Board of the Department of Natural Resources
National Wild Turkey Federation Headquarters
770 Augusta Road
January 20, 2006 10:00 a.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 am, on Friday, January 20, 2006, at the National Wild Turkey Federation Headquarters, Edgefield, South Carolina. 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, Stephen Davis, John Evans, Karen Floyd and Frank Murray. Board Member Smith Ragsdale’s absence was 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 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Tommy Knotts to offer the invocation.
Chairman McShane thanked the NWTF for their hospitality in hosting this meeting.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Hank Stallworth introduced Representatives Mike Pitts and Jeff Duncan; Representative Duncan’s son, Tommy; Greg Henderson, President of SC Association of Conservation Districts; Tommy Knotts; George Selfridge, Plum Branch Yacht Club and Member of McCormick County Planning Commission; and Joey Holleman, The State newspaper.
John Frampton introduced Rob Keck, NWTF. Mr. Keck offered comments about the conservation family and DNR’s role in the family. Mr. Keck spoke of their outreach programs and the need to recruit children. Mr. Keck informed the Board of the many programs of NWTF.
Chairman McShane asked Representatives Pitts and Duncan if they had any comments. Representative Pitts thanked the Board for their interest in the stewardship of the State and its resources. Representative Pitts thanked Mr. Keck and NWTF for sponsoring the Congressional Sportsmen’s Caucus, the Sportsmen’s Foundation and the caucus being formed in SC.
Representative Duncan thanked the Board for their help in issues that affect DNR. Representative Duncan mentioned that in the last budget year, DNR was able to hire 25 law enforcement officers and he would like to see that increased next year. Representative Duncan also commended the Board on protecting natural areas. Representative Duncan also thanked Mr. Keck and NWTF for their assistance.
Chairman McShane asked Greg Henderson, President of SC Association of Conservation Districts, if he would like to make any comments. Mr. Henderson said the conservation districts were created in 1939, and are unique since they comprise federal, state and local government. Conservation districts have a partnership with DNR and NRCS and are the forefront contact for federal programs. The conservation districts are asking for a $5,000 increase, per district, in this year’s budget. Mr. Henderson invited the Board to the SCACD Legislative Reception to be held February 21, 2006, in Columbia.
Chairman McShane asked George Selfridge if he would like to make any comments. Mr. Selfridge introduced himself as the owner of the Plum Branch Yacht Club and as a member of the McCormick County Planning Commission. Mr. Selfridge’s comments were directed toward the development of Petersburg. Mr. Selfridge assured the Board that if the project moves forward the Planning Commission will see that development is done in the most responsible way possible.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the minutes of the December 9, 2005, meeting. There being none, Mrs. Floyd made a motion to accept the minutes of the December 9, 2005, meeting as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Chairman McShane presented a draft copy of the Board Resolution honoring Governor Carroll Campbell for consideration for adoption by the Board and presentation to the Campbell family. Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board adopt the resolution. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Vice Chairman Campbell thanked everyone from DNR for everything done for the family over the last month and a half.
Mr. Frampton commended the officers who participated in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts and distributed a page from Times’ Annual: The Year in Review with pictures of Officers Eric Gantt and Freddie Earhardt.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Breck Carmichael reported that the Advisory Committee met on January 10. The Advisory Committee received a progress report on the Fisheries Section Priority Plan, Path to a New Direction. The Advisory Committee received reports from the DNR Marketing Committee; on Freshwater Mollusks and Crustaceans; on the Forest Legacy Program; on the Coastal Heritage Preserve Sea and Shorebird Nesting Islands; and the 2006 Legislative Proposal.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Stallworth reported that the Advisory Committee met January 6 in Myrtle Beach in conjunction with the Conservation District Annual Partnership Conference. The Advisory Committee received a presentation from the Barnwell Conservation District; an update on the FERC relicensing of the Catawba-Wateree Project; a review of a Corps of Engineers Study proposing a lake on Tyger River in Union County; and a review of 2005 weather.
- Migratory Waterfowl
Chairman McShane reported that the Advisory Committee met telephonically on January 11 to consider contracting an artist for the 2007-2008 Duck Stamp. The Advisory Committee will host a press event at the Embassy Suites in Charleston on February 15, 2006, to celebrate the 25th anniversary.
