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Montana Historical Society
Helena, Montana
June 2, 1999

Commission members in attendance were Matthew Cohn, Jeanne Eder, Leif Johnson, Darrell Kipp, Jack Lepley, Sharon McCabe, Edythe McCleary, Doug Monger, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone, and executive director Clint Blackwood. Society staff included Dave Walter and Rita Cortright. Guests included Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Knapp, Missoula; Maryann Huso, Governor's OBPP; Jane Weber, Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center; Jack Nesbit, Daniel Madsen, Heritage Design & Strategy, USFS; Wyman McDonald, Dean Graham, Charlene Schildwachter and John Foss, U.S. Forest Service.

Betty Stone called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and called for introductions.

Approval of February 10, 1999, Meeting Minutes

Ms. Stone called for corrections or additions to the minutes. Hearing none, Edythe McCleary made a motion to approve the minutes. Sharon McCabe seconded and the motion passed.

Update Report on L&C Interpretive Sign Plan AStrategy Project

Ms. Stone called on Mr. Blackwood to provide background information on this project. Mr. Blackwood explained that Jack Nesbit and Daniel Madsen of Heritage Design are the planning team contracted by the Inter-agency Focus Team to develop the plan for the interpretive sign plan strategy project. He explained that their charge is the development of the sign strategy, not the creation of signs. Daniel Madsen said their approach is to look at the world through the perspective of Lewis & Clark. Jack Nesbit explained that he and his wife are performing the historical research by utilizing the journals to develop a matrix that covers the entire state, looking for places where there is an opportunity to do interpretation. He said they hope to tie the L&C sites to present day communities, and expand that basic adventure story into the much broader world of Montana, the region, and the people who live here. He said the journals record the tracks, trade cloths, Indian's dogs, smoke, and war lodges that were observed by Lewis & Clark. All of this information can be utilized to broaden the story to include the people who traditionally have been left out. Mr. Nesbit said the journals are so rich that the problem is picking the places and coming up with the cohesive design that covers the entire state. Ms. Eder asked if they had decided how to approach the tribes. Mr. Nesbit responded that they have contacted the tribes, and asked who in particular should serve as the tribal contact. In return, many of the tribes are asking their elders for oral histories. He said they are not trying to tell the story, but instead are providing the opportunity for the tribes to tell their own story. He cited as an example the incident near Pompey's Pillar when Clark left two men in charge of horses that were subsequently stolen by the Crow, noting that this provides an opportunity for the tribe to explain how the horse culture worked. Mr. Nesbit said it is their job to tell the story of the Expedition so it will hold up over the next 100 years. Mr. Stearns asked about possible conflicts with communities that have plans to erect signs. Mr. Nesbit said the F.S. wants to erect the signs, but with the help of communities who have done careful research to support the language on the signs. There was also discussion of putting up parallel signs to reflect both the white and Indian view at the same location. Mr. Stearns spoke in support of unity among the agencies to produce a consistent message. Mr. Cohn said this plan could possibly become a document that could help create a federal appropriations request and this signage could become part of the legacy. Ms. Stone closed the discussion by saying that the key is to not discourage community signage projects, but to make them aware of the plan and encourage them to wait until it is out in September. Mr. Blackwood said the final design will be presented at the MTRI Focus Team meeting on September 1 in Helena. Mr. Nesbit and Mr. Madsen left the meeting.

Director's Report

Ms. Stone called on Clint Blackwood to present his Director's Report. He reported on attending a meeting on March 24th with the MDT Commission. He said they are very interested in and want to be involved in the Bicentennial, but are cautious about what they would be willing to commit to. They are in the process of creating a new rest area plan and are taking significant steps by planning to install porcelain fixtures and keeping the rest areas open all year. The MDT is also considering using some of the rest areas, such as Bozeman, as potential interpretive sites. Mr. Blackwood said he expects good cooperation, but funding will always be an issue. Mr. Monger asked about the availability of T-21 funds. Mr. Blackwood explained the MDT takes the money they get for enhancement and distributes it back to communities based on population. He said a number of communities are considering L&C-oriented projects that could be funded by the T-21 program. Mr. Cohn said it is not too late to apply for T-21 money for 2004. Mr. Blackwood said that once the Forums are completed and the summary document is compiled, it could be used to request T-21 funds for potential projects.

Mr. Blackwood reported on the Governor's Conference held in late March. Rep. Hill made a presentation for the $20,000 cost share grant received from the National Park Service. There was also an inter-agency panel where each agency spoke about their activities related to the Bicentennial.

The Travelers' Rest group met in Lobo on April 4 to discuss the recently located L&C campsite. They are attempting to get the site in public ownership and are addressing its interpretation.

