Board of the Department of Natural Resources

Santee Coastal Reserve
220 Santee Gun Club Road
McClellanville, SC
February 17, 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, February 17, 2006, at the Santee Coastal Reserve, McClellanville, 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, Frank Murray and Smith Ragsdale. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests. .

  1. Call to Order
    Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
  2. Invocation
    Chairman McShane asked Col. Alvin Taylor to offer the invocation.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance
    Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Introduction of Guests
    Hank Stallworth informed Chairman McShane that guests in attendance had requested time for constituent comments.
  5. Presentations/Commendations
    Board Member Ragsdale introduced Mr. Jim Hills. Mr. Hills is part owner of Frost Waterfowl and owner of Ingleside Plantation. Frost Waterfowl produces some of the mallards released in South Carolina. Chairman McShane informed the group that the Board has requested Mr. Hills to share some thoughts, prospective and point of view on issues that may be arising. Mr. Hills distributed information about Avian Influenza Viruses and Paramyxoviruses in Wintering and Resident Ducks in Texas. This article states that wild birds represent the natural reservoir for avian influenza viruses (AIVs) and avian paramyxoviruses (APMVs), both of which are potential health threats to domestic poultry worldwide. Mr. Hills also distributed copies of a fact sheet prepared by Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, entitled “Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 and Wild Birds”. Mr. Hills also noted that according to CDC there has not been a documented case of human to human transmission.
  6. Constituent Comments
    Jim Cubie, Charleston Natural History Society; Melissa Bimby, USFWS; Norman Burnswig, Audubon SC; Chris Hill, Coastal Carolina University; Nathan Dias, Cape Romain Bird Observatory; Gretta Kruesi, Coastal Conservation League; and Reggie Daves spoke in support of adequate protection for South Carolina’s nesting seabird populations at Crab Bank, Deveaux Bank and Bird Key Stono.

    Chairman McShane asked Sam Chappelear to introduce the staff at Santee Coastal Reserve. Mr. Chappelear introduced Jim Westerhold, Bill Mace, Elizabeth Turner, Jamie Mills, Brian Kaminskas, Michael K. Mull and Jim Lee.
  7. Approval of Minutes
    Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the minutes of the January 20, 2006, meeting. Mr. Evans made the following amendment to the minutes of the January 20, 2006, minutes.
    1. 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.
    Mr. Evans then made a motion that the minutes of the January 20, 2006, meeting be approved as amended. Mrs. Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  8. Presentations/Commendations
    Mr. Frampton commended staff involved with the 9th Annual Natural Resources Legislative Reception and Centennial Celebration held on January 24.

    Mr. Frampton commended Dr. Ted Smith on receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award from the US Chapter of the World Aquaculture Society.

