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Tasks Completed July 2002-June 2003
Administration & Communication:
- The Bicentennial Commission office was open and staffed all year. An agreement was renewed with the Montana History Foundation to "out-source" grant administrative duties during the past year. Amy Baird has been the Commission's part-time grants administrator as well as performing other administrative assistant duties on an "as needed" basis.
- On-going communication continued with the fourteen Regional Bicentennial Commissions, the agencies participating in the Bicentennial Focus Team of the Montana Tourism & Recreation Initiative (MTRI), and the Bincentennial contacts on Montana's seven Indian Reservations. Coordinating meetings involving the regional commissions and tribes were held on October 2, February 10, and on May 27. These three coordinating meetings immediately preceded the three meetings of the Commission held during the past twelve months. The interagency MTRI Focus Team met quarterly through 2003.
- The Commission's 'journal notes' newsletters was printed and distributed in July, November, and in March 2003. The Commission continued to provide timely updates via an email "list serve" process. Interested persons continue to register on-line to receive these updates.
- Monthly Director Reports were drafted and distributed.
- To satisfy the requirement to publish meeting notices, the Commission established a calendar on the State of Montana web page E-calendar where meeting information and agendas are not posted regularly.
- The Commission worked with the Montana Historical Society to issue pertinent press releases as follows:
- July 20, 2002 - Five Partners Join Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign
- August 8, 2002 - Lewis & Clark Tour Guides are Ready
- September 27, 2002 - 4th Annual Lewis & Clark Conference Announced
- October 9, 2002 - Tour Guide Training Offered for a Second Time
- January 7, 2003 - Montana's Bicentennial Inaugural Event is Set
- February 24, 2003 - Commission announces 2003 Grant Awards
- March 31, 2003 - National Park Service Announces $861,500 for Montana Projects in 2003 Through Challenge Cost Share Grants Program
- May 12, 2003 - Final Plans Announced for Confluence of Cultures Symposium
- Participated in numerous TV interview, including 'Face the State,' and 'Aging Horizons' in January. Also was interviewed on numerous radio talk shows and by newspapers and magazines featuring Lewis & Clark story lines.
- The Commission's website continued to grow throughout the past year, most notably with the addition of a "corridor breakout" feature allowing users the option of searching for Lewis & Clark attractions and events by geographical areas. The Tour Guide listing information within the Resource Library also expanded as interested persons completed the necessary application process.
- As a first-step in enhancing PR/Publicity efforts, an electronic press kit was designed and launched on Travel Montana's web site in January. This will allow timely updates for easy access by all media. The commission also placed ads to run on Montana PBS, and the Lewis & Clark; Montana's Story video will be shown on Montana PBS on Sunday, May 18th.
- The fourth annual Montana Lewis & Clark Conference was held in Bozeman on Oct. 3-4.
- Darrell Kipp, Homer Staves and Betty Stone were re-appointed by Governor Martz to serve new three-year terms on the Commission. Wyman McDonald from Pablo was appointed to serve the remaining term (through October, 2004) of Germaine White who resigned mid-year.
- Continued to work with the Montana Congressional delegation in an effort to secure funding appropriations for a Bicentennial Public Safety Plan, to enhance the Commission's grant program, and to further implement the Lewis & Clark Interpretive Sign Strategy. No new Congressional funding has thus far resulted for these programs; renewed efforts are continuing in the current session.
- Annual funding from Travel Montana ($200,000) continued in FY'03, allowing the Commission to continue with a base of operations.
- A $200,000 loan from the Montana Board of Investments (BOI) that was initially secured in March 2002 was fully drawn in FY'03. These funds were accessed to underwrite the expenses of the Legacy (fundraising) Campaign, and to fund a portion of the Commission's 2003 grants programs. The first payment on that BOI loan was made in August 2002, and the second in February, 2003. A second BOI loan was approved in early 2003, but no funds were drawn on that second loan as of the end of FY'03.
- Partnered with the National Park Service to facilitate the delivery of Challenge Cost Share (CCS) Grant funding to 7 Montana groups who were CCS recipients in 2003. This included two grants the Commission partnered in: 1) L&C Bicentennial Gateway & Travel Corridor Orientation Kiosks for $20,000, and 2) $10,000 for the Commission's 4th Annual Conference.
- Continued to work in partnership with the National Council of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial in its revised, down-scaled format. The National Council was successful in securing a $2M grant from the Hewlitt Foundation late in this year. These funds will in part be utilized to gain meaningful Indian involvement in the Bicentennial, for the remaining 14 National Signature Events, a revamped national website portal, and for administrative support for the Council.
- Travel Montana joined the Commission to fund a grants program in an amount up to $133,428 for 2003. $36,298 was pledged in $2,000 amounts as Organization & Planning Grants to regional commissions and tribal governments; $97,130 was pledged for Project Grants to 13 recipients this year. Additionally, $55,000 was pledged in Program Grants to be distributed by the Commission to key programs.
