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Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center
Great Falls, Montana
May 12, 1998

Commission members in attendance were Matthew Cohn, Leif Johnson, Darrell Kipp, Teresa Korpela, Jack Lepley, Edythe McCleary, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone, Curley Youpee, Doug Monger, and Clint Blackwood, newly hired Executive Director. Guests included Jane Weber, Ken Luraas and Rita Cortright.

Betty Stone called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. She introduced Jane Weber who welcomed the Commission to the newly opened Interpretive Center. She said visitation is very high, that the month of May is totally booked for school tours, and students are being guided through the center to make the experience more rewarding. Currently 125 volunteers are signed up and trained to provide assistance to visitors. She invited the Commission to tour the facility after lunch or at the close of the meeting.

Ms. Stone called on Commission members to introduce themselves. She noted that Terry Korpela could not attend the morning session, but would join us at lunch. Jeanne Eder and Brian Cockhill were also unable to attend.

Approval of March 31, 1998, meeting minutes was called for by Ms. Stone. Edythe McCleary moved to approve the minutes as mailed. Jack Lepley seconded and the motion carried.

Mr. Blackwood was called on for Review and Approval of FY'98 Budgets. He began by thanking the Commission for giving him the opportunity to serve as their Executive Director. He then reviewed the FY'98 budget funding sources. Under Expenditures he noted rent in the amount of $600 and explained that he will continue to occupy his desk at Travel Montana for the next two months or until his replacement is hired. He and Jeff Tiberi, director of the Montana Heritage Commission, are considering the possibility of moving with Fish, Wildlife and Parks to the Burrington Insurance building at 620 N. Park. He said the rent will be reasonable, with a space where eventually they could accommodate an administrative assistant. They will immediately be able to utilize the secretarial and receptionist services of FWP, with relocation planned for early July. Mr. Blackwood explained that he has received assurances from the Montana Historical Society that the money for FY'99 not expended by June 30 will be carried forward to next year. Matthew Cohn cautioned that the job announcement for Clint's replacement at Travel Montana closes May 19, with interviews in early June. If the job is offered, the third week of June may be the latest that Mr. Blackwood can occupy the space at Travel Montana. Access, parking and signage for the Burrington building was discussed, and Mr. Blackwood explained that access to the second level is only available from the outside of the building. There is a conference room available in the building. The FY'99 rent item of $10,000 includes administrative costs such as copies, faxes, and a portion of the expense of an administrative assistant, and Mr. Blackwood estimates it will be adequate. He proposed using the unexpended money for computer expenses in FY'98, as well as some money not needed for rent, on office furniture. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the funding sources for FY'99. Expenditures include $8,000 for commission meetings based on the cost of $1700-$1800 per meeting for 12 members and Mr. Blackwood said a meeting schedule would be addressed later today. Under the Other category, $1,745 is estimated to cover the cost of a state planning workshop. Mr. Blackwood called for questions on the budget. Leif Johnson asked if a formula was used for determining the funding sources. Mr. Cohn responded that the amount contributed by Travel Montana was based on an estimated budget. He did not know how Brian Cockhill arrived at the $10,000 figure from the Montana Historical Society. Mr. Blackwood said one of his tasks will be to contact other state and federal agencies to see if they will commit funding for the Bicentennial observance. Mr. Cohn said he could guarantee that the money from Travel Montana will be available through July 1, 1999, but past that he could not say. Ms. Stone said that $5,400 covers the cost of three meetings per year, with an additional $2,600 to cover unexpected travel expenses between meetings. Doug Monger expressed concern that there was not an item for contingency expenses other than the balance of the travel budget. Mr. Blackwood explained that the $2,600 balance would be used for committee meetings. Ms. Stone said much of the committee work could be accomplished with conference calls, but this would increase the telephone budget. Mr. Blackwood proposed holding day-and-a-half meetings to accomplish more work for slightly more expense. Edythe McCleary addressed establishing a membership fee for receipt of the newsletter. Mr. Cohn raised a concern regarding exclusion of small groups and instead suggested asking for donations in the newsletter. Mr. Blackwood said if the commission decides to proceed with an annual state planning workshop, the workshop fee could include an extra charge to cover newsletter expense. He said amounts in the budget can be moved within categories.

