The Montana Department of Commerce is sending some money to Darby and Hamilton as part of a recent Tourism Grant grouping of 22 tourism and recreation funding projects.

The Ravalli County Museum on South 3rd Street in Hamilton is getting $13,750 to install outdoor panels addressing Nez Perce history and culture. The Bitterroot Valley is along one of the main trails of the Native Americans, and the museum has been promoting the "Valley of Three Trails - the Nez Perce Nee-Me-Poo National Historic Trail (which continues into Idaho), the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, and (with Glacial Lake Missoula) the Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail.

Museum Executive Director Michelle Nowling said the new permanent outdoor display is a larger version of a previous Nez Perce exhibit, created in conjunction with the Nez Perce Tribe and the National Nez Perce Trail. She said the eight double-sided panels will be on the west side lawn of the Museum, near the Lake Missoula display. She said, "It should be large enough that anyone can read it from the sidewalk and then they can get as close as they want." The panels will be surrounded by hand-hewn logs from Montana Timber.

The Darby Rodeo Association picked up $113,809 to purchase and install two pre-formed bleacher sets, including one that is handicap accessible. Amy Robbins, an association supporter said in a Commerce Department news release, "With the addition of two sets of permanent bleachers, including handicap accessible seating, we will be able to provide our fans an upgraded seating experience and increase our capacity."

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Other grants throughout Montana included Dillon Main Street, Fallon County museum, Libby Chamber of Commerce, carter County Geological Society, the Wibaux Chamber of Commerce, the City of Shelby and Blaine County Wildlife Museum.

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