MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Myrtle Beach Hilton

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Friday, January 16, 1998

10:00 a.m.



The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 16, 1998, at the Myrtle Beach Hilton, in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Dr. George Graham presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Tommy Miller, Marion Burnside, Campbell Coxe, Ted Oxner, Mary Pope Waring and Corky Lee. Dr. Paul A. Sandifer and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting as were various guests.

I.Call to Order

Chairman Graham called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

II.Meditation

Chairman Graham asked for a moment of silent meditation.

III.Approval of Minutes

Chairman Graham asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the October 17 and November 21, 1997 meetings. There being no corrections or additions, the minutes were accepted as mailed.

Chairman Graham expressed appreciation to the SC Association of Conservation Districts for all it does to work with the Department. Chairman Graham introduced Jim McLeod, President of the SCACD. Mr. McLeod expressed appreciation to the Board for meeting with the SCACD at their annual conference. Mr. McLeod distributed copies of the SCACD 1998 Policy Positions for the Board members to review.

Chairman Graham recognized and thanked Von Snelgrove and Freddy Vang for the arrangements for the conference and the reception.

IV.Presentations/Commendations

A.Meritorious Service Award

On behalf of the board, Dr. Graham, Tommy Miller, Dr. Sandifer and Dr. Timmerman presented the Board's Meritorious Service Award, the highest award the Board bestows for outstanding achievements, to John Frampton. Frampton was praised for 25 years of service on behalf of the state's natural resources and most especially for his outstanding efforts in negotiating the agreement to purchase the Jocassee Gorges property.



V.Items for Information

A.Proposed Federal Air Quality Regulations

Mr. Jerry Chalmers, DHEC, reviewed the proposed Federal Air Quality Regulations and the problems perceived by DHEC. Mr. Chalmers reviewed briefly the regional haze, PM2.5 (particulate matter) and ozone regulations. After Mr. Chalmers' presentation, the Board reviewed the recommended resolution prepared by staff concerning prescribed burning. Mr. Coxe suggested that the conservation districts and Department of Agriculture be involved in this resolution. Mrs. Waring suggested some amendments to the proposed resolution. Staff were directed to re-work the proposed resolution and present a revised version to the Board prior to the end of the meeting.

B.Jocassee Gorges Management Planning Process

Brock Conrad reported that the Jocassee Gorges Management Planning Process is well under way. The Management Plan Team held a public meeting on January 8, at Pickens High School. There were approximately 800 individuals in attendance. This meeting was considered a tremendous success with several positive comments on how the meeting was handled. Dr. Chris Sieverdes, Clemson University, brought in 20 facilitators to facilitate the 20 break-out groups. There will be a Team meeting on January 22 to discuss the public meeting and other aspects of the plan. Two additional public meetings will be held in the spring, one in the Jocassee area and the other in Columbia. A draft plan will be available at the meetings for public review. This will be a conceptual plan that will be reviewed and updated periodically.

C.Update on Hunt Activity at Francis Marion National Forest

Bill Mahan reported on the hunt activity at Francis Marion National Forest. Biological and check-in data have been collected and will be compiled in the near future. A meeting was held earlier this week with the primary landowners in the Francis Marion Hunt Unit. Information from this meeting will be used to develop recommendations for the 1998 hunting season on the Francis Marion Unit. Other preliminary recommendations are being reviewed by the US Forest Service and Santee Cooper. Staff proposals and recommendations will be prepared for the Board's consideration at a future meeting.

Sgt. Chuck Dial reported on the Law Enforcement activities in the Francis Marion National Forest. Sgt. Dial informed the Board that there were 112 deer hunting days in the Francis Marion last year, 76 of those for dog hunting. Officers spent 2,672 hours working in the Francis Marion and made 125 cases, including 92 against dog hunters and 33 for other violations.

VI.Items for Board Action

A.Longlining

John Miglarese introduced Charles Moore who presented a major points from a detailed report on the longlining issue which had been sent to each Board member. Mr. Moore reported on the technical, regulatory and cultural areas of the longlining issue. Mrs. Waring made a motion that the DNR Board move forward with the Marine Resources Division longlining fishery recommendations to the Secretary of Commerce in the form of a letter that had been distributed to the Board Members. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. (Copy of letter attached to original minutes)

B.1998 Aquaculture Research Plan

Dr. Miglarese stated that according to section 50-3-90 of the South Carolina Code of laws game and fish cultural operations and scientific investigations must be conducted with the approval from the Board. In the future, this information will become part of the Department's annual operating plan which will be concurrent with the State fiscal year. Mrs. Waring moved that the Board approve the Annual Aquaculture Research Plan as presented by Dr. Miglarese. Mr. Lee seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

C.Annual Fisheries Plan for Expenditures from Mitigation Trust Fund

Mr. Stallworth outlined a process for receiving and administering the spending of mitigation payments for fish mortalities occurring via entrainment at hydroelectric projects. DNR staff will brief the Board annually on mitigation activities occurring over the past year and will seek approval for plans for the next year's activities. Mr. Stallworth will have such a plan for Board approval in March. This plan will be jointly recommended by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the permitees, and DNR staff. Mr. Stallworth requested the Board's approval to use the Mitigation Trust Fund as outlined. The Board had no objections to this process.

