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    HELENA—The National Park Service has recognized the importance and quality of Montana's efforts to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial by awarding nearly $1 million, or 20 percent its total 2004 grants, to 31 projects across Montana.

    "This shows that all the hard work being done across the state to get ready for Montana's time in the Lewis and Clark spotlight in 2005 and 2006 is paying off and being recognized across the nation," Montana Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission Chairman Hal Stearns said.

    Montana projects were awarded $968,750 from the 2004 Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Challenge Cost Share Project, which is administered by the park service.

    "The Commission is extremely pleased with these grants that represent an increase of more than $35,750 from what Montana received last year," Clint Blackwood, executive director of the state Bicentennial Commission, said. "Sen. Conrad Burns, Sen. Max Baucus and Rep. Dennis Rehberg all deserve credit for helping these funds come to Montana."

    Montana's two National Lewis and Clark Signature Events, "Explore! The Big Sky," and "Clark on the Yellowstone," were awarded a combined total of $125,000.

    "We are very happy to provide this funding," NPS Lewis and Clark spokesman Gerard Baker said. "These projects greatly enhance the value of the visitor experience during the 2003-2006 Bicentennial Commemoration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition."

    The grants are competitive and must be matched dollar for dollar by local cash and in-kind contributions, Blackwood said, and the program is expected to be continued through the bicentennial.

    "We still need more businesses and individuals to come to the plate to support the important projects that are underway statewide," Blackwood said. "Many sponsorship opportunities are still available, and interested parties can contact the commission for more information."

    Here are Montana projects funded for 2004 and amount:

  • Travelers' Rest Interpretive Plan Implementation, $55,000
  • Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance Tribal Connection Project, $60,000
  • Camp Fortunate Interpretive Center in Beaverhead County, $60,000
  • Children's Museum of Montana $8,000
  • Missouri Headwaters State Park Interpretive position, $35,000
  • Portage Brochure 2004, $4,000
  • Northeastern Plains Bicentennial Commission Lewis and Clark at the Confluence event, $15,000
  • Lewis and Clark Heritage Foundation's "So All the Stories Can Continue to Be Told" project, $151,750
  • Lewis and Clark County Interpretive Signage, $15,000
  • Portage Chapter of Trail Foundation "Scholar in Residence," $2,000
  • University of Montana Center for Continuing Education "After Lewis & Clark: A Local History," $40,000
  • Federation of Fly Fishers "Fishing the Trail with Lewis and Clark," $25,000
  • Sweet Grass County "Rivers Across Discovery Driving Tour," $6,000
  • Milk River Lewis & Clark Festival, $5,000
  • Committee for the Humanities Lewis and Clark Speakers Bureau, $10,000
  • Golden Triangle-Conrad area "Flight Path Historic Signs," $3,000
  • Yellowstone County "Clark on the Yellowstone" Signature Event, $50,000
  • Clark's Trail at Pompey's Pillar, $100,000
  • Bitterroot Birding and Nature Trail Brochure, $2,000
  • Great Falls area "Explore! The Big Sky" signature event, $75,000
  • Yellowstone County "Montana Lasting Oral Legacy" project, $15,000
  • International Traditional Games Society's "Culture & Tradition Through Tribal Games" event, $12,000
  • Great Falls area Giant Springs State Park Interpretive Program, $15,000
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center "American Indian Voices in North-Central Montana," $20,000
  • Montana Bureau of Mines' "A Rock by Any Other Name: Understanding L&C Geography, Geology and Navigation in Montana," $30,000
  • Completion and Expansion of the film "The Assiniboine Side of the Lewis and Clark Story" Valley County, $30,000
  • Missoula VIAs Inc. "Philadelphia, 1803-1814: A Virtual Tour," $40,000
  • Bicentennial Commission's "Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Talent Showcase," $5,000
  • Art Museum of Missoula's "Century of Change," $15,000.



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    P.O. Box 201201
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