On April 8, Mr. Blackwood met with Woman McDonald, B.M. representatives, and the Montana/Wyoming Tribal Leader's Council. He said the meeting was positive, and the tribal leaders were in favor of working on the Bicentennial within their own tribes.

The TRI inter agency group has held group meetings and is very interested in the interpretive sign plan and in doing research and a trail inventory plan, and in doing research which could provide estimates on potential visitor numbers . Mr. Blackwood offered to provide the Commission with their mission statement and goals. ITER plans to do a state-wide intercept survey this summer at key L&C sites in the state to determine how visitors heard of the sites, if they are potential repeat visitors, and what kinds of activities they may be doing. On the national level, the N.S. and the 11 trail states may try to pool funds to undertake a national visitation study within the next year. Mr. Blackwood said the 11 state travel directors met in Vancouver, Washington, at the Th Annual Planning Workshop of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council. He said their main focus was on determining potential visitor numbers, not marketing. Ms. McCabe said the Society is receiving inquiries on potential visitation as well, and said it is important that this survey be conducted soon.

Ms. Eder spoke about the national L&C Exhibit being prepared by the Missouri Historical Society, saying it may not have a venue in Montana. Ms. McCabe said the Society is working on securing the exhibit at the Society. Because of the influence on visitor numbers, Ms. Eder suggested the Commission should write a letter of support for the exhibit's showing in Montana, either at the Museum of the Rockies or at the Society. Ms. McCabe said as far as she knows, the decision has not been made, but Denver is a strong contender. She is in contact with several people in an effort to secure the exhibit for the Society, and noted that a representative from the Missouri Historical Society has visited the Society. She said Robert Archibald, past director of the Society, will make the decision and is looking for the location that will provide the greatest number of visitors. Ms. Eder made a motion to send a letter of support for the National Lewis & Clark Exhibit's showing at a venue in Montana. Edythe McCleary seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion and Mr. Johnson inquired about the purpose of this motion. Ms. McCabe explained that this national traveling exhibit, produced by the Missouri Historical Society. It will contain many of the known artifacts of the L&C Expedition and will travel to several sites, possibly Philadelphia, Portland, Denver and St. Louis. Ms. McCabe said it will cost the Society about $60,000 to secure the exhibit, plus the cost of remodeling the Haynes Auditorium. She said people following the Trail will not go to Denver, they will come through Helena, which makes the visitor research essential. Mr. Monger asked about funding, and Ms. Eder said that the Museum of the Rockies has told her it is no problem for them. Ms. McCabe said the Society has the legislative authority to renovate the Haynes and will raise the money privately. This will be done regardless of the National L&C Exhibit coming to the Society, as the Society will develop their own L&C Exhibit. Jane Weber suggested that the letter also contain a request for excess artifacts that are not included in the traveling exhibit. Ms. McCabe explained that minor traveling exhibits are planned for those locations that do not receive the National L&C Exhibit. Mr. Johnson asked how long the exhibit will run and when the decision on locations will be made. Ms. McCabe answered that the decision will be made soon, but the exact date is not known. Ms. Eder said they will have more information after their October meeting. Ms. McCabe said the Exhibit will probably be shown from 2003-2006. Mr. Johnson said the letter could include language to the effect that a quarter of the Trail goes through this area, and that we anticipate large numbers of visitors which will compare to the potential visitation in Denver. Mr. Kipp spoke in support of seeking major exhibits for Montana. Ms. Eder said the Washington Historical Society, in partnership with the Kansas and Virginia Historical Societies, will produce an exhibit on the post-Lewis and Clark military aspect. Ms. Stone asked members to make Mr. Blackwood aware of these kinds of opportunities so letters can be sent. Ms. Stone called for a vote on the motion, and it carried. Mr. Monger made a motion in support of developing a comprehensive inventory of the potential quality exhibits that are available. The motion was seconded by Mr. Johnson and carried. Ms. McCabe said the Society staff could probably provide that information.

