The route followed by the Lewis and Clark Expedition lies within eight Corps districts. Of the more than 5,000 miles of trail from Pittsburgh to the Pacific Ocean, the Corps directly or indirectly manages nearly 4,700 river miles, over 3,700 miles of which lie in the Corps Northwestern Division (Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Washington). Because the Corps manages more of the trail than any other governmental entity, the Corps will play an important role during the bicentennial commemoration.
On October 1, 1998, the Corps was one of 14 Federal agencies to sign an MOU to collaborate in commemorating the Bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The purpose of the MOU was to establish a general framework for cooperation among the various agencies and the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council. The cooperating agencies agree to help one another carry out activities related to the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial commemoration, unify and coordinate planning efforts to ensure consistency and avoid duplication, and to assist other entities in doing the same. Work groups have been established at the field and Washington levels.
As a result of the interagency agreement and the Corps management responsibilities for such an extensive portion of the Lewis and Clark Expedition route, the Corps has chosen to establish a National Coordinator. Jean M. Nauss of the Northwestern Division has been designated as the Corps National Coordinator. In addition, several district POCs have also been established.
The Corps must accommodate the anticipated increased visitation with safety and minimal impact on the environment while providing information on the Lewis and Clark Expedition and the role of the U.S. Army during the historic era of westward expansion. With the Corps ever-shrinking Operation and Maintenance budget, this will be extremely difficult. However, the Chief has shown strong interest in this effort and has directed the Corps to embark on a modernization effort using existing funds for rehabilitation of sites along the expedition route.