Strategic Plan | Master Plan | Current Commissioners | Newsletter | Press Releases
Director's Reports | Tasks Completed | Meeting Agendas & Minutes
Commision Conferences & Workshops | Regional Conferences & Workshops
LEWIS AND CLARK BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
September 28, 1999
Commission members in attendance were Matthew Cohn, Jeanne Eder, Leif Johnson, Darrell Kipp, Terry Korpela, Jack Lepley, Edythe McCleary, Doug Monger, Arnold Olsen, Hal Stearns, Betty Stone, and executive director Clint Blackwood. Society staff included Dave Walter and Rita Cortright. Guests included Jane Weber, Charlene Schildwachter, F.S., Peggy Stoker, Lou Bell, Mary Cooley, Dave Mari, BLM, and Lorraine Roach from Idaho.
Betty Stone called the meeting to order at 8:45 a.m.
Approval of June 2, 1999, Meeting Minutes
Ms. Stone called for corrections or additions to the minutes. Hearing none, Leif Johnson made a motion to approve the minutes. Hal Stearns seconded and the motion passed.
Ms. Stone announced that Terry Korpela has written to the Governor declining reappointed for another term on the Commission. Her current term ends in October. Ms. Korpela said this was a hard decision for her to make, as she has very much enjoyed her role, but feels she has not been able to devote adequate time to the Commission. She asked to be left on the mailing list and expressed a desire to remain on the Education Committee. Mr. Blackwood thanked Ms. Korpela for her role as chair of the Education Committee.
Ms. Stone announced that Leif Johnson will be making a career change and will move to Grand Junction, Colorado, in October and will also resign from the Commission. Mr. Johnson expressed his regret at leaving the Commission, and also asked to be left on the mailing list. Ms. Stone thanked Mr. Johnson for his work on the Commission.
Ms. Stone said her term and that of Darrell Kipp will be up on October 1. Both have requested to be appointed for another term and are waiting to hear from the Governor. Mr. Blackwood said the Governor's Office plans to make a determination within two or three weeks. He asked Commission members to share the names of qualified candidates with the Governor's Office.
Mr. Blackwood reported on his attendance at the Greater Great Falls Bicentennial Commission's first meeting on August 9. He said one of his goals is to finalize the affiliate group plan that the Commission has discussed in the past. This will progress as groups are formed and their level of interest becomes known. Mr. Blackwood attended the August 13th Idaho Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Committee meeting. He said many of their topics were the same ones this Commission is dealing with. A major difference in the level of impact on the two states is that the trail in Montana covers the entire state, and only a small portion of Idaho is affected. Idaho has hired a state coordinator, Pete Peterson, who will be an employee of the Idaho Historical Society, but his office will be located in Lewiston, Idaho. Mr. Blackwood said he hopes to make the same type of contact in North Dakota. He will be participating with Travel Montana and MSU Extension Service for six half-day Lewis and Clark community planning workshops in October. Specific information on the workshops was mailed to the Commission prior to today's meeting. Mr. Blackwood said he feels it is timely that communities around the state focus in on potential projects. He reported that the Education Committee met in Great Falls on 8/19 and Ms. Korpela will report on their meeting later on the agenda. Mr. Blackwood has been invited to speak at the Missouri River Voyage of Recovery Conference, St. Charles, Missouri, on November 8-9. This is co-sponsored by the American Rivers Coalition and the National Trust for Historic Preservation and they will pay his expenses. Mr. Blackwood will speak on the essence of community planning and the concept of what will be accomplished with the regional bicentennial groups. He announced a Trail States Coordinating Meeting set for November 2-3 in Portland. This will be an opportunity for representatives from the 11 trail states, state marketing representatives, DOT and federal agencies to meet with the Bicentennial Council. Ms. Stone expressed a desire to attend the Portland meeting and asked the Commission to cover airfare and lodging and she will cover per diem and any other associated expenses. Ms. Eder made a motion to support Ms. Stone's attendance at the Portland meeting, and to pay the requested expenses. Ms. Korpela seconded and the motion carried. Mr. Lepley said he will be attending the meeting in St. Charles, Missouri, but as a representative of Fort Benton's River Front, and therefore offered to cover his own expenses. Mr. Stearns expressed concern that some portion of Mr. Lepley's expenses be covered by the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said a policy is in place to cover the registration and $100 per diem for commissioners attending pre-approved Lewis and Clark activities. Ms. Eder suggested providing an in-kind statement if Mr. Lepley does cover his own expenses. Mr. Lepley again declined the reimbursement.
