Minutes
Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
Columbia, SC
January 26, 2012 10:00 am

The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m., January 26, 2012, 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 Caroline Rhodes presided at the meeting. Board members present included Cary Chastain, John Evans, Michael Hutchins, Randy Lowe, Norman Pulliam and Larry Yonce. Acting Director Alvin Taylor and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.

  1. Call to Order
    Chairman Caroline Rhodes called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.  
  2. Invocation
    Chaplain Eric Skidmore offered the invocation.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
    Vice Chairman John Evans led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Introduction of Guests
    Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Stan Halliday, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee; Senator Ronnie Cromer; Scott Whitaker, Executive Director, Coastal Conservation Association; Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; Madison Walker, Governor’s Office; and Sammy Fretwell, The State.

    Chairman Rhodes read a statement of apology about the events surrounding the retirement of Mr. Frampton.
  5. Constituent Comments
    Mr. Winslow noted that there was one request for constituent comment.

    Senator Ronnie Cromer stated that he had a personnel matter to discuss and asked the Board if they would like to hold this discussion in executive session.

  6. Executive Session
    Mr. Evans made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss a personnel matter. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  7. Open Session
    Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

    Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board appoint Col. Alvin Taylor as DNR Director, effective March 17, 2012. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

  8. Approval of Minutes
    Chairman Rhodes asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the December 8, 2011, meeting minutes. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the December 8, 2011, meeting with the following amendment.
    1. Advisory Committee Reports
      1. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
        Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Committee met October 27. The Advisory Board welcomed new members Mark Daniels, Mark Rogers and James Zachrich. The Advisory Board approved three motions. The first two motions pertain to changes to series tournament guidelines:- 1) allowing the fishing rod to be passed to any angler once, 2) language changes to make clearer photography and videography allowance for released billfish, and 3) allow for proposed federal regulations for dolphin. The Advisory Board also approved a motion to transfer $1,500 for the Governor’s Cup scholarship and $1,000 for the yearly pledge to Harry Hampton. Foster McKissick resigned completed his term as Chairman and Ed Holder was nominated and elected as Chairman. A motion was made to strike the weather rule in the contract but received no second so no action was taken.

        Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  9. Presentations/Commendations
    Col. Taylor and the Deputy Directors announced and commended the 2010 Division and Department Employees of the Year. Executive Office: Angie Williams; Law Enforcement: Sandra Burton; Marine Resources: Betty Burn; Outreach & Support Services: Nancy Hoover; Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries: Dan Rankin; and Land, Water & Conservation and 2010 DNR Employee of the Year: Joy Sullivan.
  10. Advisory Committee Reports
    1. Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
      Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met October 6. The Advisory Committee received a report on saltwater license sales to date. The Advisory Committee received a presentation on establishing size and bag limits for sheepshead. The Advisory Committee passed a motion to recommend to the DNR Board to seek legislation to establish a 14 inch minimum size limit, a 10 fish personal bag limit and a 20 fish per boat limit. The Advisory Committee received a presentation on the activities of the Coastal Law Enforcement Program. The Advisory Committee received an overview on the trammel net program.
    2. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
      Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on March 11 and January 10. The Advisory Committee discussed the Comprehensive Deer Management Legislation. The Advisory Committee received updates on the public dove field opening day results, the reservoir enhancement program, the 2011 bear season results, cormorant issues and feral hog concerns. The Advisory Committee was given a directory of General Assembly members and asked to let staff know which members they may be able to contact.
    3. Migratory Waterfowl
      Mr. Hutchins reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee met on November 2. A quorum was not present so no action could be taken. The Advisory Committee was informed that the color separations have been completed for the upcoming stamp. Due to the fact that a quorum was not present the artist commission will be in place until November 21. The Advisory Committee was provided a summary of revenue. Mr. Hutchins made a recommendation, upon the Board’s request, to consider consolidating the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee with the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Hutchins noted that a request was made for feedback from the Committee and stated that the Board would not insist on the consolidation if the Committee felt it was not necessary. The Advisory Committee also met on November 21, via conference call. The Advisory Committee reelected Milton Brazzell was reelected as Chairman and Bobby Creech was elected Joe Johnson as Vice Chairman. The Advisory Committee approved the contract with Jim Killian for the 2013 stamp. Mr. Brazzell informed Mr. Hutchins that the Advisory Committee opposes the consolidation of the two Advisory Committees. Mr. Hutchins stated that he would provide the information to the Board. Mr. Hutchins proposes no further action and recommended that the Committee stand alone, for now.
    4. Heritage Trust
      Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met November 10. The Advisory Committee received updates on the Poinsett Bridge Project; activities at Savage Bay Heritage Preserve, Longleaf Pine Heritage Preserve and Lynchburg Savanna Heritage Preserve. The Advisory Committee was also provided a budget and revenue update.
    5. Land, Water and Conservation
      Mr. Rentiers reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee met October 19. The Advisory Committee received updates from all Land, Water and Conservation Division section chiefs and water planning activities. The Advisory Committee took action on conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments.

      Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, provided the Board with a drought update and reviewed rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels, and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
    6. Marine
      Mr. Chastain reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met January 13. The Advisory Committee received an overview of South Carolina government and the regulatory authority and management of saltwater fisheries. This led to a discussion about their limited authority and desire to obtain additional authority to manage fisheries and wildlife. Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, stated that this would be quite an effort and would probably require sunset stipulations. The Advisory Committee received an update on the recommendations for sheepshead management. The Advisory Committee passed a motion to recommend to the DNR Board to seek legislation to establish a 14-inch minimum size limit, a 10 fish personal bag limit. The Advisory Committee passed a second motion to recommend to the DNR Board to seek legislation to establish a 30 fish per boat limit. The Board decided to delay action on this request until they receive the full report at the next meeting.
  11. Items for Board Information
    Report on Bear Season
    Deanna Ruth, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, reported that the first coastal bear season was held December 1-15. There were 297 applicants with only one being non-resident. All tags (30) that were drawn were resident hunters. Three drawn hunters were unable to hunt and returned their survey and tag. Seven of the hunters used WMA's and the remainder used private lands. One 197- pound female was harvested in Georgetown County.
  12. Items for Board Action
    1. Updates - EPMS and Reduction in Force (RIF) Policies
      Terri McGee, Human Resources Director, briefly reviewed the updates for the EPMS and RIF policies as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the EPMS and RIF policies as presented. Mr. Chastain seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
    2. Comprehensive Deer Management Program
      Charles Ruth, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, informed the Board that information about the Comprehensive Deer Management legislation was included on the Department’s website; included in news releases; placed on Facebook and Twitter; and provided to 111,000 Big Game Permit holders. Mr. Ruth noted that 493 people submitted 500+ comments, as some submitted more than one comment, and 76% of the comments were positive. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Comprehensive Deer Management Program as presented allowing the flexibility for necessary language changes to be in line with other regulations/legislation and to provide meetings as necessary. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  13. Director's Briefing
    Col. Taylor gave the Board an update on the budget. He also informed the Board that the Department will be asking for a class of officers, funding for IT and funding for the Hydrology/Geology program in the Land, Water and Conservation Division.

    Col. Taylor reminded the Board that their Statement of Economic Interests forms are due by April 15.

  14. Legislative Report
    Mr. Meggie gave the Board an overview of this week’s legislative activities. The Chapter 13 Fisheries part 1 and part 2 bills are on the way to the Governor’s office. Mr. Meggie reported that in addition to the fisheries bills the Department has been monitoring the House Resolution that would transfer DHEC’s permit responsibilities along the Savannah River to the Maritime Commission. Mr. Meggie informed the Board that clarification legislation to the board regarding the Catawba Claims Act of 1993. Mr. Meggie reviewed bills introduced that week.
  15. Environmental Programs
    Bill Marshall, Office of Environmental Programs, reviewed the briefing document in the Board meeting package noting that new information/updates are in red.
  16. Deputy Directors' Reports
    1. Marine Resources
      Mr. Boyles distributed a news release from National Marine Fisheries Service regarding annual catch limits and possession limits on artificial reefs off of South Carolina. Mr. Boyles reported that the commercial trawl fishery closed on January 17. Mr. Boyles informed the board that renovations have begun on the Eltzroth Building.
    2. Outreach and Support Services
      Scott Speares, Assistant Director for Outreach and Support Services, reported that the Quality Assurance Quality Control position has been filled.
    3. Land, Water and Conservation
      Mr. Rentiers reported on the draft 2012 Aquatic Nuisance Plant Management Plan. The plan is out for public comment until February 12. Mr. Rentiers noted that the biggest change is the increase in grass carp for Lakes Marion and Moultrie. Mr. Rentiers informed the Board of staff assistance provided by the Geology Section to Georgetown County concerning the recent sinkholes. Mr. Rentiers reminded the Board of the Kolb Site annual archaeology project. Mr. Rentiers briefly reported on the recently held Water Summit.
    4. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
      Mrs. Cope distributed photographs and briefly reported on the Yawkey shop fire. Mrs. Cope distributed and reviewed the timber inventory update.
    5. Law Enforcement
      Col. Taylor gave the Board a brief update on dove season. Col. Taylor reported on a hunting deer over bait case that has gone through the courts in the upstate. The plaintiff was found not guilty due to the fact that the law does not say you cannot hunt over bait, only you cannot bait. The opinion from the Attorney General’s Office concurred with the ruling in this case.

  17. Time and Location of the Next Meetings
    The February Board meeting will be held Friday, February 17, 2012, in Charleston.

    The March Board meeting will be held Friday, March 23, 2012, in Columbia.

    The April Board meeting will be held Thursday, April 19, 2012, location to be determined.

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

The SCDNR Board Minutes for January 26, 2012 (file size 1.1M), have been provided in the Adobe PDF file format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the above files and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.

Get Adobe Reader