Minutes
Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC
January 12, 2011 2:00 pm

The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12, 2011, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Campbell, Frank Murray, Norman Pulliam and Caroline Rhodes. Board member Stephen Davis participated by video/teleconference. Board member John Evans’ absence was excused. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.

  1. Call to Order
    Chairman Mike McShane called the meeting to order at 2:00 p.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
  2. Invocation
    Chairman McShane offered the invocation.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
    Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Introduction of Guests
    Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Dr. Malcolm Rhodes, husband of Board member Caroline Rhodes and Commissioner of Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission; Senator Ronnie Cromer; Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; and Scott Whitaker, Executive Director, Coastal Conservation Association.
  5. Constituent Comments
    Senator Cromer stated that he wanted to take this opportunity to visit with the Board while they are still a full Board. Senator Cromer thanked the Board for their work over the last eight years.

    Dr. Rhodes thanked the Board for promoting the state’s natural resources and thanked DNR for assisting in hosting the ASMFC annual meeting in Charleston.

    Scott Whitaker, Executive Director, Coastal Conservation Association, commended the Board for their work for the last eight years.
  6. Approval of Minutes
    Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the December 17, 2010, meeting minutes. Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the December 17, 2010, meeting as submitted. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  7. Presentations/Commendations
    Mr. Frampton and the Deputy Directors announced and commended the 2009 Division and Department Employees of the Year. Executive Office Employee of the Year: Jeff Boyer; Land, Water & Conservation Employee of the Year: Marc Cribb; Law Enforcement Employee of the Year: Jessica Clements; Marine Resources Employee of the Year: Marcel Reichert; Outreach & Support Services Employee of the Year: Kenny Wahl; Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Employee of the Year and 2009 DNR Employee of the Year: Treye Byars.

    Mr. Frampton commended the DNR United Way Committee: Caroline Pinckney, Campaign Coordinator, and committee members, Beth Ann Herbert-Law Enforcement, Kay Daniels-Land, Water & Conservation, Tricia Way and Joey Frazier-OSS, Michael Hodges-Marine Resources, and Jessica Huffstetler, Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries, for their coordination of the 2010 United Way Campaign that raised a grand total of $4,924.32.

    Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, informed the Board of a $90,000 donation to DNR’s ACE Basin NERR program from the estate of Barbara G. Merchant.
  8. Advisory Committee Reports
    1. Marine
      Mr. Boyles reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met December 3, 2010. The Advisory Committee received presentations on the shellfish culture permits mapping surveys, the proposed listing of Atlantic sturgeon on the Endangered Species List and commercial saltwater fishing licenses.
    2. Law Enforcement
      Col. Alvin Taylor, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, reported that the Advisory Committee received updates on Region I activities, fisheries legislation and the legislative agenda.
  9. Items for Board Information
    1. Proposed Revenue Enhancements – Marine Resources Permits
      Mr. Boyles reviewed Marine Resources Permits as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Boyles noted that the Board had asked staff to look at only increasing the non-resident fees. Mr. Boyles stated that due to the fact that so few non-resident permits are issued there would not be enough revenue generated to increase only non-resident fees. The Board accepted this as information and asked staff to look closely at all permits offered and consider doing away with permits that have had no activity.
    2. Proposed Revenue Enhancements – Turkey Tags
      Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, informed the Board that it costs the Department $6.02 to distribute a set of five turkey tags. The Board recommended a fee of $10 for residents that includes 3 tags and the option to purchase 2 additional tags at $10 each. The Board recommended a fee of $25 for nonresidents which includes 3 tags and the option to purchase 2 additional tags at $25. The Board asked for a report at the February meeting after staff have spoken with legislators about this issue.
    3. Climate Update
      Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, gave the Board a brief update on the recent colder than average weather and the recent snow event. Dr. Mizzell also shared with the Board the 7-14 day predictions for temperature and precipitation.
  10. Deputy Director Reports
    Marine Resources
    Mr. Boyles distributed a graph and reported on the cold coastal water temperatures. Mr. Boyles noted that as of January 11 the waters are below critical temperature. The Board also noted that staff informed the board on December 31, 2010, that the remaining general trawling area would close on January 11, 2011.
  11. Legislative
    Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, gave the Board a brief update on prefiled bills.
  12. Environmental
    Bob Perry, Director, Office of Environmental Programs, distributed a response letter regarding the reduction of flows from the Thurmond Reservoir and stated that DNR does not support further reduction of downstream flows in the Savannah River Basin. Mr. Perry distributed a response letter regarding the proposed listing for Atlantic sturgeon and stated DNR staff believe that the proposed listing is premature because there is insufficient data available to support the listing. Mr. Perry distributed and reviewed the staff analysis for the Draft Tier II Environmental Impact Statement for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.
  13. Items for Board Action
    Tillman Sand Ridge, Little Pee Dee River and Old Island Heritage Preserve Management Plans
    Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the updated management plans for Tillman Sand Ridge, Little Pee Dee River and Old Island Heritage Preserves as included in the Board meeting package. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  14. Director’s Briefings
    Mr. Frampton informed the Board that DNR’s budget hearing is scheduled for January 25.

    Mr. Frampton reminded the Board that the dates for the Southeastern Wildlife Expo are February 18-20.
  15. Deputy Directors’ Reports
    1. Land, Water and Conservation
      Nothing further to report.
    2. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
      Mr. Carmichael gave the Board a brief report on the Saluda River trout stocking.
    3. Law Enforcement
      Col. Taylor gave the Board updates on the hiring of new officers and on the recent snow event.
    4. Outreach and Support Services
      Nothing further to report.
  16. Executive Session
    At this time, Mr. Campbell made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal and personnel matters. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  17. Open Session
    Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

    Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board approve the Conservation District Commissioner appointments/reappointments as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

    Appointments:          Barry H. Jurs, Berkeley and Alan W. Gaddy, Dillon

    Reappointments:      Henry L. Nicholson, Bamberg; Claude E. McLeod, Beaufort; Alan A. Ulmer, Beaufort; Allen L. Beer, Chester; William H. Griggs, Chesterfield; Jamie E. Smith, Dillon; Sabie D. Cathcart, Fairfield; Darrell Harrison, Greenville; C.M. Dantzler, Jasper; W. Gordon Wells, Jasper; and Dorothy Lee, Oconee

    Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve project set-up and initiation of due diligence activities for an eight (8) acre addition to Sassafras Mountain. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

    Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the Laurens County request to expend $8,200 from the Reedy River Mitigation Trust Fund to conduct engineering and surveying at Boyd’s Mill Pond. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  18. Time and Location of the Next Meetings
    The February Board meeting will be held Friday, February 18, 2011, in Charleston.

    The March Board meeting will be held Friday, March 25, 2011, in Columbia.
  19. Adjournment
    There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.