- Item for Board Information
Public Meetings regarding Deer Limits and Tag Programs
Charles Ruth stated that at the request of hunters, the DNR is holding meetings to attempt to measure public support, in respect to buck limits. Mr. Ruth noted that in 2004, results of DNR's annual Deer Hunter Survey, which was sent to 25,000 randomly selected hunters, indicated that over 70 percent of hunters statewide felt that the limit on bucks should be 5 or less and that some form of enforcement, such as tags, should be in place. Chairman McShane asked Mr. Ruth to schedule two additional public meetings, one in Horry County and one in Charleston.
Mr. Frampton distributed and discussed the Governor’s Executive Budget. Mr. Frampton mentioned that DNR’s House budget hearing will be Wednesday, January 25.
- Item for Board Action
- Lexington County Request for Easement for Road to Impact Cohen Campbell Fish Hatchery Property
Paul League reviewed the request by Lexington County for an easement on real property at the Cohen Campbell Fisheries Center. The request is for additional paved roads to be constructed around the schools including Lexington County Recreation property adjacent to DNR properties. Lexington County Public Works has committed to provide the engineering expertise, labor and equipment to complete the road construction project. A motion was made that the easement be approved and sent to the Budget and Control Board with the following contingencies: DNR provide realistic costs for commercial grade paving and some type of fencing or screening around the back of the property, to keep equipment from public view, and convey to the Budget and Control Board that
the Department would like to recoup these expenses Lexington County should be responsible for all work and the associated cost. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. There being none, Mrs. Floyd made a motion to accept the minutes of the December 9, 2005, meeting as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Policy Revisions
Jean Cowell reviewed the proposed changes to Leave Policy #702.01 and Workers Compensation Policy #705.03. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the policies as presented. Mrs. Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Coastal Heritage Preserve Regulations
Breck Carmichael stated that these are not regulations in the APA sense of regulations. Mr. Carmichael distributed a proposed Sanctuary Agreement for three Coastal Heritage Preserves. Mr. Carmichael reviewed the background of these three properties and the nesting birds that use these islands. Chairman McShane asked if the Heritage Trust Advisory Board had taken action on this item yet. Mr. Carmichael stated that they had not yet but it would be presented as information at the February meeting. The Board decided to delay action on this item until the Heritage Trust Advisory Board has presented their recommendation. This item will be discussed at the February Heritage Trust Advisory Board meeting and also at the February DNR Board meeting.
- Transfer of Corps Lands to Private Entities
Mr. Frampton distributed a draft resolution and a draft position statement opposing the transfer of Corps collar lands to private interests. Buford Mabry reviewed the process used by the Corps to dispose of land and stated that unless Congress enacts specific legislation telling the Corps to divest itself of these lands, the Corps position is that because fish and wildlife management is a project purpose for J. Strom Thurmond they don’t have legal authority to dispose of the property in the normal course of events. It would take Congressional action to direct the Corps to dispose of the land, which in essence amends the 1986 Water Resources Development Act. Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board adopt the resolution as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. The approved resolution (copy attached to original minutes) will be submitted to the Corps through Director Frampton.
- Executive Session
At this time Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board accept the recommendations of conservation district nominees as appointed commissioners. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis made a motion directing Director Frampton to move forward with the sale of the lake portion of the Oak Grove property in Greenville County to Greenville County. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Land, Water and Conservation
Nothing further to report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Nothing further to report.
- Law Enforcement
Lt. Col. Van McCarty gave the Board a brief report on the NGA Conference that will be held in Charleston this year. Lt. Col. McCarty reported on the hiring process and the in-state boat contracts.
- Outreach and Support Services
Carole Collins gave the Board an update on Christmas sales in the Wildlife Shop. Ms. Collins introduced Scott Speares, Assistant Deputy Director.
Robert Boyles informed the Board that Charlie Wenner was awarded the “Conservationist of the Year” award by the Palmetto Longrodder’s Association. Mr. Boyles reported that a tagged Cobia was recaptured off the coast of Florida. Mr. Boyles announced that the commercial shrimp season is set to be closed on January 21.
Derrick Meggie reported that the Heritage Trust Bonding bill has been introduced in both houses. The Senate will take up this bill on February 1. The Mitigation Trust bill was introduced this last week.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The February Board meeting will be held on Friday, February 17, 2006, at the Santee Coastal Reserve, in McClellenville.
The March Board meeting will be held on March 17, 2006, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.