Mr. Blackwood continued his report with an update on the Public Forums. He distributed and reviewed a packet of information that included the Forum Agenda, Mission Statement and Goals of the Commission, Commission membership, and an Executive Summary of the Miles City and Laurel meetings. He reported that attendance has ranged from 8 in Cut Bank to 45 in Great Falls. Extensive publicity has been done through the Historical Society. Mr. Blackwood introduced Gail Brockbank, who has been hired to assist with coordination of the Forums and the State Workshop. Once the 12 Forums are completed she will compile the information into a summary document that will then be brought to the Commission, hopefully at the September meeting. This will help prioritize the types of projects the Commission would like to undertake, and could be used to support a federal appropriations request. He said the Congressional delegation has been very interested in the Forums, and have been represented by staff from their state offices. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the remaining Forums which are: Dillon on June 8, 7-9 p.m.; Bozeman on June 9, 5-7 p.m.; Lobo on June 15, 7-9 p.m.; and Helena on June 16, 4-6 p.m. He referred to his map which denotes the Forum locations and the Workshop and the map that identifies the areas along the Trail covered by local community groups. These groups will eventually make up the Affiliate Group. Mr. Blackwood closed by saying the Forums are going well, are well received, and good information is being gathered. The information gathered in the communities will be compiled and sent back to the local contact for distribution to the participants. Mr. Johnson asked if organizational structure, in terms of communication, has been developed. Mr. Blackwood responded that it will evolve through solicitation of key contacts in communities. A certificate could then be created that names them as an Official Affiliate to the Bicentennial. An organization of these groups may be formed in the future, but initially this will provide information from communities regarding what they need from the Commission and will assist with statewide coordination.

Mr. Blackwood reported on the National Planning Workshop held in Vancouver. He said that representatives from the 11 states met and talked about the need for research in the form of a visitor study. He expressed concern that there is not sufficient communication and coordination among the participants. For example, the N.S. is planning to develop a traveling classroom that will follow the trail, utilizing satellite technology for uplinks, and at the same time NASA, the Dept. of Education and the Smithsonian are developing a virtual tour program and these activities have not been coordinated. He expressed concern that there is no reporting from the National Council back to the Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission regarding their plans. Ms. Eder offered to report. She said that the national logo design has not yet been agreed upon, and is being redesigned. She said they had a strategic plan developed, and now the executive committee has agreed that the executive director can spend up to $12,000 to hire a new strategic planning firm to conduct a new strategic planning session. She said there are problems with the leadership and the Council lacks direction. She will participate in a conference call tomorrow to address the specifics of the congressional appropriations request. They have a very small budget and fundraising must be addressed. An appropriations request has been submitted through the N.S. to fund personnel. At this time they have a half-time administrative assistant and Michelle Boussard is the executive director in Vancouver. She said the BIA in Washington, D.C., has agreed to place an Indian person through Federal IAP, to coordinate Indian activities. She said the Federal Agencies are very concerned about the National Bicentennial Council's lack of progress, and said if the Council folds, it would go back to the National Trail Heritage Foundation located in Great Falls. Mr. Johnson expressed concern that there is no reporting relationship between state commissions and the National Council. Mr. Johnson made a motion requesting a report or update in terms of the National Council, and that a commission representative be designated to provide input to the National Council. Mr. Blackwood said he communicates with Ms. Boussard, but aside from that the communication is very thin. Mr. Lepley reported that he has attended all four workshops and said the Council has not taken a leadership role. Mr. Lepley reported on his conversation with Dave Nicandri, where he asked if the National Council had plans for a national celebration or events. Mr. Nicandri responded that he did not think they would plan such events, that they expect it to develop from the grassroots up. Mr. Blackwood said Ms. Boussard has suggested establishing a group comprised of executive directors of the state bicentennial commissions, which would provide coordination with the National Council. He said his fear is that decisions will be made on a national level that will impact what will happen in Montana without the Commission having input. He cited the Moving Marker as an example. He said the same situation exists with the Federal Agencies making plans with out coordination that will have impact on individual states. Ms. Eder said she would bring this issue up during tomorrow's conference call. Ms. Stone called for a vote on the motion. Mr. Kipp seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Weber suggested drafting a letter to Ms. Boussard. Mr. Blackwood agreed that a letter be faxed tonight to Ms. Boussard saying that the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission needs to be included in decision-making on both a National Council and Federal level that could potentially affect Montana. Mr. Blackwood said Montana has four representatives on the National Council, Jeanne Eder, Jim Vanarsdale, Jane Weber and Homer Staves, and supported having a report from the National Council at Commission meetings. He said it is his role to coordinate with the National Council, and Mr. Johnson suggested this should be stated in the letter.

Mr. Blackwood continued his report saying the Logo has been registered as a trademark at the state level, and may at some point be registered on the federal level. He raised the possibility of ordering 250 business cards for commission members. After discussion, it was agreed that a generic card should be ordered with Clint's office phone number, e-mail and fax number.

Mr. Blackwood said he is working with Travel Montana to enhance their Lewis & Clark site to allow for information on events. He announced that a short-term employee will be hired this summer to collect information on events to be posted on the website. Mr. Cohn suggested that Native American information should be gathered for inclusion as well. Mr. Blackwood said there will be a survey effort in print and by phone to gather information.