Ms. Stone addressed the meeting schedule and asked if anyone felt the commission should meet more than three times a year. Mr. Stearns questioned whether three meetings at the beginning would be adequate. Mr. Youpee suggested touching base with Indian country regarding their forums and presentations. He displayed a poster of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation's 6th Annual Cultural Fair and Youth Symposium, September 21-26, which brings together 22 schools in the surrounding area. Their focus this year is on Lewis and Clark. He added that Fort Union is very interested in doing Lewis & Clark programs and suggested that maybe a future commission meeting could be hosted in Indian country. Mr. Cohn said he was comfortable with three day-and-a-half long meetings. Ms. Stone called for a motion to approve the budgets as outlined. Leif Johnson made the motion which was seconded by Hal Stearns. The motion carried.

The next item addressed was Review of the Job Performance MOU. Ms. Stone called on Doug Monger to report on the Negotiation Committee's arrangements with Mr. Blackwood. Mr. Monger reported that the Committee negotiated a fair salary within the Commission's parameters. He said part of Mr. Blackwood's concern was that the Commission had not developed performance standards, so the committee asked him to develop standards. These standards will be tied to the Commission's objectives as a whole and with some objectives for Mr. Blackwood as an employee. Mr. Monger said a good start has been made on outlining objectives, but they need to be fine-tuned. Once completed the guideline will serve to measure Mr. Blackwood's performance at the end of his first year and will be tied to a wage negotiation. Mr. Monger said a finalized version of the MOU will be presented at the next meeting. Ms. Stone asked for the Commission's preference regarding her signing of the MOU prior to the next meeting. Mr. Cohn said he would prefer that the committee bring the final version to the next meeting before it is signed by the Chairman. Mr. Monger then offered to mail the final draft to the Commission for questions or comments, incorporate any recommendations, and submit the final version to the Commission prior to signature by Ms. Stone. This was agreed to.

The proposed Mission Statement, Goals and Objectives were discussed next. Mr. Blackwood explained that he prepared this draft based on the work of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Advisory Council, who spent a lot of time drafting their mission statement and goals and objectives. He added that he and Ms. Stone have had some discussion regarding a strategic planning session as a part of the Commission's next meeting. Mr. Blackwood said he has talked with Virginia Tribe, the facilitator of a similar meeting held for the Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission, regarding her service as a facilitator for this group's next meeting. They also discussed the feasibility of further work on the mission statement, goals and objectives prior to holding a strategic planning session and she advised him that it would be best to have the full Commission, with the aid of a facilitator, work as a group to develop a more comprehensive list of goals and objectives. He suggested discussing the feasibility of holding a strategic planning meeting before addressing work on the proposed draft. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Mr. Blackwood outlined the sequence of first developing a Strategic Plan, then Goals and Objectives, and finally a Governance Plan, which would detail the roles of committees. Because the membership of the Commission will be rotating, he said this would provide a strong planning base for new members. He estimated the Strategic Planning session would take a day to a day-and-a-half and the second afternoon would be the Commission's regular meeting. Mr. Blackwood said the estimated Professional Fees item in the budget of $1,746 is a close estimate to the actual cost of $2,000 to $2,500 for the facilitator. He said this will cover Ms. Tribe's attendance for the two days, plus work done ahead of the meeting and follow-up work to develop the Governance Plan. Mr. Youpee agreed that strategic planning was a good idea. Mr. Johnson suggested that federal land managers should be included in the planning to clarify their roles. Mr. Stearns asked if there is an agency of state government that facilitates programs like this, and Mr. Cohn said there was. Mr. Blackwood offered to investigate the possibility of a state government facilitator and also the services of the University Extension Office. After further discussion, Mr. Blackwood proposed that members review the draft goals and objectives and let him know by June 15 if anything was missing. He said Ms. Tribe could then begin working with the draft prior to the Strategic Planning session. Ms. Stone called for a motion regarding holding the Strategic Planning Session. Mr. Stearns made a motion to hold a Strategic Planning Session at the next meeting. Edythe McCleary seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Stone asked if Mr. Blackwood should be directed to investigate other facilitator options or if a motion should be made to pursue hiring and setting up the meeting with Ms. Tribe. Leif Johnson made a motion asking Mr. Blackwood to review options to make sure this is the proper course, and if he feels comfortable that this is the right course, to contract with Virginia Tribe to facilitate the meeting. The motion was seconded by Doug Monger and carried. Mr. Blackwood will confer with Ms. Stone regarding his decision.

