Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Kingston Plantation – Eton Room
9800 Queensway Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, SC
January 17, 2008 9:00 a.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 17, 2008, at the Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach, 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 John Evans, Norman Pulliam, and Caroline Rhodes. Board members Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, and Frank Murray’s absences were excused. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
- Call to Order
Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Tommy Knotts to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Buford Mabry led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Hank Stallworth introduced John Inabinet, Santee Cooper; and Rodney Geddys and Larry Dicks, Pickens Conservation District.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Stallworth introduced Greg Henderson, President, SCACD, and asked him to address the Board. Mr. Henderson reported on the progress of the pesticide recovery program and asked the Board to support any legislation introduced that would help fund this program. The SCACD will support the Department’s budget request as well as other agencies in their respective districts. Mr. Henderson invited the Board to attend the SCACD Legislative Reception on February 19.
Mr. Stallworth introduced Ann Timberlake, Executive Director, Conservation Voters of SC, and asked her to address the Board. Ms. Timberlake gave the Board a brief overview of the organization and reviewed some of the proposed legislation of concern for this year.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions, or corrections to the minutes of the December 12, 2007, meeting. There being none, Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the December 12, 2007, meeting as presented. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton commended Hank Stallworth on receiving the SC Wildlife Federation’s 2007 Lifetime Achievement in Conservation Award.
Mr. Frampton commended Ed Duncan on receiving the SC Wildlife Federation’s 2007 Water Conservation Award.
Mr. Frampton commended Judy Barnes for her involvement in the Indian Creek Wildlife Habitat Restoration Initiative, which was recognized with the SC Wildlife Federation’s 2007 Wildlife Award.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Breck Carmichael reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met Tuesday, January 15, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received reports and updates on SC Sea Turtle Conservation Program, the Marketing Awareness Campaign, Striped Bass Stakeholders Group, legislative priorities, and budget priorities. The Advisory Committee watched the Lower Saluda trout stocking video that the Board saw in December. The Advisory Committee welcomed new member Dr. Cleve Smith.
- Items for Board Information
- Drought Update
Steve de Kozlowski reported that the recent rainfall events have not erased the large deficit in precipitation. Mr. de Kozlowski reviewed streamflows, lake levels, and groundwater monitoring wells around the State. Mr. de Kozlowski also informed the Board of water conservation actions by water systems.
- Water Plan
Mr. de Kozlowski reported that Land, Water and Conservation Division staff are updating the state water assessment which should be available fall of 2008. This document identifies water availability, water use and water issues. Mr. de Kozlowski reviewed two bills of interest – the Surface Water Withdrawal Permitting legislation and the Comprehensive Statewide Water Act. Mr. de Kozlowski also noted DNR’s working relationship with DHEC on water monitoring wells.
- Awareness Campaign
Monica Linnenbrink showed the Board the new graphic ideas for the Awareness Campaign with the Life’s Better Outdoors slogan. Ms. Linnenbrink also showed the Board one 60 second and two 30 second commercials. The Board offered suggestions on the graphic ideas and requested copies of the proposed commercial so they may offer input.
- Mercury Testing in Reservoirs
Ross Self reported that DHEC staff met with DNR biologists last week. Mr. Self stated that DHEC has agreed to test 18 public lakes and will provide space in the brochure for those lakes. DHEC will also post signs at appropriate boat ramps in March.
- Reedy River Settlement Update
Barry Beasley distributed and reviewed the Aquatic Community Monitoring of the Reedy River and Tributaries Performance Report for January 1, 2004 through December 31, 2007.
- Botany Bay Interim Management Plan
Breck Carmichael informed the Board that due to the recent death of Mrs. Pepper, the Department now has management responsibility of Botany Bay, a 4630 acres property on Edisto Island. The Department hopes to have the property open to the public no later than May 1.
- Items for Board Action
- Stakeholder Striped Bass Legislative Recommendations
The Board expressed their appreciation to Jae Espey for his work with this group. Mr. Charles Howard, who served on this committee, reviewed the consensus recommendations for the Santee Cooper System. The group recently arrived at the following sunset issue: seven-year sunset clause with input from DNR into any statutory changes. At the end of the seven years if there are no legislative changes it will remain as proposed by the Striped Bass Stakeholders Working Group. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board adopt the Stakeholder Striped Bass Legislative Recommendations and the sunset clause as proposed. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Item for Board Information
Horry County Heritage Preserve Update
Deanna Ruth gave the Board a brief update on each of the following heritage preserves in Horry County, Waccamaw River, Cartwheel Bay, Little Pee Dee, and Lewis Ocean Bay.
- Deputy Directors Reports
Robert Boyles presented the Board with budget figures for the history of the marine artificial reef program. Mr. Boyles reminded the Board of the Harry Hampton Marine Conservation banquet scheduled for May 2 and the Region IV Open House scheduled for May
2 and 3. Mr. Boyles informed the Board of the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s proposed action (Snapper-Grouper Amendment 15B) to prohibit the sale of fish caught under the personal bag limit.
- Outreach and Support Services
Carole Collins gave the Board an update on the status of the South Carolina Enterprise Information System.
- Items for Board Information
- Safe Harbor Agreement
Paul League reviewed the Safe Harbor Agreement as included in the Board Meeting Package. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Safe Harbor Agreement be approved as presented. Mr. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Tax Credit for Habitat Improvement
Mr. Frampton distributed an opinion from the Office of the Attorney General concerning sections 12-6-3520 and 50-15-55 of the South Carolina Code. The Board accepted this information for review and it will be discussed at the February meeting.
- Director’s Briefing
Mr. Frampton gave the Board a budget update and reported that the Department’s House Ways and Means Committee budget hearing was held on January 9.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that he has spoken with Dr. John Kelly, Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture at Clemson, and Dr. Kelly has assured him that he will pass along to agents that there is no pressure from DNR on the guidelines for normal agricultural practices.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that Senator Gregory will not seek re-election and suggested honoring him with the John Drummond Conservationist Award. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the John Drummond Conservationist Award be given to Senator Gregory. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Land, Water and Conservation
Steve de Kozlowski informed the Board that the SCACD Legislative Reception will be held on February 19. Mr. de Kozlowski stated that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee will meet on January 24 and the Drought Response Committee will meet on January 22.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Nothing further to report.
- Law Enforcement
Nothing further to report.
- Executive Session
At this time Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal, and personnel matters. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board return to regular session. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion to sell or otherwise dispose of the Berry’s Mill Fish Hatchery property in Greenville County. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The February Board meeting will be held on Friday, February 15, 2008, in Charleston.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.