Mr. Blackwood said Ms. Brockbank is working with him to plan the State Conference. He referred to the information sheet titled, AStatewide Bicentennial Conference, saying that Hal Stearns, Doug Monger and Matthew Cohn, were named as a committee at the last meeting to help plan the Forums and State Conference. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the proposed topics and speakers. Ms. Weber offered to provide interpreters from the Interpretive Center for short presentations. Mr. Blackwood asked for agreement that the Conference should begin on Sunday evening and run through Monday. He is working with Ms. Brockbank to determine the registration fee. The following day, on September 28, the Commission will meet. He asked members to review the proposed schedule and respond to him by next Wednesday with comments. The committee will continue to work on the details. Ms. Eder asked how the Lewistown community will be involved, in particular, the students. Mr. Stearns suggested using the Lewistown school auditorium for a presentation by Clay Jenkinson. Mr. Kipp raised the possibility of this becoming an annual event with an art show. Mr. Blackwood asked members if they agreed with the art show fundraiser concept. Mr. Kipp said the art show idea could be incorporated down the road, in a year or two. Ms. Stone asked if there were other opportunities for fundraising at this State Conference. Ms. Eder offered to donate her time to do her Sacajawea presentation. Ms. Stone suggested that the Fundraising Committee should meet to discuss the possibilities. Mr. Stearns suggested inviting people such as Russ Ritter of the Washington Corporation. Ms. Stone reminded them of Mr. Stearns' idea of commissioning a poster for sale. Mr. Lepley suggested presenting a Lewis & Clark Symposium in 2003 at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Ms. Stone suggested putting this topic on a future agenda.

Mr. Blackwood addressed the draft newsletter design titled, journal notes. The mailing list of approximately 1,200 names is being compiled. Mr. Blackwood said Annette Finstad is assisting with the newsletter layout which will be printed on heavy stock and mailed approximately three times during the first year.

Mr. Blackwood concluded his report by providing copies of his trail maps for Commission members from the MDT.

Bylaw Modifications Approval

Edythe McCleary made a motion to adopt the Bylaw Modifications presented at the February 10, 1999, meeting. Mr. Lepley seconded. Ms. Eder inquired about Indian representation on the Executive Committee. Mr. Blackwood read Article IX-Executive Committee, a. least one of who is a Native American representative. Mr. Kipp is currently on the Executive Committee. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried.

Legislative Wrap-up

Mr. Cohn said it was a relatively quite Session. He said once it was settled that $200,000 of Bed Tax was earmarked annually for the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission, any plans to alter the Bed Tax structure disappeared. He said overall, the current structure of the Accommodations Tax was left intact. While general funding was sought for the Commission in the beginning, it was clear that approach would not work. He said with term limits and elections, the Legislature and Executive Branch will be very different next time. He encouraged members to contact their area representatives early in the process. Ms. McCabe provided the Society's perspective. She said after an uphill battle, the Society did receive everything requested, except for General Fund for the Commission. She said planning should start soon for the next Session. Doug Monger said from the State Parks perspective, they received additional personnel they had not envisioned. They requested $275,000 of authority to spend their own money on Lewis & Clark projects and this was approved. He said the projects will be brick and mortar style and they are waiting to hear from communities, park managers, and park support groups as to what they want. He did say people do not want a legacy-style statue but are more interested in a land legacy. He said one related activity that is going on in Congress is the reauthorization of the Land & Water Conservation Fund. This is gathering momentum and a vote may come in late summer or October, which would mean $1-3 million for Montana. Mr. Blackwood said this is the same initiative that addresses BLM's intentions with the Upper Missouri, which is why Mr. Babbitt was floating the Missouri. Mr. Monger said the President has a proposal to use these same funding sources for a Federal Lands Only program for executive branch organizations. A bill has been drafted but it is not moving very rapidly. Mr. Monger said that at an earlier meeting he reported that Beaverhead Rock and Headwaters Park at Three Forks are primitive parks and their improvement is limited by statute. There was some interest in changing that status in the Legislature, but this did not materialize.

Mr. Blackwood called attention to the handout on the Lewis & Clark Tourism Marketing Meeting which was held in Vancouver, Washington, in late April. He suggested that members review this for information on what the other states are doing.

Committee Reports

Ms. Stone expressed Ms. Korpela's regret at not being able to attend today. In Terry Korpela's absence, Mr. Blackwood reported on the Education Committee. He said the meeting scheduled for yesterday was canceled. He said over the summer they will move forward with developing the clearinghouse concept so as to be more in a position to share calendar of events items, traveling trunk information, etc. This committee is also dealing with how to develop a Lewis & Clark 101 education piece for community people who will be on the front line during the Bicentennial. He said this program could possibly be developed through the Superhost Program.