Mr. Blackwood said the 11 trail states are working on an awareness and visitation study and the RFP has gone out. Mr. Blackwood displayed a copy of the RFP and invited members to review it. Mr. Cohn said this research will not be able to identify a solid number of visitors, but will be able to estimate a percentage of the population indicating an interest in L&C. ITRR is proposing some additional L&C research. This will be presented at the TAC meeting at Flathead Lake Lodge this coming Monday and Tuesday. Ms. Eder asked for clarification on the purpose for the Trail States meeting. Mr. Blackwood said they probably address a wide variety of coordination, Corps II, and inventorying effort by the Trail Heritage Foundation Chapter, and the moving marker concept, but not much about joint research. Ms. Eder asked if there will be Indian representatives at the meeting and Mr. Blackwood said he did not know. Ms. Eder explained that the National Park Service Foundation will serve as the funding arm for the National Bicentennial Council. She said the NPS held four Indian summits, and about 40 Indians attended total. She fears that because the National Park Service is filling the role of fundraiser for the National Bicentennial Council, it will be done at the cost of Indian issues, and said this was her reason for resigning from the National Council. Mr. Blackwood responded that while he is concerned about what the National Bicentennial Council does or does not do with regard to embracing Indian involvement, he is much more interested in how Montana is addressing the issues. She felt that the 11 states should be aware of her concerns. Mr. Johnson asked if it would be appropriate to address the Commission's concern with the Trail States Coordinating Committee. Ms. Weber said she believes this effort will be co-sponsored by the Dept. of Interior, National Park Service and the Bicentennial Council. She will be attending a meeting on Friday with the Bicentennial Council to discuss the agenda, and offered to relay the Commission's concerns. Ms. Weber suggested addressing this by requesting that the NPS or National Council extend invitations to the states' Tribal Tourism Directors to attend the meeting. Mr. Johnson felt the Commission has an opportunity to take the lead with regard to recognition and inclusion of the Native American perspective. Ms. Eder suggested tabling the discussion until later when the October community workshops are discussed, saying she did not see any Native American materials included in them and wondered what Travel Montana is doing since they no longer have a Tribal liaison. Mr. Cohn said in terms of the workshops, Clint Blackwood, Victor Bjornberg, and Dave Sharp put them together and he could not speak to that issue. With regard to the Tribal liaison, a person has been hired and will begin work on October 18, but will not be available for these particular workshops. Ms. Eder questioned how the Indian voice will be presented in the workshops and suggested that a resource list of Indian speakers with specific information could be made available. Mr. Blackwood explained that the rationale behind selecting the communities was based on geographic location. The invitations have gone out to reservation representatives and he hopes they will come and be a part of the workshops. He said part of the workshop resource directory that will be available states that communities need to be inclusive of Native Americans. He said this is supported by information made available on the new website and every effort will be made to direct people to utilize the Native American contacts. Ms. Eder addressed the need for an Indian liaison on the Commission to assist Mr. Blackwood with tribal involvement. She also suggested that the BIA assign and fund a position on the Commission. Ms. Eder said her comments were intended to make the Commission aware of the situation with the Park Service and the National Council. Ms. Stone thanked Ms. Eder for her comments. Mr. Lepley said he has attended all four National workshops and feels the National Council needs to be prodded into taking a national leadership role so the trail states can set their agendas. He said the states will not be able to compete with a national celebration and said the coordination is essential. Ms. Eder said she did not feel the National Council can be influenced and did not feel that they will assume a strong national leadership position. Mr. Johnson made a motion that the Commission voice its concerns at the Trail States Conference and in a letter to the National Council, in terms of making sure that the Native American perspectives are represented in this commemoration. Mr. Lepley seconded and the motion carried. Ms. Weber suggested this be done before the weekend so that it can be discussed at their meeting.
Mr. Blackwood continued with his report noting his July 10 letter to the Missouri Historical Society regarding their traveling Lewis & Clark Exhibit, and said to date he has received no response. He asked if anyone present knew if the venues have been chosen for this exhibit. Ms. Eder reported that she is a consultant for the exhibit and will be attending the October 8th meeting in Portland. She said the venues have been chosen and Montana was not on the list; the exhibit will be going to Denver because of visitation numbers. Mr. Stearns asked who made the decision on the venues and whether there was any input by Trail states. Ms. Eder said the exhibit advisory group first met to assemble the known materials. She named Carolyn Gillman as the curator for the exhibit and said it was Ms. Gillman's idea to have the exhibit tour Trail states. But the final decision was made by Robert Archibald, past director of the Montana Historical Society, and is presently the director of the Missouri Historical Society, who wants the exhibit to go to more populated locations. Ms. Eder said the MOR wrote expressing their desire to have the exhibit in Montana. At the October 8 meeting, Ms. Eder will inquire about the decision to not exhibit in Montana. Mr. Blackwood asked her to report back to him following the meeting and he will address this in his director's report. Mr. Olsen said the Society contacted the Missouri Historical Society as well, and received a letter stating that the exhibit will not come to Montana. Mr. Olson said the probable locations are St. Louis, Seattle, and Denver. Mr. Blackwood said there are plans for smaller traveling exhibits. Mr. Monger said this could be a great opportunity to incorporate the message in the traveling display that Montana does represent 25 percent of the Trail and he suggested helping to design the display or side boards to encourage people to travel to Montana. Mr. Stearns said he fells that replica exhibits should be developed in lieu of the original exhibit. Ms. Weber said it was her impression that the smaller exhibits will be comprised of photographs of the original objects. Mr. Blackwood continued his report by addressing the KOA moving marker. He reported that letters have gone out from KOA to communities who have been chosen as an "official community" for the moving marker. Mr. Blackwood reported that he has heard that the NPS's Corps II (traveling classroom) may be combined with the moving marker program. This will also be discussed at the meeting in Portland.