D.Proposed Regulation Changes at Star Fort Pond, Proposed Regulations Establishment for Sunrise Lake and Approval of Lease Amendment at Sunrise Lake

Mac Watson review the proposed regulation changes at Star Fort Pond. The proposed changes are, 1) open the lake to fishing on Fridays, and 2) establish a twelve inch minimum length on largemouth bass. Mr. Watson reviewed the proposed regulations for Sunrise Lake (proposed regulations attached to the original minutes). Mr. Watson requested approval of the lease amendment at Sunrise Lake. The original survey left off a half acre pond, but has since been re-surveyed to include this pond in the lease. Mr. Burnside made a motion that the Board accept all three proposals. Mr. Lee seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

E.Sale of Deer By-Products

Charles Ruth reviewed Section 50-11-1910 which prohibits the sale of finished products containing material from any species of deer. Section 50-11-1910 allows for the sale of raw deer hides during deer season and 30 days thereafter, but prohibits the sale of products made from these hides. Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board accept staff recommendations to amend Title 50 Chapter 11 to provide for the sale of finished products containing deer parts. Further, the sale of white-tailed deer meat, white-tailed deer gametes and white-tailed deer antlers in any form including antler velvet would remain prohibited. Mr. Lee seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A.Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Brock Conrad informed the Board that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee discussed the sale of deer by-products and white-tailed deer as pets. Recommendations on the latter will be made at a future meeting.

B.Law Enforcement

Col. Huguley reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee received several reports, including LAC recommendations that affect the Law Enforcement Division, and a report on a proposed contract or agreement for work between the Law Enforcement Division and National Marine Fisheries Service. More details will be given regarding the contract or agreement during Col. Huguley's Deputy Director report.

The Law Enforcement Advisory Committee will be meeting the second Wednesday of every other month.

C.Marine

Mrs. Waring reported that in the Chapter 5 rewrite, the discretionary authority given to DNR has been removed from legislation. Several inquiries have been received about this change. The MAC received a report on the status of the indigenous shrimp importation regulation.

Dr. Sandifer reported that it has been recommended that Chris Andrews, the new Director of the SC Aquarium being constructed in Charleston, be asked to make a presentation at the February Board meeting.

VIII. Director's Briefings

A.Executive Office

1.Legislative

Michael Thompson reported that this is the first week of the legislative session and we have several large issues on the table. Mr. Thompson informed the Board that the Department will be having a legislative social for the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Committee and the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee on January 28 and invited all members to attend. Dr. Sandifer circulated invitations to each Board member for the legislative reception.

2.Legal

Nothing to report.

3.Human Resources

Jean Cowell shared with the Board the results of the annual evaluation from the Human Affairs Commission on efforts toward reaching the affirmative action goal. This report will be going to the Legislature later this month. Ms. Cowell also distributed an updated Department telephone directory.

4.Environmental

Nothing to report.

B.Deputy Directors

1.Administrative Services

Mr. Reeves reported that the Jocassee Gorges Endowment Fund legislation had been introduced in both the Senate and House. Mr. Lee raised questions about provisions that appeared to allow spending the principal of an endowment fund under certain conditions. Mr. Reeves informed the Board that there was still time to make adjustments to this legislation. Mr. Lee suggested changing it from an endowment fund to a trust fund. Dr. Sandifer noted that the paragraph in question might be changed to indicate that the principal would only be expended for acquisition of additional acreage in the Jocassee Project Area and only by Board approval.

At this time the Board recessed to attend a luncheon with the SC Association of Conservation Districts. Following lunch, the regular meeting resumed.

2.Land, Water and Conservation

Freddy Vang extended his appreciation to Von Snelgrove for the efforts put forth in the planning and organization of this conference.

Mr. Vang distributed copies of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Natural Resources and the SC Association of Conservation Districts and another Memorandum of Understanding between the Department of Natural Resources and the SC Conservation Districts Foundation, which outline the duties of each party and noted they will be in conformity with the recommendations in the Legislative Audit Council Report. Mr. Vang thanked Ester Haymond, of the Legal Office, for her efforts in this process.

Mr. Vang reported some very positive accomplishments during the last six months in consolidating the Land and Water Divisions and Geological Survey into a single Division.

Mr. Vang also noted that the Ashley River's designation as a scenic river is moving forward. Mr. Vang requested that this item be placed on the February Board Meeting Agenda for Board action.