Mr. Johnson presented the License, Endorsement & Promotion Committee report in a handout to the Commission. He said their committee has agreed to pursue the Request for Proposal process to contract an appropriate management firm to develop and implement a Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Master Plan. Mr. Johnson reviewed the components of the Plan as listed on his handout. He said they hope to have chosen the firm and have them on board by the September conference. The committee had discussed narrowing the choice to three firms and then have them make presentations to the full Commission. Mr. Blackwood said much of his time has been devoted to the following issues. One is having a Product Licensing and Sponsorship program as a major fundraiser for the Commission. That funding would be used for Commission sponsored state events, ongoing operational costs of the Commission, and for enhancing the community grants program. If available, additional money could be directed toward marketing. Parallel to that issue is the increasing need on the part of communities to have from the Commission a Master Plan for the observance. He suggested combining these two components and hiring one firm to complete both. They would have to incorporate all the components listed on Mr. Johnson's report, but most of those items are already being addressed by committees. Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission would not have much money to put into this up front, as the budget is around $25,000, but it would essentially pay for the creation of the Master Plan. As products are sold and revenue is generated, the contracted firm would realize a pre-determined percentage of that revenue. He said step one is the creation of a detailed RFP, which is currently in process. Mr. Johnson said identifying the groups involved will assist the firm in pulling the components together. He said the plan will require annual updates. Mr. Monger asked if the decision had been made to do product licensing, sponsorships and endorsements. Mr. Johnson said that decision was made early on in the Strategic Planning process. Mr. Monger noted that that portion of the State Centennial was very unsuccessful. He questioned what would be done with the revenue, how much money would be needed, and for what purpose, saying those questions should be addressed before deciding how to raise the funds. Mr. Johnson explained that page 2 of his report addresses these issues, and he reviewed those items. He said early on it was determined that Travel Montana would handle the advertising, public relations, and the sales efforts, i.e. trade shows, but in terms of promotion he felt the state was limited in what they could do. He said the Commission has more flexibility through use of the MHS Foundation. Ms. McCabe said the Commission can invest money and earn interest from it, and the attachment to the Society allows flexibility in selling and distributing items. Mr. Johnson said a dollar figure has not been determined yet. Ms. Stone cautioned that the Commission is only assured of $200,000 per year for the next two years, and that the Bed Tax could go away in the next session, and the Commission could be left without funding. Mr. Blackwood returned to Mr. Monger's question of whether the Commission should be in the business of raising funds to regrant to communities and sponsor state events. Mr. Monger said there is no question that the Commission needs operating funds and that the Bed Tax could be short-term. He said his concern is how to best serve the citizens of Montana in small communities, and did not feel it would come through product sales and endorsements. Mr. Cohn said this proposal is to hire someone to try and answer those questions. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission needs a broad funding base, made up of many components, and based on his and Mr. Johnson's conversations with people experienced in the area of product licensing and endorsements, Montana is potentially situated very well. Mr. Blackwood said he expects there will be state events that the Commission will have to fund that could not reasonably be funded by a community or group of communities. He said revenue generated from these areas could also be directed toward Legacy projects. Mr. Johnson said he expects corporations will want to participate in sponsorships and endorsements. Mr. Stearns asked for examples of what went wrong with the State Centennial. Mr. Cohn said Tom Daubert spoke to the L&C Advisory Council about the coordination of the Centennial through the Lt. Governor's Office. Their budget was small, coordination and planning were poorly done, they went through a series of directors, and when the Administration changed from Democrat to Republican, everyone with knowledge left and new people came in with nine months left. Mr. Monger said the Centennial product sales fell flat. Mr. Johnson said this was handled in-house, and Mr. Daubert suggested that handing this out-of-house would make the difference. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission can determine individually the appropriate use of generated funds. Mr. Johnson continued by saying that until we can quantify what will happen, questions such as whether Travel Montana's budget is large enough cannot be answered. The number of potential visitors will help answer these questions. Mr. Kipp said one of the first issues addressed by the Task Force was endorsements, and he felt there had always been consensus in pursuing this. Ms. Eder said she understood Mr. Monger's concerns, but said this is a national event and thus they should be thinking big in terms of marketing. Ms. Stone asked if the Committee was bringing a recommendation to the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said the Master Plan had not been voted on previously, and asked if the final three applicants should come before the Commission. Ms. Eder asked about a Montana firm as a finalist. Mr. Blackwood said the RFP would be mailed to Montanans and on a National level. He said there is a built-in Montana preference, but he did not want to restrict the choice to a Montana firm. He also addressed Montana-made products, saying it was preferable to have that criteria, and said this could be included in the RFP. Ms. Eder raised the issue of Indian-made products being authentic and appropriate. Mr. Monger said hiring for a Master Plan was one thing, but product sponsorship and endorsements was entirely another issue. Ms. Stone said that was also her concern, that she and Mr. Blackwood has long discussions on this issue, but felt that coordination under one firm would provide continuity, even if portions of the process were contracted out. Mr. Blackwood said it would be more expensive to do the two processes separately, and felt that subcontracting would obtain the needed expertise. Ms. Stone called for a motion. Mr. Lepley made a motion to include the Master Plan in the RFP process. Jeanne Eder seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Mr. Monger reiterated that he felt the effort would be watered down by combining both elements. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Johnson for his recommendation, which was for the Committee of Mr. Cohn, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Youpee, and Mr. Blackwood to narrow the selection to three finalists, bring those finalists to the Conference, and afterward conduct interviews before the Commission for their final vote. Mr. Blackwood will seek assistance in drafting the RFP, which will be issued through the Dept. of Administration.