Mr. Blackwood said the 12 public input forums have been completed and now the Commission needs to address how to move forward with Native American involvement and participation in Montana. He reported that Jeanne Eder, Darrell Kipp, Wyman McDonald, and Curley Youpee met with him to discuss the possibility of the Commission co-sponsoring Indian workshops around the state in an effort to increase participation with Indian country. They also discussed a possible statewide conference and/or a regional conference with Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota. He requested permission to move forward with this planning and suggested the following steering committee: Jeanne Eder, Darrell Kipp, and Curley Youpee, as well as other key Indian representatives. Ms. Eder said Mark Sherouse, Montana Committee for the Humanities, offered planing grant money and offered to pay for conference calls to plan the grant. She plans to work with Mardell Plainfeather, Germaine White, Darrell Kipp, Curley Youpee and Wyman McDonald to plan a conference for the Spring of 2000 that may result in a state-wide Indian Bicentennial Group being formed. Mr. Kipp suggested including the Small Business groups located on Tribal Community College campuses. Mr. Blackwood asked if she wanted him to be a part of this and she responded that she did, that she envisions a co-sponsorship with the LCBC and MCH. He asked her to keep him informed. Mr. Kipp suggested inviting the Tribal Community College representatives to the 6 October community workshops.
Mr. Blackwood presented a revised budget based on the Society's inability to provide $10,000 for the Commission's fiscal year 2000 budget. He said that $8,000 of the $10,000 budgeted last fiscal year from the Montana Historical Society was utilized by the Commission last fiscal year. Mr. Blackwood said the budget presented at the June Commission meeting of $210,000 for FY '2000, has now been revised to $200,000 for the current fiscal year. Based on reduced revenue projections, Mr. Blackwood removed $3,000 for trail inventory development, and replaced it with a $4,000 budget item for website development and maintenance which resulted in a net increase in Professional Fees of $1,000 (from $33,000 to $34,000). Mr. Blackwood said that due the amount of registration and sponsorship money brought in for the state conference, the State Conference in the Other category was reduced by $3,000 (from $5,000 to $2,000). He suggested that the resulting overall budget reduction of $8,000 be absorbed in the Grants category. The Grants program was therefore adjusted from $76,500 to $68,500. This leaves $8,500 for the remainder of the fiscal year in the Personnel category to fund up to a half-time administrative assistant. He has considered sharing staff with Jeff Tiberi or possibly utilizing a temp service where most of the work can be performed off-site because of space constraints. Mr. Blackwood said the final amount committed to the grant program could be set in January or February. Jeanne Eder asked about the possibility of obtaining free office space. Mr. Blackwood said he is only paying $250 for his current space and because the L&C Commission and the Heritage Commission are administratively attached to the Society, they had planned to locate together and share administrative support. Ms. Eder said she did not think the grant amount should be solidified yet and questioned why there was not a Petty Cash fund available for Mr. Blackwood. He responded that he has the ability to cover miscellaneous expenses in the budgeted categories. Mr. Cohn suggested showing Conference Income on the Revised Budget and providing a report on Conference income and costs. Mr. Olsen said from a Society perspective, in-kind services are not captured on the budget, as the Society does not charge an overhead for staff to attend meetings, process bills, and provide publicity. Mr. Cohn said this is also true for Travel Montana, in particular, the development of the new Intranet website. Mr. Stearns asked whether a combination of website developer and half-time administrative assistant should be considered. Mr. Blackwood said he would like to consider that seriously for next fiscal year and will provide a detailed report on the conference costs at the next meeting. Mr. Johnson suggested footnoting in-kind services from MHS, FWP and Travel Montana on the budget. Mr. Olsen said the actual costs are not captured at this time. Jack Lepley made a motion to accept the revised budget. Ms. McCleary seconded. Ms. Stone called for further discussion. Mr. Monger said he was not comfortable accepting the Revised Budget without the discussion of the total income based on Mr. Cohn's comments. Mr. Blackwood agreed with this. Ms. Stone called for the vote and a show of hands was required. Five members opposed accepting the Revised Budget. The budget was not accepted and will be brought before the next meeting. Mr. Monger asked if it would make sense to contract with Travel Montana for the website development and maintenance. Mr. Cohn said he does not have the staff available, but was happy to work with Stephanie Hanna to accomplish the work to date. Mr. Kipp made a comment that these are all state agencies supporting a state commission and said the philosophy he sees is that the agencies support the work of the Commission. Mr. Cohn responded that at legislative hearings his agency is required to provide dollar amounts and staff time involved with Lewis and Clark and the cost of the request is more than the work being done.
