Maritime Center

Charleston, South Carolina

Thursday, February 12, 1998, 2:00 p.m.

The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 12, 1998, at the Maritime Center, in Charleston, 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 Thomas Miller, Marion Burnside, Campbell Coxe, Edwin Oxner, Mary Pope Waring and Edward 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 2:00 p.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 January 16, 1998 meeting. There being no corrections or additions, the minutes were accepted as mailed.

IV. Presentations/Commendations

A. Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Dr. Sandifer introduced James Huggins, President and CEO of the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

Mr. Huggins welcomed everyone to Charleston and to the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition.

B. South Carolina Aquarium

Dr. Sandifer introduced Dr. Christopher Andrews, Executive Director of the South Carolina Aquarium. Dr. Andrews briefed the Board on the status of fund-raising and construction of the Aquarium and described plans for freshwater and marine exhibits and educational outreach.

C. American Fisheries Society

Dr. Ted Smith gave a presentation on a project titled "Development of the basic requirements for a demonstration scale stock enhancement program for red drum in South Carolina", for which he and the Department have been widely recognized.

Following Dr. Smith's presentation, Gary Isabell, American Fisheries Society representative, presented a national award to Dr. Ted Smith and his associates at the Marine Division for the Outstanding Sportfish Restoration Project of 1997.

D. SC Nature Conservancy

Pat Morgan, Executive Director of the South Carolina Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, presented Dr. Graham and Dr. Sandifer a check in the amount of $25,874. These funds are a result of donations they received for land acquisition for the Jocassee Gorges Project.

E. Junior Duck Stamp

Steve Bates gave a brief background on the Junior Duck Stamp Program. Mr. Bates reported that there were approximately 500 entries from throughout the state. Mr. Bates showed the Board the first place winners in each category. Mr. Bates then presented the Best of Show for 1998 to Christian Chamblee of Heathwood Hall High School in Columbia. Mr. Chamblee's entry will be forwarded to the national competition.

V. Items for Board Action

A. Ashley River Scenic River Designation

Barry Beasley gave an overview of the Scenic River Designation Program and described the study of the Ashley River. The purpose of the Scenic River Designation Program is to protect the unique and outstanding river heritage in South Carolina.

Mrs. Waring made a motion that the Board endorse the designation of the portion of the Ashley River from the Sland's Bridge (US Highway 17A) in Dorchester County to the Drayton Hall Railroad Trestle (operated by CSX Transportation) in Charleston County, as a Scenic River and seek designation by the General Assembly. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

B. Proposed Regulation Changes at Lakes Thicketty and Cherokee

Mac Watson reviewed the proposed regulation changes at Lakes Thicketty and Cherokee (proposed regulations attached to the original minutes). Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board accept the regulation changes at Lakes Thicketty and Cherokee, as recommended by staff. Mr. Miller seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

C. Deletion of Policy 204.02 "Firearms"

Col. Huguley requested that the DNR Board approve the deletion of Policy 204.02 "Firearms" since this information is included in Policy 301.01 "Use of Force". Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board approve the deletion of Policy 204.02 "Firearms". Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

D. Agricultural Lands Protection Legislation

Hank Stallworth distributed copies of the most recent version of the proposed Farm and Forest Lands Protection Act and reviewed the latest revisions. After much discussion, Mrs. Waring made a motion that the Board endorse the proposed legislation, to be sent to the General Assembly, with the following amendment to Section 46-53-110(B)(3): "Unless otherwise authorized in accordance with subsection 46-53-110(B)(5)(a), if the land subject to the agricultural conservation easement is no longer viable agricultural land, the county, subject to the approval of the county board and county council and if state funds were used to purchase the agricultural conservation easement the state board, may sell, convey, extinguish, lease, encumber or restrict an agricultural conservation easement to the current owner of record of the farmland subject to the easement after the expiration of 30 years from the date of purchase of the easement for a purchase price equal to the value at the time of resale determined pursuant to subsection 46-53-110(D) at the time of conveyance." Mr. Coxe seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

VI. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Land, Water and Conservation

Freddy Vang requested approval to proceed with the public hearing process, through ETV and other media, with regard to the State Water Plan. Ninety-nine percent of the comments have been addressed. There were no objections to this request.

Mr. Vang extended his appreciation and the appreciation of the Land Resources and Water Resources Advisory Committees to the Board for their participation in the Conservation Districts Annual Meeting.

B. Law Enforcement

Mr. Miller reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met February 11, at the National Wild Turkey Federation office in Edgefield.

The Law Enforcement Advisory Committee recommends to the DNR Board that a subcommittee of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee Members and Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Members be formed to study the problem relating to hunting deer with dogs in the Francis Marion National Forest. The committee will be asked to recommend action to the DNR Board to improve this problem situation.

The Law Enforcement Advisory Committee made a motion to work with Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee to study the feasibility of a possible fee for turkey tags.

Mr. Miller informed the Board that Cpt. Smith, District 2, gave a report from his District including their need for additional office space.

Mr. Miller also reported that a report was made regarding dress uniforms for officers. Mr. Miller stated that this was passed by the Board approximately two years ago, and was postponed due to lack of funds.

C. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Mr. Coxe reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met earlier this morning, February 12.

Mr. Coxe informed the Board that the Committee received constituency comments regarding the Santee Lakes and concerns with the aquatic weed program and perceived reduction in the bass fishing success rate.

Mr. Coxe reported that the Committee discussed the Francis Marion Hunt Unit and the problems related to hunting deer with dogs. They have set up a joint committee with the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee to study this issue.

D. Heritage Trust

Mr. Lee reported to the Board that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met February 5.