Ms. Stone asked newly-arrived guests to introduce themselves; Stuart & Beverly Knapp; Dean Graham, Charlene Schildwachter, and John Foss, F.S.

Lunch Presentation by Stuart Knapp - AHow Lewis & Clark Influenced the Origination of American Natural History

Ms. Stone reconvened the meeting with the issue of considering the RFP at the September meeting, saying this may be too soon to give it proper attention. Mr. Stearns suggested holding the September meeting as scheduled, inviting all applicants to the meeting, and then holding another meeting in October or November to interview the three finalists. This was agreed to.

Ms. Stone called on Mr. Monger for the Funding Committee Report. He had nothing to report.

Review Tasks Completed Current Year

Because this report was mailed prior to the meeting, Ms. Stone called for comments and concerns. Mr. Cohn said considering where we were one year ago, he commended the staff.

Review of Executive Director

Ms. Stone closed the meeting for discussion.

Election of Officers

Ms. McCleary was called on for the Nominating Committee. She said Mr. Youpee wanted a discussion on limiting terms to one year prior to the nomination of officers. She said she had already asked Ms. Stone and Mr. Stearns if they were willing to accept a second term. She then spoke to Mr. Blackwood and they delayed the nominations. Mr. Blackwood read the Bylaws which states that Athe officers of the Commission shall be nominated by members of the Commission at a regularly scheduled meeting and be elected annually by simple majority of the Commission at the first meeting following March 1. The officers may be nominated and elected during the same meeting. The officers so elected shall serve a term of one year and may serve consecutive terms if so elected. Mr. Blackwood said nothing states that a vice chair automatically moves up to the chair. Mr. Stearns noted that three Commissioner's terms end in October, Ms. Stone, Ms. Korpela, and Mr. Kipp. Mr. Cohn said reappointment is not automatic, that members wishing to be reappointed must write the Governor. Mr. Cohn made a motion to nominate Betty Stone as president for a one-year term. Mr. Stearns said given his circumstances, someone else should serve as vice-president. The bylaws cover the absence of the president by naming the vice-chair to serve. The motion was seconded by Mr. Lepley and carried. Ms. Stone called for nominations from the floor. Ms. McCleary nominated Darrell Kipp to serve as vice-chair. Mr. Monger seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Stearns asked about having a consistent policy from this point forward. He recommended that the vice-chair should move to the chair. Mr. Cohn said this requires a bylaw change. Mr. Monger suggested that the terms are limited now by vote. There was consensus to leave arrangements as they now stand. Ms. Stone asked for volunteers to serve on the Executive Committee. Mr. Lepley and Mr. Cohn agreed to serve. Ms. McCabe offered her assistance.

