journal notes

March 2001    Issue No. 3 Vol. 1

2001 Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Grant Program Announced

Up to $200,000 in grant funds will be awarded to selected Montana Lewis & Clark-related projects through the 2001 Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Grant Program. Funding for the grant program is provided by the Montana Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Commission and its partners: the Montana Dept. of Transportation and the Montana Tourism Advisory Council/ Travel Montana. The Bicentennial Grants are available to non-profit organizations and require a grant funding match. The Grant Guidelines and Application are available through the Regional Bicentennial Commissions (RBC), the State Commission office or its website: Deadline for the grant application is April 13, 2001. The 2001 grant award recipients will be announced in mid-June.

Upcoming Meetings, Workshops, Conferences

Montana L&C Bicentennial Commission:
- June 12, 2001, Missoula
- Oct. 10-11, 2001, Billings
Circle of Tribal Advisors:
- April 21-22, 2001, Omaha
Circle of State Advisors:
- April 22, 2001, Omaha
L&C Trail Heritage Foundation Board:
- April 22, 2001, Omaha
National Council Meeting & Workshops:
- April 21-26, 2001, Omaha
3rd Annual MT Lewis & Clark Conference:
- October 11-12, 2001, Billings

Legislative Update

The 57th Montana Legislature is in session. While it is impossible to provide you a "real time" legislative update through this newsletter, we can share with you a brief overview of legislative efforts being supported by the State Commission. If you are interested in receiving weekly updates on legislation, please contact the State Commission office.

  • Heritage Tourism Program - As a result of participating in the Future of the Past Task Force meetings this past year, the State Commission is supporting legislative initiatives to secure funding to develop and implement an on-going program for the protection and preservation of Montana's historic and cultural heritage. Lewis & Clark projects would be eligible for funds through this statewide program. The proposed funding sources for the Heritage Tourism Program are either an up-front $40 million state coal tax loan to be repaid by revenues from a 1% increase in the 4% Montana Lodging Facility Use Tax, (tourism "bed tax"), or without the loan and simply using revenues from the 1% increase in the tourism "bed tax."
  • Bicentennial License Plate - Senator Fred Thomas has introduced legislation to create the Montana Bicentennial License Plate to be available by January 2002. Revenues from the license plate sales would be available to non-profit groups through the State Commission's Bicentennial Grants Program.
  • Monetary Match for Federal & Private-Sector Grants - In the Montana Historical Society's proposed budget for the next two years, $200,000 is being requested to be used as matching funds for either federal or private-sector grants related to the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. If approved, this would create a financial tool to ensure that Montana interests do not miss out on grant funding due to the lack of critical "match funds."

Education Update

The State Commission's Education Committee and its partners are making good progress on three exciting programs:

  • A new education video, "Lewis & Clark: Montana's Story," is nearing completion. The 20-minute video provides an overview of the Lewis & Clark Expedition's Montana experience with references to what is available to see and do today. Travel Montana's statewide SUPERHOST! Coordinator Jeri Mae Rowley has directed the project. She will debut the video during a break-out session on Montana's L&C Master Plan at the 2001 Governor's Conference on Tourism and Recreation in Helena, March 26-27.
  • A comprehensive Education Directory is planned for completion by MSU's Project WET program in Fall 2001. The new directory will help students, teachers and the general public locate educational resources regarding Lewis & Clark in Montana. Once completed, the directory will be posted in the education section of the Commission's website.
  • A Lewis & Clark Symposium is in the very early development stages. A planning group is looking at addressing some very challenging, "non-traditional" issues and topics at this symposium; topics that would reflect both Indian and non-Indian perspectives on the Expedition. No firm decisions have been made on dates, but Spring 2002 has been penciled in.

If interested in participating in the Education Committee's efforts, please contact the State Commission. Meeting notes can be viewed on the Commission's website.

Statewide Public Safety Plan to be Crafted

Inspired by the Idaho Bicentennial Committee, Montana is moving forward to develop a Statewide Public Safety Plan. An "umbrella" emergency response manual outlining critical communication and coordination processes will be developed between national, state, county and community response units in order to be better prepared for the unexpected during the Bicentennial. The Montana Sheriff's & Peace Officer's Association, Montana Disaster & Emergency Services Department, Bureau of Land Management and the State Commission are leading this effort. Grant and Congressional funding has been requested and a stakeholders meeting is planned for Great Falls in mid-May 2001.

Community Infrastructure Assessment Assistance Available

Contact the State Commission office to learn more about planning assistance presently available through various state and federal agencies. Plan now to have your community ready for the anticipated increase in visitation!

Interpretive Sign Strategy Implementation

The Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative's (MTRI) Lewis & Clark Focus Team has taken the first steps toward implementing their recently completed Lewis & Clark Interpretive Strategy. The MTRI focus team will design, fabricate and install state and corridor gateway interpre- tive signage facilities as a pilot for future signage statewide. The anticipated goal is the development of a ‘signage legacy' that accurately reflects Montana's Lewis & Clark story.

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Commission headquarters: 600 North Park, Helena
Mail: PO Box 201203, Helena 59620-1203
Phone: 406-443-2109 FAX 406-841-4004


Second Call to Register for E-Mail Updates

If you want to receive timely "e-mail" updates on pertinent State Commission and Lewis & Clark issues or developments, please "register" your current e-mail address on the Commission's website at Go to the "What's New" and follow the directions provided there. You may modify or cancel your registration at your convenience.

Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance

The Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) recently took another step in its development by approving its articles of incorporation and bylaws and is moving forward toward official non-profit organization status. MTTA currently has active representation from all but one of Montana's seven Indian Reservations. It is a network of tribal tourism and planning officials and other tribal members interested in a broad range of tourism issues and opportunities. We are excited about this group's progress and look forward to continued partnerships. Welcome aboard MTTA!

Regional Bicentennial Commission Network Established

A statewide network of 14 Regional Bicentennial Commissions (RBC) has been established to facilitate better communication and coordination. The RBC network involves county or multi-county organizations sanctioned by county commissioners. It serves as a critical link for Montana's involvement in national, regional and local Bicentennial planning efforts. The list of Montana's 14 RBCs with current contact information is on the State Commission's website under ‘Chapter & RBC Info.'