- The Commission continued in various ways to raise and/or to maintain market awareness for Montana's new Bicentennial License plate that went on sale January 2, 2002. Slightly more than 12,000 Lewis & Clark plates will have been sold through June 30, 2003. There are no fewer than 35 specialty plates available or in design in Montana at the current time, resulting in a significant slowing of the Lewis & Clark plate sales.
- In partnership with the Montana History Foundation, and four key Montana partners, the Lewis & Clark Legacy Campaign was designed and fundraising efforts initiated. As of mid-May, $656,630 in campaign pledges have been secured, and $230,172 received as cash payments, although to date no revenue was realized by the Commission as monies received so far have been earmarked for Campaign expenses. Tom Scott, the CEO of First Interstate Bank Systems is the Campaign Chair. Stephen Ambrose and Ken Burns are Honorary Co-Chairs. Sara Groves continues as the Campaign Coordinator, and Stephanie Lang is the Office Manager. The Charles Bentz Associates consulting firm worked as technical experts to the Campaign from mid-May, 2002 through April 30, 2003.
- Continued to work with the Montana Sheriff's and Peace Officers' Association to prepare a Bicentennial Public Safety strategy for Montana. A second stakeholders' meeting was held in Great Falls on April 18th.
- Coordination continued with periodic meetings of the regional bicentennial commissions and the eight recognized tribal governments in Montana, and the MTRI Bicentennial Focus Team agencies. The Commission granted the Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance (MTTA) some funding which resulted in MTTA being able to hire their first-ever full time cordinator. The interagency MTRI Focus Team worked to assist in interpretive signage planning in the Yellowstone River Corridor, and also created a new Stewardship brochure.
- The Montana Commission continued to participate actively with the Circle of State Advisors (representatives of the 19 "trail-route" states), and to interact closely with the National Bicentennial Council. The Commission was represented at the National Council meeting in Pendleton, OR on Oct. 17-18, and was a co-sponsor and planning partner in the 8th Annual Bicentennial Planning Conference held in Great Falls on April 13-16, 2003.
- In partnership with the National Park Service, the Commission continued to work to identify host community sites within the state for the Corps of Discovery II for 2005 and 2006. NOTE: At the writing of this report it is anticipated that the final Montana host sites for both 2005 and 2006 will be decided by June 1st).
- Planned and partnered with four Helena/Townsend/Craig area Lewis & Clark groups to present a Montana inaugural event to coincide with the January 18, 2003, official start of the Bicentennial in Monticello, VA. This "official" Montana kick-off event was held on Friday and Saturday, January 17-18 in the State Capitol.
- Planning was initiated for a "significant' event to be known as the "Lewis & Clark at the Confluence; this long wished for spot." This event will be April 29-May 1, 2005, in the Fort Union area near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers on the Montana/North Dakota border.
Education & Research:
- During 2003, the Commission's Education Committee continued to pursue the completion of several projects:
- Worked in partnership with the Montana Superhost! Program to publicize the New Lewis & Clark: Montana's Story video to teachers, chambers of commerce and visitor information centers. Work was also initiated for the creation of a printed informational supplement to accompany the Superhost training in local communities.
- Continued to partner with the University of Montana to plan for the Commission-sponsored Confluence of Cultures Symposium to be held on the UofM campus on May 28-30, 2003.
- Partnered with the Lewis & Clark Training Academy to continue the new Lewis & Clark Guide training program with additional training being offered in 2003. The Commisison also worked to modify the Resource Library on its web site to include the names of qualified guides verifying their expertise.
- Coordinated with the Institute for Tourism & Recreation Research and the National Council in co-sponsoring the second round of the PLOG Interest and Awareness Study in the Fall of 2002.
- Presented numerous Bicentennial Updates to communities, groups and agencies, and participated in dedication ceremonies for new interpretive signs in Bonner, Bozeman and on the I-90 Pass between Bozeman and Livingston.
- The Commission continued as a participant on the advisory committee for the Undaunted Stewardship program being managed by the Montana Stockgrowers Association, the Bureau of Land Management and Montana State University.
- The Commission (and about 50 other Montanans) traveled to Charlottesville, VA for the national Bicentennial inaugural event the week of January 14, 2003. The Commission partnered with Montana's two National Signature Event committees to prepare and present a Montana booth on the UVA campus during the week-long kickoff event.
- Legislative Update:
- SB-188 passed which will allow RV's and trucks to carry specialty plates
- SB-195 passed which will allow for the Commission to partner with the Montana Historical Society and an advisory committee of previous Senators to have a Lewis & Clark-themed bronze BAS-relief piece of art created for long-term display on the west wall of the Montana Senate Chambers.
- The Commission created its first-ever Interim Report, and held an informational sharing session for state Legislators on April 18th.
- The Commission passed a review by the Legislative Auditor's Division.
- The Commisison voted to join the Idaho Bicentennial Committee to have a bronze BAS-relief plaque made and installed in the new Lolo Visitor Center in honor of the late Stephen Ambrose. A dedication is set for Friday, June 27th.
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