Tasks to be Completed Next Year

Mr. Blackwood opened with discussion on planning, in particular, conducting up to three Indian planning workshops. He suggested the Commission needs to make a more structured effort this coming year to engage Native Americans in the Bicentennial. He reported on his dinner and discussion last evening with Mr. Kipp, Ms. Eder and Mr. Woman, regarding this idea. Mr. Blackwood said the exact format must be worked out but suggested working through Tribal Colleges to co-host planning workshops on each reservation or at three locations around the State. Another suggestion was to conduct a statewide Indian Planning Conference. Another idea was to schedule in conjunction with annual powwows sponsored by Tribal Colleges. Mr. McDonald, coordinator of Indian Affairs, was introduced, as was John Foss, tribal government specialist for Region I of the F. S. Mr. Blackwood asked for consensus that the Commission needs to have more Indian participation in the Bicentennial planning statewide. Ms. McCleary spoke of Mardell Plainfeather, head of Microbusiness at the Little Big Horn College, and Henry Thompson, her counterpart on the Cheyenne Reservation. Ms. Plainfeather is attempting to establish an organization of Tribes across the state with the focus of tourism and is writing a grant. She is interested in planning a conference and Ms. McCleary suggested that their effort could blend with ours. Mr. Blackwood relayed Mr. McDonald's suggestion that a coordinator may be located through an IPA, where a person could be lent by a government agency to the Commission for a year or two. Mr. Johnson suggested having a Native America lunchtime presentation for the Commission. Mr. Kipp suggested contacting Earl Oldperson to share his perceptions with the Commission. Mr. McDonald related his experiences, saying he has been in his position for two years and has still not had time to visit all the reservations. He suggested holding regional meetings, and possibly a large conference later. He said the Interior Department has agreed to assign 1-3 full-time people to assist the National Commission. He spoke on the importance of connecting to the past and bringing the story forward, particularly from the Tribal Governmental sovereignty perspective. Mr. Blackwood said this will not preclude his visits to the Tribes. He offered to bring a proposal to the September meeting. John Foss reported that three listening sessions have been held in Idaho, Great Falls, and Fort Berthold, and one is scheduled for Wichita. He said there was general consensus from the Tribes on three issues: rejuvenation of the culture, rebuilding of the language, and education or leaving a legacy for their youth. He said the missing component is how to help them accomplish these goals. He said partnerships will be necessary to accomplish this work. Mr. Blackwood will move forward and work with these people and report at the September meeting.

Mr. Blackwood addressed the development and implementation of a Commission grants program and referred to the Proposed 2000 Budget that allocates $76,500 for grants. He proposed that a portion of this amount, $16,500, be combined with a Rural Community Assistance Program headed by Dean Graham, of the Forest Service. Mr. Blackwood explained they have had for a number of years a grants program to communities, and have now received a number of applications that involve planning for the Bicentennial or the implementation of some Lewis & Clark projects. Mr. Graham provided an overview of their projects. He proposed partnering with the Commission to fund some of these projects. Charlene Schildwachter spoke, saying the Lewis & Clark Congressional Caucus wants to see communities and projects funded that result in lasting benefit to the communities. She said it would be beneficial for the Caucus to hear from the Commission and provided contact lists. Mr. Blackwood explained that by combining some Commission grant money with that of the FS, the grant would be administered by the appropriate National Forest. Communities must have an in-kind match and are required to have a plan in place. Mr. Monger asked if the Commission would have a voice in the grant project selection. Mr. Blackwood explained that their grant cycle is nearing its end, and two projects have been selected for this cycle. If the Commission joined at the beginning of the next year, they would have significant input as to the selection of L&C-oriented projects requesting grants. The funds would need to be to the F.S. by August so the paperwork can be completed by September, as their fiscal year begins in October. Ms. McCleary asked what the advantage was for the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said it would provide an opportunity to use some of our funds and leverage them with an existing program, and there may be some intangible political benefits as well. Mr. Blackwood said Gov. Racicot is supportive of this program. Ms. McCabe asked if the $16,500 would be used before October, 1999, or during the next fiscal year. Mr. Graham said it could be used either way. Mr. Monger spoke in support of partnerships and leveraging our funds, but said the Commission needs to look at leveraging itself in the public eye by developing its own grants program. Mr. Blackwood said the downside is that the Commission is coming in late in the cycle and missed the opportunity to review all L&C projects in the selection process. But supporting the Lincoln and Bonner projects would free up money for a third project. Mr. Monger said one of the priority needs identified in the community forums is the need for funding. Ms. McCabe cautioned that because of the different fiscal years the Commission could be in the same position next funding cycle of coming in late in the process. Ms. Stone said the advantage is that the grant program is already in place. Mr. Blackwood asked how soon the F.S. would need to know if the Commission decided to invest money in this fiscal year. Mr. Graham said the communities are expecting to hear from them soon. Mr. Blackwood offered that the Commission not provide the $16,500 for this year for the Rural Communities Assistance Program, but instead develop our own detailed grant program. He offered to bring to the September meeting a grant program proposal that would include an outline on how the Commission could enter into a partnership with the F.S. in their next fiscal year. Ms. Stone thanked the F.S. representatives for their proposal and for attending the meeting.

