Idaho Governor's Lewis and Clark Trail Committee
Governor John Evans initially appointed the Governor’s Lewis and Clark Trail Committee in 1983 to assist state agencies, the legislature, and others in better preserving and promoting the portion of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail that lies in Idaho. Governor Phil Batt expanded the size and scope of the Committee in 1995 to oversee Lewis and Clark Bicentennial activities in Idaho. From the preservation of pristine Trail properties, to the development of interpretive centers, to the education of thousands of Idaho students, and to the awarding of millions of dollars to Idaho communities to help them tell and preserve the Lewis and Clark in Idaho story, the Committee sought to accomplish that goal. Following the bicentennial, Governors James Risch and Butch Otter have reauthorized the Committee.
Governor Otter’s Executive Order continuing the Committee tasks it with the following responsibilities:
- Coordinate activities among and partner with federal, state, local, tribal, and private agencies and organizations to protect the Trail and to promote responsible use of the Trail.
- Advise the Office of the Governor, the Idaho State Legislature, the Idaho Congressional Delegation, Idaho commissions, bureaus, agencies, and committees regarding activities and policies that relate to the Trail and the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
- Promote educational opportunities about the Trail through financial support and technical assistance.
- Sustain the current infrastructure and programs along the Lewis and Clark Trail corridor in Idaho, many of which were initiated with Committee financial support during the Lewis and Clark bicentennial.
The Governor’s Committee partners with the Idaho State Historical Society. ISHS Trustee Hope Benedict of Salmon serves as the liaison between the Historical Society and the Committee. The Committee is funded by proceeds from the sale of the specialty Lewis and Clark license plate (commonly known as the Sacajawea license plate). By state statute, ISHS maintains this license plate money in a dedicated fund for the Committee’s use.
Left: Long-time Committee member, Jim Fazio, reads about the the Expedition from a vantage point on the Lolo Trail.