Doug Monger asked for clarification on the written comments on the proposed mission statement, goals and objectives. Ms. Stone asked commission members to note any omissions or inaccuracies and submit them to Mr. Blackwood by June 15 so he can pass the draft on to the facilitator before the next meeting. Mr. Stearns suggested sending along with this draft the goals and objectives developed by the previous Commission. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Blackwood to send a reminder to commission members early in June regarding potential changes to the bylaws and mission statement. Mr. Blackwood asked if the mission statement was acceptable commission and Ms. McCleary responded that she felt it was beautifully done.

The document, Draft Tasks to be Completed, was taken up next. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the revised version dated May 11, 1998, noting the changes made since the board packets were mailed. Ms. Stone suggested reviewing the tasks by category. Mr. Blackwood called for comments or concerns regarding the Administration section. Mr. Monger asked if the Commission is a government entity and Mr. Blackwood responded that the Commission is a state agency, administratively attached to the Montana Historical Society. He explained that the Society has a non-profit foundation already in place; therefore, the Commission does not have to pursue non-profit status with regard to grant applications, fundraising, etc. Mr. Cohn asked if the Foundation will charge an administrative fee and Ms. Cortright said they are considering establishing a policy regarding a fee. Mr. Cohn suggested investigating the use of the Montana Community Foundation, as their accounts are interest-bearing and they can match funds. Mr. Blackwood said that Sharon McCabe, Centralized Services Manager at the Historical Society has already contacted the Board of Investments, as the statute creating the Commission states that this account can earn interest. Mr. Blackwood explained that he plans to use this as a selling point in his fundraising efforts. Mr. Youpee asked if Commission members incur any benefits with their position. Mr. Cohn said he is unaware of any state benefits, other than reimbursement for expenses and the honorarium for attending meetings. Mr. Blackwood explained that if a person is functioning as a commissioner, they are considered a state employee from the standpoint that they are protected from liability as long as they are not trying to defraud someone.

Ms. Stone stated that issues under the Financial heading were already covered. Mr. Blackwood said all of these tasks will be worked on simultaneously. He plans to make agency contacts regarding investment in the Bicentennial observance. He asked when it would be appropriate for the Commission to propose a legislative bill for funding, noting that the funds could be invested now. Mr. Kipp said this issue could be addressed in the Strategic Planning session, but suggested lobbying legislators now to gain early, high level recognition. Mr. Blackwood said he understood that general fund money would not be provided until the observance gets closer, but added that groundwork could be done now. Ms. Stone said Commission members should lobby their representatives now, and encourage others to also lobby for the money now, and not wait until the year of the Centennial. Mr. Cohn said if a bill is introduced that has general fund impact, the Budget Office should be made aware of it immediately, and noted that the deadline for agency submissions has already passed. He said this may be moot for this session, but suggested contacting Dave Lewis with specific amounts and needs. Ms. Stone asked if it would be worthwhile to request administrative money for this session. Mr. Cohn said Mr. Cockhill should be consulted regarding that as the funding comes through the Historical Society. Mr. Johnson raised the issue of corporate sponsors, saying some of them may want to get on the band wagon quickly. He suggested determining what regulations or stipulations need to be attached to sponsorship. Edythe McCleary questioned whether other state agencies would contribute money to the Commission, and Mr. Blackwood explained that if approached correctly, there will be other agencies who would find it part of their responsibility to be involved, especially in terms of education. Mr. Johnson suggested establishing goals and objectives from an educational standpoint, versus a tourism standpoint. Mr. Blackwood explained his intention to utilize MTRI to contact key agency people to focus on Lewis and Clark. Mr. Monger suggested setting out a separate task that addresses how the Lewis & Clark account will tie with the Historical Society Foundation, how cash and investments will be handled, and their expendability.