Mr. Lee informed the Board that they discussed the development of a system for setting natural area priorities, such as was done on the cultural and archeological sites throughout the state. This is a step forward in prioritizing the tracts they would like to purchase and determining where gaps may exist. Mr. Lee requested that someone from Tom Kohlsaat's area be given time on the March agenda to make a presentation on how this system is working.

Mr. Lee reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee voted to spend $100,000 for an acre of land on Hilton Head. Mr. Lee went on record, as well as others, as voting for this with grave reservation, but it is part of the very significant Green Shell Ring which is one of a kind in the country.

Mr. Lee informed the Board that the Congaree Creek canoe take-outs and parking areas are under consideration for funding. The Advisory Committee is discussing possible use of the Lexington County Water Recreation Fund for this construction.

Mr. Lee reported that there was an earlier question about having to purchase a right of way to access the property at the Fort Frederick site near Beaufort, the Navy has agreed to allow the continued use of their hospital grounds as an access point.

VII. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer announced that Col. Mark Huguley has resigned effective March 1, to take a position with SLED. Dr. Sandifer expressed his appreciation to Col. Huguley for his service with the Department.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he and staff have appeared before the House Ways and Means Subcommittee and answered questions about our budget request. The subcommittee is supporting the approval of the budget request.

Dr. Sandifer expressed appreciation to Freddy Vang and the staff who made the arrangements for the Conservation Districts annual meeting and the Board meeting.

Dr. Sandifer commended staff, principally John Lucas and Glenn Gardner, for the Jocassee, Sandy Island and Congaree video that was shown at the Governor's State of the State Address.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he, the executive management staff and the deputy directors have completed the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People leadership training.

Dr. Sandifer recognized the following staff who received awards from the South Carolina Wildlife Federation: Skip Still - Communication Award; Dave Baumann - Wildlife Award; Mel Bell - Wildlife Award; Mike Creel - Harry Hampton Woods and Water Journalism Award. Dr. Sandifer also reported that David Cline received the Land Award; Duke Energy Corporation received the Conservationist of the Year for the Jocassee Project; and Bob Rogers, a volunteer with Law Enforcement Hunter and Boating Education, also received an award.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the next two tentative dates for the public input and information in the Jocassee Gorges Management Plan will be March 19, in the Jocassee area, and March 26 in Columbia.

2. Legal

Nothing to report.

3. Legislative

Dr. Sandifer reported that the Jocassee Gorges Trust Fund legislation is expected to pass the Senate next week and then go to the House for consideration.

The Law Enforcement Division's legislation to delete a superfluous code section on reporting hunting accidents has passed the Senate. Dr. Sandifer also reported that a bill not proposed by the Board, but which will be of assistance to Law Enforcement, H 3590 prohibiting the use of artificial lights for observing or harassing wildlife in game zone 6 has passed the House and Senate and is awaiting the Governor's signature.

4. Human Resources

Nothing to report.

5. Environmental

Ed Duncan reviewed the permitting activities of the past year.

B. Deputy Directors

1. Conservation Education and Communications

Mike Willis reported on the results of the South Carolina Broadcasters' Association's NCSA report. According to this report, since July 1997, radio stations have run over 6,000 DNR spots at a value over $157,000.

2. Marine Resources

John Miglarese reported that no formal response to the Board's letter has been received from the Secretary of Commerce regarding the longlining issue.

Dr. Miglarese also updated the Board on the shrimp growing industry. They have been working with the shrimp growers very diligently since January trying to come up with agreements on dealing with permits as well as getting an in-state hatchery.

Dr. Miglarese informed the Board that the Marine Division will be holding the annual Fishing Fair on May 1-3. Friday, May 1, will be a student day and May 2-3 will be the open house. Dr. Miglarese extended an invitation to the Board.

3. Land, Water and Conservation

Mr. Vang reported that the Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will conduct a Reconnaissance Study of the Savannah Basin over the next two years. This study will address upper and lower basin issues to include water supply allocations, flood control, hydropower, water quality (with regard to flows), habitat and aquatic plant control.

Mr. Vang announced the following recognitions: the Internet site, relative to climate and education, was noted as being in the top 5% of science education sites, by the National Science Teacher's Association. Also, the GIS group was noted as the best group agency project in the state, by the State Mapping Advisory Committee.

4. Administrative Services

Benny Reeves reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Committee will be conducting the Duck Stamp Judging at 9:00 a.m., and the drop-in will be at 6:00 p.m., on February 13.

5. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Brock Conrad reported that the 1997-98 waterfowl season on Waterfowl Management areas was slightly better than last season. One thousand five hundred forty-one hunters were accommodated who harvested 2,622 ducks.

6. Law Enforcement

Col. Huguley reported that after the last Board meeting, he was requested to investigate other options pursuant to federal fisheries enforcement and application for contract funds from the National Marine Fisheries Service. Col. Huguley believes there has been some progress and asked Maj. Alvin Taylor to give a report.

Maj. Taylor gave a detailed report on the purposes and outcome of the expanded contract.

Maj. Taylor also thanked Mike Willis for all the work he has done for the Law Enforcement Division.

Col. Huguley played a video tape on the Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Program. A national teleconference was conducted recently with SC ETV. Over 115 sites participated nationwide.

VIII. Executive Session

At this time, Mr. Miller 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.



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, Mrs. Waring made a motion that Dr. Madeline Fletcher be named the DNR Board appointee for the Marine Advisory Committee. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board accept staff recommendations for conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments (recommendations attached to the original minutes). Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

IX. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Graham stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, March 27, 1998, at 10:00 a.m., in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, in Columbia.

X. Adjournment

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