Because the site was presented at the Conference and to the Education Committee previously, and everyone present had already seen it, this agenda item was dropped.
As she excused herself from the meeting, Ms. Roach from Idaho, said it was helpful to have Mr. Blackwood at their August meeting and thanked the Commission for holding this Conference. She extended an invitation to members to attend their Lewis & Clark conference in Lewiston on March 1-3, 2000. She noted that many of their state's concerns are echoed in the topics addressed by Montana's Commission and commended them for taking the lead. She said Idaho wants to partner as much as possible with neighboring states and said they will be hosting the National Bicentennial Conference in 2002.
Interpretive Sign Plan Strategy Development
Mr. Blackwood explained that the steering committee of the MTRI inter-agency group met on September 1 and reviewed the 400-page document that the planning team from Colville, Idaho, prepared. The planning team looked at as many of the Lewis & Clark interpretive sites around the state as they could locate, focusing primarily on those interpretive sites that are state-owned. All the agencies and Trail Heritage Foundation Chapters fed in information and the sites were photographed. They attempted to evaluate where the story of Lewis and Clark is being told well, where it is not being told well, what pieces of the story need to be enhanced, and then made recommendations on how to enhance the interpretation. The steering committee determined that the document was too cumbersome, did not flow well from one section to the other, and more examples were needed on items such as how to create text, and how to solicit Native American input. The focus group keyed in on two issues; not enough Indian participation and input, and what the final document would be from Heritage Design. Heritage Design agreed to revise the document by separating much of the information and incorporating it in a separate supporting document. The heart of the plan will be about one-third the original report's size. The finished product will also be produced on CD, and will be put up on the Commission's Intranet site. At this point, the revisions are being made, and by early October the final report will be completed. It was decided that when the final report is received, a concerted effort will be made to contact each tribe and ask for their input at that point. Richard Hopkins, BLM and John Foss, FS, have offered to work with the Indian representatives on this input gathering effort. Mr. Blackwood said the Heritage Design team has had considerable contact with Indian representatives through the cultural committees already, so this will not be a surprise to them. The steering committee will take the input gathered by Mr. Hopkins and Mr. Foss and produce the final document. The steering committee will then need to develop a proposed implementation plan for the recommendations in the final document. Implementation will cost money and federal and state appropriations will be considered, as will corporate sponsorship. Mr. Blackwood closed by saying this plan is not meant to be the absolute master plan, but is a recommendation only, and will be made available to communities as a reference when they begin to address interpretive signage. Mr. Stearns asked if this plan will be ready early enough to accommodate Dillon's plans for signs. Mr. Blackwood said the Heritage Team has already met with people in Dillon and they will either incorporate the proposed sign design or Dillon will erect temporary signs and replace them later. Ms. Korpela asked if there is consistency in planning with other trail states and Mr. Blackwood responded that there is, that Idaho has contacted Heritage Design to perform the same work for them that they have for Montana. The cost for Heritage Design's work is $38,000; $20,000 from NPS, $10,000 from MHS, and the rest from FWP, Montana Power Co., BLM and FS. Mr. Stearns asked if Oregon is a part of this planning and Mr. Blackwood said they are not. Mr. Johnson asked if this topic should be brought up at the Trail States meeting and Mr. Blackwood agreed to show them the plan, but did not feel it was feasible to try to involve everyone in the plan.