    Mr. Frampton Commended Jean Cowell and Dan Dobbins upon their retirement on March 1, from the Executive Office.
  9. Advisory Committee Reports
    Heritage Trust
    Barry Beasley reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met February 1 and 2, at the Webb Center. Dr. Beasley noted that the Advisory Board received a list of acquisitions from 2005 and mentioned that over 30,000 acres were acquired and protected. The Advisory Board approved a management plan for the Wataco Mountain Heritage Preserve; received a report for the Cultural Areas Committee; received a report on the Heritage Trust survey Program; received an extensive overview of the revenues and history of revenues in the Heritage Trust Program. Dr. Beasley informed the Board that the Advisory Board also took action on the coastal seabird habitat issue. Dr. Beasley read the motion from the Heritage Trust Advisory Board. The first motion was that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board recommends to the DNR Board that the Department pursue a Sanctuary Agreement with the Budget and Control Board. The second motion was that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board recommends to the DNR Board that dogs be banned from the islands 365 days a year and human use is not allowed during nesting season above the mean high water mark. After receiving input from the Divisions involved with this issue, Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve the closing the islands, in their entirety, from March 15 to October 15, prohibit dogs on the islands 365 days per year, close the uplands, from high water to high water for the rest of the year and allow the beaches to be open October 16 to March 14, with the understanding that this will be reassessed in one year. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  10. Item for Board Action
    Bond Resolution
    Buford Mabry informed the Board that under their authority in Section 51-17-10 et seq. the Board also acts as the Heritage Trust Trustees and have to pass the General Bond Resolution and the Series Resolution before it goes to the Joint Bond Review Committee. The resolutions cannot be considered until the passage of the legislation. Mr. Mabry noted that if the resolutions are approved they are approved contingent upon the legislation passing. Mr. Mabry introduced Margaret Pope and Ben Zeigler, attorneys from Haynsworth Sinkler and Boyd. Ms. Pope reviewed, in depth, the proposed Bond Resolution of 2006 and the 2006 Series Resolution with the Board. After the review, Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve the Bond Resolution of 2006 authorizing debt, allowing the Chairman to make minor housecleaning changes as long as it does not change the integrity of the document and noted that this is contingent upon the passage of legislation. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve the 2006 Series Resolution to provide for sale of up to $32 million dollars in revenue bonds and noted that this also is contingent upon the passage of legislation. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  11. Advisory Committee Report
    Law Enforcement
    Col. Alvin Taylor reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met on February 16 at the Marine Center. The Advisory Committee received a presentation on the Archery in the Schools Program. This program is now in 26 schools. Col. Taylor noted that 150 students will compete in an archery competition at the PSC. Col. Taylor reported that the Advisory Committee received a briefing on Region 4 activities.
  12. Item for Board Information
    1. Fall Turkey Season
      Charles Ruth reported that there has never been a statewide Fall Turkey season statewide. There was a six day season in the Central and Piedmont regions in the 1980’s but was eliminated due to concern over reproduction and significant habitat changes. Mr. Ruth noted that once reproduction started declining it has not recovered. Mr. Ruth noted that there are several factors involved in considering a fall turkey season: 1) scheduling, 2) safety, and 3) presence of deer bait. Mr. Ruth reported that the current spring turkey season runs second to deer hunting in popularity.
    2. Forest Service Land Sale
      Mr. Frampton informed the Board that under The Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act, local communities had a choice of receiving 25% of US Forest Service current year timber receipts or an average of the three highest 25% payments made to them from 1986 to 1999. These funds are used for schools, roads, collaborative natural resource and infrastructure related projects. DNR believes it is inappropriate to sell land for county funding. Mr. Frampton noted that this proposal requires Congressional approval. Following discussion, Mr. Ragsdale made a motion that the Board adopt a resolution, drafted by the Director and Chairman with Board oversight, stating the Department’s position on the sale of USFS lands. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
  13. Item for Board Action
    Term Limit of Board Appointments
    Chairman McShane recommended to the Board that a policy be drafted regarding Board appointments to advisory committees. The recommendation should be a two, full and consecutive term limit to one committee. Mrs. Floyd noted that there should be language for an exception for an additional term if the committee or Board believes it is appropriate. Chairman McShane asked that staff draft a policy for Board action at the March 17, 2006, meeting.
  14. Director’s Briefings
    Mr. Frampton gave the Board an update on the Department’s Budget Hearing before the House sub-committee.

    Mr. Frampton noted that the Budget Hearing with the Senate sub-committee will be on March 16.
  15. Deputy Directors’ Reports
    1. Law Enforcement
      Col. Taylor informed the Board that Sgt. Lynwood Kearse will receive an Outstanding Service Award from the Safari Club for the mobility impaired hunts. Col. Taylor reported that Zippit won the National Safe Boating Council's Boating Education Advancement Award for the Southern Region and will compete in the International Boating and Water Safety Summit in April. Col. Taylor showed the Board the plaque received from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries thanking them for their assistance in the Hurricane Katrina efforts.
    2. Outreach and Support Services
      Freddy Vang reminded the Board that the Palmetto Sportsman’s Classic is next month. Mr. Vang also reported that license sales are up.
    3. Land, Water and Conservation
      Mr. Vang reported that there is currently a la Nina and 2006 should be an above normal hurricane season.
    4. Marine
      Robert Boyles reported that Tuesday morning, the R/V Anita, which the Department sold, sunk in the Ashley River. Mr. Boyles informed that the Shark Gillnetting in Federal Waters bill is up for reauthorization this year. Mr. Boyles noted that high marks were received on the ACE Basin 312 Evaluation.
    5. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
      Nothing further to report.
  16. Executive Session
    At this time Mr. Davis 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.
  17. Return to Regular Session
    The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.

    Chairman McShane noted that there were no items discussed in executive session that required action.
  18. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
    The March Board meeting will be held on Friday, March 17, 2006, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, in Columbia.

    The April Board meeting will be held on April 21, 2006, in Columbia. 
  19. Adjournment
    There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.