but tentatively the event is being called “Encounter the Bitterroot Salish,” and will be held on September 9-10, 2005. Pretty exciting news!
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