Planning tasks were discussed next. Mr. Blackwood explained his vision of a planning workshop. He said the first workshop would be very basic, with representatives from the National Park Service, the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council, and Lewis & Clark state groups sharing their past and future plans. Mr. Cohn added that small communities are looking for direction and this may be helpful in providing them with some basic guidelines that would result in an integration of events. Mr. Blackwood suggested appointing a standing committee to help plan the workshop. Mr. Lepley cautioned that prior to the workshop, guidelines need to be in place to ensure a consistent message. He suggested it would be good if all of the Lewis & Clark Trail signs across Montana contained a distinguishing feature, readily recognized by tourists. Ms. Stone said this could be addressed in the Strategic Planning this fall, followed by a workshop scheduled early in 1999. Mr. Cohn said signage is a very logical item for the MTRI meeting in August, citing as an example the coordination other states have already accomplished. Mr. Monger suggested as a planning task the development of guidelines for signs and sanctioning events. Ms. Stone suggested this item should be under Events/Projects instead. Ms. McCleary raised the issue of enforcement. Mr. Johnson said once a logo is developed it should be trademarked and its use allowed by sanctioned entities only. Mr. Blackwood said he would welcome input from commissioners regarding potential revenue sources and questioned whether it should be a separate committee from Licensing. Mr. Monger suggested another item under Planning - Develop an Information and Event Clearinghouse.

Regarding Legacy, Ms. Stone said the options list will be developed through he Strategic Planning session.

Educational & Research Activities were reviewed. Mr. Kipp said he felt OPI would be a premiere agency to work with. Mr. Blackwood said this area could potentially be addressed by a committee. Mr. Johnson suggested incorporating a self-education aspect into Commission meetings as a means of educating members regarding the Lewis & Clark Trail. Ms. Stone agreed that this was a good idea, and said it ties in with Mr. Youpee's recommendation that a future Commission meeting could be scheduled at one of the reservations. Jack Holterman's genealogy research regarding Lewis & Clark was discussed by Mr. Kipp. Mr. Blackwood called attention to the last point under Education, "Establish a technical resource library(s)," noting this would be an effective means of providing useful, timely assistance to inquiries. Mr. Youpee suggested adding "Investigate On-line Educational Opportunities" as a point. Mr. Cohn suggested an umbrella page could be established with links to other web sites. He said there will be costs incurred with administering the page, and suggested that OPI, the Historical Society, Travel Montana, or State Parks could possibly administer it.

Under the "Other" topic, Mr. Blackwood reviewed issues related to the topic, "Drive the Trail."

Events/Projects was the closing topic under Tasks. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission will have to wrestle with the issue of sanction vs. endorsement.

Ms. Stone asked members to keep in mind that the "Tasks to be Completed" is a type of workplan for the Commission and it will continue to evolve. Mr. Cohn said it would be useful to have this same information in a timeline format. Mr. Johnson asked if "Promotion" should be a separate category, and Ms. Stone suggested adding it under the "Other" category. Mr. Johnson quoted House Bill 568, "...recognized leader in planning for and coordinating the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial observance in Montana," and asked if this did not also include being aware of promotion activities. Mr. Cohn said he would be happy to report on promotion at Commission meetings, and will possibly have Victor Bjornberg report annually or when the meetings are in Helena. Mr. Johnson said this is also tied to forming corporate sponsorships and licensing issues. Mr. Kipp expressed concern that the Commission has not been recognized yet across the state. Ms. Stone suggested that when Mr. Blackwood drives the trail, local papers should be contacted to cover the story. Mr. Cohn said Tom Cook, press officer for the Historical Society, is the person Mr. Blackwood should coordinate with in regard to publicity. Mr. Cohn raised the issue of press coverage at Commission meetings.

Ken Luraas, Jefferson County, joined the meeting at noon and was introduced.

A 30-minute lunch break was taken. Ms. Korpela joined the meeting during the lunch break.