Mr. Vang announced the upcoming Southern Drought Management Workshop that will be hosted by the Land, Water and Conservation Division. This workshop will be held March 31 - April 2, in Columbia.

Following up on earlier discussions regarding a proposed Board Resolution on Air Quality, Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board adopt the following resolution on Prescribed Burning and Necessary Agricultural Practices. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously. (Copy of resolution attached to the original minutes)

3.Natural Resources Enforcement

Col. Huguley reported that the law suit against the Department in the upstate over the fallow deer issue has been dismissed.

Col. Huguley informed the Board that the Law Enforcement Division has established a goals committee. This committee will work on the goals of the strategic plan as well as provide a mechanism to receive employee input on budget matters.

Col. Huguley reported to the Board the progress made with regard to the enforcement of several federal and state fisheries laws. Law Enforcement officers are authorized to enforce federal fishery laws up to the 200 mile limit of the Economic Exclusion Zone. The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is discussing the possibility of providing a substantial amount of money to be used to fund increased saltwater fisheries enforcement via additional marine equipment, training and staffing. With regard to the equipment, plans are being considered to re-power Wildlife I and to purchase two trailerable offshore patrol boats. Also included in the funding would be maintenance and operation costs for these three vessels. Col. Huguley stated that there may be some staffing possibilities from federal funds for this effort. If the equipment is purchased with the first round of federal money, there may be additional federal money in subsequent years that could be directed toward staffing. However, the initial funding commitment is for one year only. A number of questions were raised by Board members with regard to this proposal, and Dr. Sandifer directed Col. Huguley to send copies of the first draft agreement between the NMFS and the DNR to the Board members for their information and any necessary follow-up.

4.Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries

John Frampton reported on the Harvest Information Program (HIP). Mr. Frampton commended the staff of CEC for their work on a HIP logo and for securing the necessary materials. Mr. Conrad distributed, as information, copies of the summary of the weekly Waterfowl Survey. Mr. Conrad also distributed, as information, copies of two reports concerning deer hunting with dogs.

5.Conservation Education and Communications

Sonny Baines informed the Board that the draft business plan for the magazine has been submitted to Dr. Sandifer. Dr. Sandifer commented that he has reviewed this extensive plan and feels that John Davis and the magazine staff have done an excellent job.

6.Marine Resources

Reporting for John Miglarese, Dr. Sandifer reported that the written agreement between DNR and the King Mackerel Governor's Cup Series has been developed as per the Board's instructions.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the shrimp trawling season was closed in the northern 2/3 of the state, on January 5. The area from Fripp Island south has been left open for the time being.

C.Executive Office

1.Director

Dr. Sandifer updated the Board on the Governor's Budget. The Department was not cut but was also not recommended for increases.

Dr. Sandifer provided information on vehicles. The number one budget priority was for Law Enforcement automobiles. Department wide, 23% to 40% of the vehicles have greater than 100,000 miles. Roughly 1/4 of the Law Enforcement Division's vehicles have more than 100,000 miles at this time.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that he will be making a presentation before the Ways and Means Subcommittee on Wednesday, January 21, at 9:30 a.m. Each agency is asked to attend and answer a series of questions related to their budget request.

Dr. Sandifer announced that DNR staff will meet with shrimp growers on Monday afternoon to discuss how we might work with them to secure needed seed stock while still providing full and adequate protection for wild stocks. Dr. Sandifer attended an EPA sponsored workshop in Washington DC, to assess the level of risks to wild stocks associated with shrimp stocks. A second workshop tentatively scheduled for this summer should provide us guidance on how to manage these risks.

Dr. Sandifer discussed the DNR non law enforcement uniform contract. The current contract that consists of uniform items that are the same as the Bureau of Land Management is being discontinued. The Department will now use items from the US Forest Service contract. This discussion was based on the strong recommendations of our interdivisional staff committee.

The new Director of Internal Audits, Bethany Allen Narboni, will be starting work on Monday, January 19. Dr. Sandifer reviewed Ms. Narboni's credentials, she is a certified public accountant, a certified internal auditor and a certified information systems auditor.

Dr. Sandifer will speak to the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday, January 20.

The Governor's State of the State address will be Wednesday, January 21. The Department has submitted information to the Governor's Office for his consideration and use.

Dr. Sandifer presented a draft version of the Senate legislation concerning the naming of the Jocassee Gorges property for Jim Timmerman.

IX.Executive Session

At this time, Mr. Burnside made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion. Motion carried unanimously.

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RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

Following the Executive Session, the regular meeting was resumed and participants were invited into the meeting.

Chairman Graham called the meeting back to order.



Following the Executive Session it was announced that there were no issues for Board action.

X. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Graham stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Thursday, February 12, 1998, at 2:00 p.m., at the Charleston Maritime Center.

XI. Adjournment

There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.