Terry Korpela reviewed the Education Committee Report dated August 25, 1999, and the committee's Goals and Focus Areas dated August 19, 1999 (see attached). Mr. Blackwood explained that the Commission had previously approved the Focus Areas that had been submitted, and this document is a refined version. Ms. Korpela reviewed the committee's consideration of endorsements for products and websites, but said they did not reach consensus on this issue, although guidelines were developed. This topic will be considered again at their next committee meeting. Ms. Korpela reviewed the list of Goals and Focus Areas said the committee is seeking the Commission's approval for moving ahead with these plans. She said the committee agrees that the Commission should be the disseminator, not the creator, of information and urged people to provide information to Clint or Stephanie Hanna for inclusion on the website. Mr. Stearns complimented Ms. Korpela on her role on the Education Committee and said very good input was received from educators in developing these goals. Ms. Eder noted that factual accuracy was discussed, in particular, with reference to the sexual context in the journals, and that was the reason for the notation Ain context@ under Focus Area #1A (C). Mr. Cohn questioned how the goals will be implemented, as many of the ways to implement them are beyond the scope of the Commission. Mr. Blackwood answered that this was one of the key items to be taken on by the Education Committee following this meeting. They will create an action plan and identify who the implementers might be. Ms. Stone asked for a list of the Education Committee to be attached to the minutes. Ms. Stone called for approval of the Education Committee's goals. Mr. Johnson made a motion giving Commission approval to the Education Committee's Revised Goals and Focus Areas and empowering the committee to proceed. Ms. McCleary seconded and the motion carried. Hal Stearns was named as chairman of the Education Committee replacing Ms. Korpela. Mr. Stearns and Mr. Blackwood will set a date for the next committee meeting. Mr. Blackwood said that actually three committees will need to deal with endorsements and what information will be included on the website.
Leif Johnson presented the License, Endorsement & Promotion Committee report. He stated that the RFP was sent in early September to about 40 prospective contractors. Most are regional, in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana, but the list included nationwide contacts as well. A clarification conference was held on September 17, and Wendt Advertising was the only attendee. Proposals are due by October 8th and will be reviewed by the committee in early November. Mr. Blackwood said the selection committee will reduce the list to 2 or 3 finalists, and interviews will be set with Commission members in attendance. The committee members are Curley Youpee, Matthew Cohn, Leif Johnson, Jim Parker (Hamilton Stores), and Clint Blackwood. Arnie Olsen was named as a replacement for Leif Johnson. Mr. Cohn recommended that the full Commission attend the interviews. Mr. Johnson urged the Commission to move as quickly as possible. After discussion, the date of January 11, 2000, in Helena, was chosen for the next full Commission meeting and interviews.
Mr. Johnson continued with reference to the Endorsement Standards and Procedures document that was mailed to the Commission. Mr. Blackwood said that two issues somewhat overlap; the question of endorsements and events, and their listing on the Intranet and Internet sites. He cited Travel Montana's listing of events, saying they only screen to insure the event is tourism related, and utilize a disclaimer on their website. He questioned whether the Commission should follow this procedure or go through the process of endorsement. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Mr. Cohn endorsed the idea of modeling after Travel Montana's process, as otherwise an application, review, and appeal process must be developed. He suggested that the criteria for listing events would be that the event has a Lewis & Clark theme. Mr. Johnson sees great potential for national and perhaps international exposure with respect to sponsorships. He said sponsors will come in with certain expectations, and these could be handed to the local community to deal with. He cautioned that this issue may not be fully dealt with until the firm is hired and their insight into the matter is obtained. Mr. Johnson used Jeep as an example of a potential national sponsor, saying they are in it for the exposure and the Commission must address how to accomplish this. Mr. Olsen suggested that once they obtained the designation they would incorporate it in their own advertisements. Mr. Johnson said this was true in part. Mr. Monger suggested the use of some symbol that denotes event sponsorship by the Commission. This could also apply to groups that receive grant money from the Commission, whereby a notation would indicate that which events are partially funded by the Commission, but no further credit would be taken for the event. Ms. Weber said this has the effect of penalizing groups that have the initiative to raise their own funds and will encourage groups to come to the Commission for funding to obtain the trademark. He supported listing everything on the Internet without sanctioning. Mr. Blackwood said the National Council will address this same issue on their upcoming meeting's agenda, and Ms. Boussard had told him this may result in sponsorship as opposed to sanctioning.. Mr. Blackwood broadened the scope, saying this encompasses events, programs, activities and literature. Mr. Olsen supported a simpler process, saying someone will have to review all the documents for historical accuracy, and if this falls on the Society, he does not have sufficient staff to accomplish the work. He also cited the potential for offending communities. He felt product endorsement is more of a fundraising issue. Ms. Eder stated the issue is more complicated than this, that sponsors will want to see their money used in a responsible way, and the use of a disclaimer would not be adequate. Ms. Weber said Jay Rasmussen has volunteered his time to review all Lewis and Clark Internet sites. Mr. Kipp suggested a simple application form, based on the honor system, for use of the logo relative to events. The Commission would not be required to judge, the responsibility would be placed on the people submitting the request. He suggested that if misuse occurs, the Commission could censure. Mr. Blackwood asked by what authority the Commission could reclaim the logo and Ms. Stone said this could be covered in the application process by a statement such as, AThe Commission expects the logo to be used in accordance with the information you provided. If this is not complied with, the use of the logo will be rescinded.@ Peggy Stoker suggested crediting sponsors of events listed on the Internet. Mr. Blackwood questioned whether granting use of the logo denotes endorsement. Mr. Kipp said they would be merely registering with the Bicentennial, that this does not denote sanctioning. Mr. Kipp said a technical sheet on the logo's use should be provided. By obtaining the Commission's logo, they would also be included on the website and be linked to other sites, which may generate demand for the logo's use. Ms. McCleary spoke to the need for some review process, and suggested the Events Committee or Endorsement Committee could perform that task. Mr. Blackwood said preparing "Logo Use" technical sheet was feasible, but Mr. Monger drew a distinction between preparing a technical sheet and making some defacto statement that this meets the Commission's standards. Ms. Eder suggested a monthly review process to be completed by the Events Committee and suggested expanding that committee to incorporate local community members. Mr. Stearns suggested that review could be accomplished by conference call. Mr. Cohn said Travel Montana screens events for listing, but in the course of five years, only two or three were denied listing. Ms. Stone said the next step is the creation of a "Logo Use" application based on today's discussion and she asked Mr. Blackwood to do this and bring it back to the next meeting. The Events Committee, comprised of Edythe McCleary, Jack Lepley, and Curley Youpee, will be expanded to include local people and will become the review committee for that process.