The meeting reconvened with agenda item VII, "Concept Paper for Affiliate Group Plan." Ms. Stone said this draft plan was prepared by Mr. Blackwood according to directions from the last meeting. Mr. Blackwood reviewed the Purpose Statement, categories, expectations and benefits of Affiliates. A fourth category, "agencies" was added to the list. The annual planning workshop was discussed, with a registration fee to cover the workshop and possibly some basic costs of providing the newsletter. Recognition of Affiliates in the newsletter was also proposed. Mr. Blackwood asked for comments and Mr. Johnson suggested adding "Lewis & Clark chapters" as a category. Mr. Cohn suggested the committee should look at what kind of help communities and organizations will need in the technical aspect of planning and promotion of events and said possibility people could be hired in the future to provide this assistance.

Mr. Johnson recommended inviting a professional events planner to speak at the planning seminar. Ms. Stone suggested that this initial draft plan could be taken up by a committee who would bring their suggestions back to the Commission. She asked that any suggestions or comments from Commission members be provided to this committee.

The Governance Plan was tabled after discussion that such a plan would benefit the Commission; however, one could not be drafted until after a strategic planning session.

Mr. Blackwood reported on the 3rd Annual National Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Planning Workshop. He explained that the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation has been in existence for many years. Under them is the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Council, and this group has hosted three annual planning workshops, the most recent one in North Dakota in April. Mr. Blackwood said Montana is in the lead with regard to establishing a commission and hiring an executive. He said each state representative reported on their planning and progress along the trail. There was a lot of discussion about how to incorporate and involve Indian Nations with Native American speakers addressing their goals and providing input. Mr. Blackwood reported on the signing of a national MOU in D.C. between the federal agencies, BOR, Corps of Engineers, NPS, and Forest Service, agreeing to work together on the Bicentennial. Otis Halfmoon spoke on reconciliation ceremonies, past and future, that serve to embrace the Native American involvement. The hiring of a planning firm in D.C. to create an outline for a national marketing plan was announced, with its planned kickoff January 18, 2003. Mr. Blackwood reported on the discussion of a national event, stating that Homer Staves, KOA in Montana, is on the national council and is taking the lead on the structure and creation of this event which will be a moving marker. Mr. Blackwood said a series of five flags will follow the journals on anniversary dates, and communities along the trail will be responsible for moving the flags through their area, with local events scheduled in conjunction. Mr. Staves will draft an implementation plan and submit it to trail states for review. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission may want to consider this national moving marker as the backbone of Montana's statewide event in 2005-2006. He said he national logo chosen a couple of years ago is still very much in question as National Council members do not feel it is applicable to commercial application. He said attendees felt the National Council should move forward with hiring a designer to create a new logo. Montana representatives at the meeting were listed. Ms. Korpela reported on the education workshop, stating that curriculum nationwide is being revamped to include Lewis & Clark components. Committees have formed and they are considering taking two teachers from each state to travel the trail for hands-on experience, and then return to their communities to train local educators. Funding may be provided through corporate sponsorships. A follow-up meeting is planned for Great Falls during the "Week of Discovery," as there is great interest in the Festival, day camps, curriculum trunks, and how Lewis & Clark has been incorporated into the Montana education system. Ms. Korpela also attended and reported on a meeting that addressed marketing, events, and brochure design. She said an annual educational event is planned to discuss Lewis & Clark curriculum nationwide. Jack Lepley reported on sessions he attended which addressed policing and crowd management. It is his feeling that Montanans have not yet taken this into consideration, and cited as an example the potential crowd at Lemhi Pass on July 4, 2005. He said Stephen Ambrose spoke at one session, reporting that he has sold 1,200,000 copies of Undaunted Courage. He said state and national agencies were encouraged to plan for the impacts of large numbers of visitors. Mr. Cohn said it was his feeling that if there is not something for people to do at a particular site, large numbers would probably not gather. Mr. Lepley disagreed as he feels that based on the flags traveling the route many people will want to be at particular points along the trail on anniversary dates. Mr. Blackwood reported that the next National Bicentennial Planning Workshop is scheduled for April, 1999, in Vancouver, Washington. Michelle Bussard serves as Executive Director and David Nicandri is the incoming President of the National Bicentennial Council. Mr. Luraas suggested keeping local law enforcement involved in the planning process.

Ms. Korpela left the meeting at 1:30 p.m.