Mr. Blackwood continued with the Tasks to Be Completed Next Year by reviewing the items listed under Administration, Financial, Planning, and Legacy. Under Education & Research Mr. Blackwood explained his plans with Norma Nickerson, ITER, to gather as much data as possible with the funds she has left. Mr. Monger said he does not think ITER is the place to get that kind of information and suggested that Mr. Blackwood contact some nationwide firms for an estimate of cost for providing this information. Ms. Stone questioned whether it would be possible to get federal funding for a national study. Ms. Eder suggested contacting Homer Staves, KOA, as he might already have some statistics. Mr. Blackwood said he has a call in to Mr. Staves and has already contacted the Montana Congressional Delegation and Jana Prewett regarding funding for the National Council and for this impact study. Mr. Blackwood agreed to research firms, obtain cost estimates, contact KOA and the Congressional Delegations again, as well as the travel directors and N.S., and report at the September meeting. Mr. Monger encouraged Mr. Blackwood to proceed with the study prior to the September meeting if funding is obtained. Mr. Blackwood agreed to move forward and report. He continued with his review of Other tasks, specifically, developing a trail inventory. Mr. Monger explained there is a National Recreational Trails Act that will have $900,000 this year to allocate, half of which will be for non-motorized trails. He suggested a grant of up to $60,000 could be applied for to conduct inventories. The match is 87 to 13, so the $5,000 in the budget could be expanded by this match. Jane Weber provided and reviewed a prospectus on the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Stewardship Project. She said their director, Sammye Meadows, is located at the Interpretive Center in Great Falls. Their desire is to identify vulnerable trail segments where there is a potential for problems, such as areas lacking parking, sensitive areas, sacred areas, etc. An inventory is being conducted in conjunction with the University of Montana, and Ms. Weber encouraged people to contact Ms. Meadows regarding any vulnerable sites they may be aware of at this time. Phase I of the inventory is the development of a database. One section will include everything, plus sensitive sites, and will not be put on the Internet. The second, cleaned out database, will be available on the Internet. (Recorder failed.)

Proposed FY2000 Budget

Mr. Blackwood reviewed the proposed budget for FY2000. Under Personnel, Mr. Blackwood said the Heritage Commission has hired an administrative assistant and he may be able to utilize some of her time. Ms. Eder suggested hiring our own half-time person. Mr. Johnson felt a full-time person would be needed in a year from now. Ms. McCabe suggested providing a range of up to a half-time person now. Mr. Blackwood said his physical location will not allow for another person, and he hopes to maximize what he can with Mr. Tiberi this year and next year if he needs someone full-time, he will have to consider relocating. Ms. Eder asked where the potential Indian Coordinator would be located and Mr. Blackwood said there is not space where he is currently. The budget was amended to read Aup to 2 time. Ms. Stone asked if there will be any unspent money this year that can roll over to next year and Mr. Blackwood answered there was not. Mr. Johnson made a motion to accept the amended Proposed FY 2000 Budget. Ms. McCabe seconded the motion. She explained that unspent money can be invested and funds can be transferred among line items up to a certain percent. Mr. Blackwood will provide a periodic report on the percent of budget unexpended. The breakdown in the Grants category was lumped together. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried.

Miscellaneous Discussion Topics

Mr. Blackwood referred to the letter he received from the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, regarding the protection of the Yellowstone River. He asked for direction in responding to this letter as it relates to the Commission's priorities. Ms. Eder cautioned against becoming involved in potentially political issues. Mr. Monger said this request fits within the Master Plan development that will address whether money is spent on resource protection or community grants, and also the Legacy issue in terms of land acquisition or landscape preservation. It was agreed that Mr. Blackwood draft a response and provide it to Ms. Stone for her review. Mr. Blackwood maintained that the Commission will have to address this issue of preservation and restoration in a broader scope in the future. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Monger if he was recommending that a committee be formed to draft a policy. Mr. Monger responded that a committee is in place to do a Master Plan, and this will address the legacy issue. He said that legacy may be small projects, lands, or educational. He suggested responding to GYC's letter by saying, glad to hear from you so early on. We will keep you informed as the Master Planning progresses. We are willing to work with the B.M., FS, and FWP relating to land stewardship issues. He stated again that GYC is in exactly the right place at the right time with their request. Mr. Stearns said he feels the Yellowstone River will be one of the major nationwide issues.

Mr. Blackwood called attention to a letter he received from a Helena artist, asking that the trail heritage markers be redesigned. He has drafted a response to them.

Mr. Lepley asked if it would be advisable to invite a representative from MDT to our meetings. Mr. Blackwood will extend an invitation to them to attend Commission meetings and the workshop.

Mr. Monger suggested it would be good to have a Lewis & Clark liaison from the Governor's Office at our meetings to replace Linda Reed.

Mr. Johnson publicly and formally recognized Mr. Blackwood's efforts over this past year.

Ms. Stone adjourned the meeting at 4:15 p.m.



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