Upper Missouri Planning Efforts - Dave Mari, BLM
Mr. Mari said BLM hoisted the concept of a national designation for the Upper Missouri River, and for some adjacent areas to the Upper Missouri National Wild and Scenic River. The reasons for suggesting this designation for this area were; the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial; impacts observed by outfitters, which have increased 25% each year over the last three years; the national resource values in the area, which include wilderness study areas; and the funding strain that has resulted due to inflation, as they have eliminated employees and rely more on volunteer help. Tourism was their last reason, trying to increase the numbers and increase the amount of money spent in Montana. Mr. Mari said public attention focused more on the designation of the area and not so much on what the management of the area should be. In general, the public did not support the designation change. He said BLM was not advocating new restrictions on public lands or impacts to private lands as a result of a new designation. He cited the President's naming of a new national monument in southwestern Utah ,which created quite a controversy, as a possible reason for the public not supporting this. However, he said a special designation can be managed in any way the public desires, there are no mandatory restrictions or exclusions. He said if a new designation is made it would be accomplished with public participation. If it is done legislatively, legislation would be introduced and there would be hearings. The same public participation applies if this is accomplished by Executive Order. Mr. Mari said if the Atake no action@ option is followed he sees this as a formula for resource degradation as usage impacts are already becoming evident along the river. The Secretary of the Interior has asked BLM's Resource Advisory Council, a 15-member board appointed by the Secretary, who are all residents of central Montana, to address this issue. The Council met in August and early September and are charting a course on how to proceed. They have agreed to focus first on the issue of management, to identify on a general scale what management recommendations they would make. This past June, the Council had already established a sub-group to deal with visitor services and visitor management. They have received diverse suggestions on how to deal with visitation issues. At their September meeting a lot of controversy was generated over the notion of who the managing agency should be on the river. Stephen Ambrose and Dayton Duncan were on the river with Secretary Babbitt in May, and Mr. Ambrose wants the NPS to be in charge, or suggested extending the boundary of the C.M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. The Council did pass a resolution supporting the continued management of the area by BLM. Mr. Kipp asked what will happen when the saturation point is achieved and Mr. Mari answered that BLM has a river plan in place that was developed in the late 70's and updated in 1993, and to date the visitor numbers in the plan have not yet been exceeded. Most people want to float from Coal Banks to Judith Landing, the Awhite cliffs@ area, and camping in that area becomes congested. Cottonwood regeneration is a problem on the river, as is continuous hot season grazing, and he said there is no simple solution. Ms. Stone thanked Mr. Mari for his update. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission has been identified as an advisory group, but he has not heard back. Mr. Cohn asked Mr. Mari if he will be taking this issue to the Governor's Tourism Conference in April. Mr. Mari said if the Secretary makes a decision shortly after the end of this calendar year, he would talk about visitor services and management issues based on the sub-committee's work. Mr. Stearns asked if Mr. Mari sees the Commission playing a role in terms of the river. Mr. Mari said he had not given it particular consideration, but cited the example of a class from Cascade becoming a mini-resource advisory council. He welcomed a recommendation from the Commission to the Resource Advisory Council, asking that it be done by the end of the calendar year. Ms. Eder said on a national level there is a Memorandum of Agreement with American Rivers, which was something she opposed because they spoke about restoration of the river. Mr. Blackwood said this Commission discussed this issue and it was made clear that it was a national effort, and this Commission wishes to remain neutral. He said if there is a proposal brought before the Commission for approval, the Commission would review it at that time.
Lunch was served and the meeting continued.