Proposed Bylaws were discussed next. Mr. Blackwood explained that he compiled these bylaws after reviewing several sample documents. Ms. Stone suggested addressing only those items question marked before referring the draft on to a committee. Under Article III - Meetings, the language was changed to read, "... shall meet at least three times a year." Item b. was deleted. Under Article IV - Membership, Item a. was changed to, "The Commission is composed of members as defined in Sec. 2-15-150, MCA." Under Article VI - Election and Terms of Officers, the question marks in Items a-c were removed and the language was left as drafted. Under Article VIII - Duties of the Commission, Item a. "Commission" was changed to "Montana Historical Society," and ends with "terms of employment." Articles IX and X were struck. Mr. Monger suggested including a statement in the bylaws regarding membership. The Commission referred further discussion of the bylaws to the Bylaws and Affiliate Group Plan Committee.

Logo Development was addressed next. Ms. Stone asked Mr. Monger to report on Logo Development as Mr. Olsen had offered at the previous meeting to have State Parks begin work on a logo design. Mr. Monger explained that Parks contracted with a graphics artist who has worked with Mr. Youpee to develop a logo. Several draft designs were presented for consideration. After lengthy discussion, a design was agreed on that will be referred back to the artist by Mr. Monger for further refinement. Black-and-white and color versions with different icons, and versions with and without dates, will be produced for consideration at the next meeting. Mr. Johnson recommended that the logo be trademarked with color specifications and guidelines established for its use. Mr. Monger suggested checking with the Secretary of State to ensure that this is a unique design. Mr. Blackwood said there have already been registrations made with the Secretary of State regarding the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial, and offered to provide those at the next meeting.

Licensing was addressed next. Mr. Blackwood said he did not have much to report, but he will begin researching licensing options and the possibility of contracting with a firm to manage the licensing program, which would include marketing, product research. Mr. Blackwood said there is potential for this Commission to contract jointly with the Montana Heritage Preservation and Development Commission for a licensing program. Mr. Johnson said this would provide added incentive for an agency if they had more than one product line. Under Reports, in Jeanne Eder's absence, Ms. Stone called on Ms. McCleary for a report on Events Calendar Coordination. Ms. McCleary reported that she has contacted the six regions and asked them to keep track of Lewis & Clark events. She has not heard back from them but agreed to contact them again requesting their events lists, which she will share with Mr. Blackwood. Mr. Stearns recommended getting on the Lewis & Clark chapter mailing lists.

Committees were discussed next. Ms. Stone reviewed the list of possible committees and added an Executive Committee to the list. The following committees and assignments resulted from discussion:

  1. License, Endorsement & Promotion Committee
    • Leif Johnson - Chair
    • Curley Youpee
    • Matthew Cohn
  2. Bylaws & Affiliate Group Plan Committee
    • Brian Cockhill - Chair
    • Terry Korpela
    • Jack Lepley
  3. Logo Design Committee (one time issue)
    • Doug Monger - Chair
    • Curley Youpee
  4. Education Committee
    • Terry Korpela - Chair
    • Darrell Kipp
    • Jeanne Eder
    • Hal Stearns
  5. Executive Committee
    • Betty Stone - Chair
    • Hal Stearns
    • Matthew Cohn
    • Darrell Kipp
  6. Personnel Committee
    • Doug Monger - Chair
    • Hal Stearns
    • Brian Cockhill
  7. Events/Calendar Coordination Committee
    • Edythe McCleary - Chair
    • Jack Lepley
    • Curley Youpee

Ms. Stone asked the committee chairs to report at future meetings. Mr. Cohn suggested that Mr. Blackwood use the committees as a sounding board; and will provide input when it is sought. Mr. Blackwood agreed with that concept, and will take the lead in generating discussion points. The details of how committees will function will be spelled out in the Governance Plan. Mr. Blackwood said he will be a part of the committee meetings, but said it would be appropriate for the committee chairs to present their reports at meetings.

The next meeting will be a day-and-a-half long strategic workshop, held in September, either the week of the 7th or 14th, probably in Helena. Mr. Blackwood will contact Virginia Tribe regarding her availability and will also investigate the possibility of using other facilitators, and contact the Commission regarding dates. The first State Planning Workshop will probably take place in the Spring of 1999.

Ms. Stone called for a motion to adjourn. Leif Johnson made the motion which was seconded and carried. The meeting adjourned at 4:05 p.m.



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