Proposed Commission Grants Program
Ms. Stone provided background information on the Grants Program which she said was discussed at a previous Commission meeting. At that time, it was proposed that the Commission coordinate its program with one that the FS already has in place. Mr. Blackwood was instructed to work out the details on how this could work and report back to the Commission. With that Mr. Blackwood distributed copies of a Draft Interagency Agreement and explained that he is proposing that the Commission enter into a cooperative agreement with USFS. He recommended taking the Commission's grant funds and putting them into a partnership with USFS to become a part of their Rural Community Assistance Program. Mr. Blackwood said there are reasons for the Commission to consider a partnership such as this, rather than develop its own grants program, which would require logistics, time and staff needs. One of the biggest advantages to cooperating with USFS would be the reduced time and effort on the part of communities to appling for funds. Mr. Blackwood said it makes good political sense to show a strong connection between state and federal entities on the Bicentennial. He referred to Mr. Graham's memo dated September 2, 1999, which has a draft Interagency Agreement attached that spells out how the program would work. This would be a statewide program, and the Commission would be involved with the FS on developing the selection criteria for the grants. The Commission would receive recognition as a part of this program, and the money can be used for infrastructure modification or construction, as long as it is proposed as a community project. He said if the Commission agrees with the concept, he would request that a committee be appointed to work with him to finalize the details over the next couple of months. Mr. Blackwood said the Commission will determine how much money it wishes to put into the grants, and the money will go directly to the receiving communities in parallel paths, from both the Commission and the FS, but it will still be a jointly administered matching grant program. Mr. Blackwood introduced Charlene Schildwachter (with the USFS), who was sitting in for Dean Graham. Mr. Monger asked if the grant money applies specifically to Lewis and Clark FS programs and Mr. Blackwood explained that last year Mr. Graham said the FS had about $100,000 to spread over the 3-state area and about $50,000 of that was for Montana. A portion of that amount would go to Lewis and Clark projects, as they also fund non-Lewis and Clark programs. Mr. Monger said this is a new commission and it needs to take credit where credit is due, and said the Commission should have its own grant program as he felt the Commission's identity would be overwhelmed by the FS. Mr. Lepley said from a personal and community perspective, he would prefer to apply for the combined larger pot of money. Mr. Monger said the FS has $50,000 and the Commission has $68,000 and combining with the FS will not increase the total pot as communities could apply separately to both groups. Mr. Lepley said this requires two applications on the part of the community. Mr. Blackwood said a community could apply for and use the Commission money as part of their match to the FS. Ms. Eder asked if the Commission would commit more than the $68,000 in the current budget. Mr. Blackwood said he is proposing this agreement for the current fiscal year with the $68,000 budgeted. Mr. Monger said the Commission has not determined whether it wants a matching process for its money. Ms. Stone said this is a consideration only, no decisions have been made yet. She reviewed the section of the draft on page 2 that outlines the L&C priority considerations that will be made. Mr. Johnson asked what amount of money the FS has specifically earmarked for L&C projects. Ms. Schildwachter said the details can be worked out jointly so the Commission is properly recognized. Mr. Blackwood spoke in support of a matching requirement for the grants program, saying he believes that 20% is the base minimum and does not want to split the $68,000 into two grant programs. Ms. Korpela asked if the Legislature mandated that a portion of the $200,000 they allocated to the Commission be returned to communities through grants. Ms. Stone said that was not the case, but in lobbying legislators they represented that money would be returned to communities through a grants program. Ms. Korpela said it is not difficult to make the 20% match, but would also personally prefer to only write one grant application. Mr. Blackwood said the FS has not determined what amount will be available for their RCA grants program for FY' 2000. Ms. Schildwachter said they are considering about $300,000 for the region, but the amount designated for Lewis and Clark is yet to be determined. Mr. Blackwood said Mr. Graham would like to know by mid-January how much the Commission would be willing to invest in the program. This would allow for reconsideration at the January 11 meeting. If the total amount is not allocated to grants, the remainder could be reallocated to other areas of the budget at that time. Mr. Johnson suggested waiting to see how much the FS will invest, but recommended moving ahead by agreeing to the concept. Ms. Eder expressed concern that the Commission not "over-spend" in funding a grants program as money may be needed elsewhere at a later date. Mr. Monger volunteered to work with Mr. Lepley and Mr. Blackwood to look at three or four options. Mr. Cohn requested that the FS determine the amount of money they will commit by the January meeting and Ms. Schildwachter agreed to get that information to Mr. Blackwood. Mr. Blackwood asked if the entire decision should be delayed until the January meeting and Ms. Shildwachter agreed that a decision in January would be timely. Mr. Olsen made a motion to instruct Mr. Blackwood to continue to work on this issue with today's discussion in mind, with the idea that the final decision will be made at the January meeting. Mr. Stearns seconded. Ms. Stone called for further discussion. Ms. Weber asked if the agreement could stipulate that the money will be used for Lewis & Clark projects and Ms. Schildwachter said that was possible. Ms. Stone revisited Mr. Monger's proposal of a committee. Mr. Olsen amended his motion to include the committee named by Mr. Monger and Mr. Lepley agreed to serve. Hearing no further discussion, the motion carried.
Next Step for Public Input Forum Information
Mr. Blackwood said he will go back to the bicentennial groups and communities that held forums and get the message out that they need to develop a short list of prioritized Lewis & Clark-related infrastructure projects and get them back to for review by the Commission at the January meeting.
Mr. Monger and Mr. Olsen left the meeting at 1:00 p.m.
Regional and Statewide Events
Mr. Blackwood referred to the map he prepared that identifies potential locations along the trail for regional and statewide events in 2005 and 2006, commemorating major historic events possibly on anniversary dates. He said these could be initiated or supported by the Commission, or by a Regional Bicentennial Commission in the area, which would make them community-driven events with state support. He said there is growing interest in what will take place on a statewide level in addition to community events. Ms. Eder asked how much is financially feasible and if the list should be pared down. Mr. Blackwood provided a handout of potential events. Mr. Lepley said Great Falls and Fort Benton are already jointly planning for events and Mr. Blackwood suggested the Commission could figure out ways of assisting their efforts. He spoke of the potential tie with the moving marker and the Louisiana Purchase celebration. Ms. Weber suggested coordinating state events with national events planned on the Mall in Washington, DC throughout the entire celebration. Ms. Stone said further discussion will take place on this issue at a later meeting.
Mr. Cohn distributed brochures titled, ALewis & Clark, the Montana Journey.@ Travel Montana produced 250,000 copies and estimate that they will need to reprint in a year. This brochure was designed as the fulfillment device for people who write asking for information on Lewis and Clark.
Ms. Stone addressed the proposal handout titled, AFuture of the Past@ (see attached). Ms. Stone read the goal and process statements and said four legislators will be asked to serve on the task force along with representatives from the four organizations involved. Mr. Stearns asked where this proposal came from. Mr. Cohn explained that the drafters are looking for a semi-secure funding mechanism and discussions have included topics such as an increase in the Accommodations Tax, or use of the Rental Car Tax. Mr. Cohn said the state currently has a $150 million surplus and suggested the use those funds in this regard. He said they are looking for $2 million to $5 million a year that would be available on an annual basis for all types of cultural and historic projects. He said the tourism industry realizes the importance of this and there are a number of allies out there. Mr. Cohn asked the Commission to endorse the concept and later identify two representatives to serve on the committee. Mr. Lepley made a motion to endorse the Draft Proposed Course of Action. Mr. Cohn seconded. Ms. Stone called for discussion. Ms. Cortright asked about the distribution of the document and Mr. Cohn said Mr. Olsen helped draft the document. He said Mr. Tiberi will present it to the Heritage Commission and it will be presented to the Tourism Advisory Council next week. Ms. Stone called for the vote and the motion carried. Mr. Blackwood will draft a letter back to Mr. Tiberi, as he is coordinating the effort. Committee appointments will be made in January when new commission members are appointed.
Mr. Blackwood asked for feedback on the just-completed conference. Mr. Johnson suggested considering fundraising opportunities at future conferences. Mr. Stearns asked that a tabulation be done on who attended the conference, i.e. educators, community forum representatives, travel and tourism groups. Mr. Blackwood said that such an attendee list will be generated and will be available to the Commission upon request. Mr. Johnson suggested taking the map of potential events locations to the Tourism Conference. The total attendance at the conference was 176, and Mr. Blackwood said that possibly 50 more could be accommodated. Mr. Lepley suggested looking for a larger facility. Mr. Blackwood will consider a centrally-located facility, possibly in Billings, Bozeman or Great Falls, to possibly be held on the last Sunday and Monday of September. Mr. Stearns suggested using an area school for the small sessions. Ms. Weber suggested, for the Tourism Conference, that Mr. Cohn could figure out a session where Mr. Blackwood could make an announcement on the conference and could then solicit agenda topics for the conference in a breakout session.
Mr. Stearns thanked Mr. Johnson and Ms. Korpela for their service on the Commission.
Ms. Stone called for a motion to adjourn. Mr. Johnson made the motion and Ms. Korpela seconded. The motion carried and the meeting adjourned the meeting at 1:30 p.m.
Back to Commission Meetings Menu
Welcome | What's New | Commission Overview | Resource Library
Chapter & RBC Info | Endorsement Info | Education | Funding
Montana Events | Help/Sitemap | Related Links
Feedback Form | Email This Page
For more information please contact:
Montana Historical Society
P.O. Box 201201
225 North Roberts
Helena, MT 59620-1201
Hosting donated by Tempest Technologies, LLC
Visit Virtual Montana to plan your Montana Vacation!