Minutes

Board of the Department of Natural Resources

NOAA - National Ocean Service Laboratory Auditorium

214 Fort Johnson Road

Charleston, South Carolina

February 18, 2005   9:30 a.m.

 

The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, February 18, 2005, in the NOAA-National Ocean Service laboratory Auditorium, Charleston, 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.

 

    I.      Call to Order

            Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

           

   II.      Invocation

Chairman McShane asked Chaplain Sally Taylor, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, to offer the invocation. 

 

  III.      Pledge of Allegiance

            Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

  IV.      Introduction of Guests

        Cary Chamblee introduced Jim Wessell, of Charleston; Carlisle Blakeney, member of the Waterfowl Advisory Committee; Gresham Magget, of James Island; Paul Hund, of James Island; Tim Geho, of James Island; Fred Dockery; Jan and Pat Robertson, The State newspaper; Petey Davis, of Edisto; Arthur Ford, of Beaufort; Debra Hernandez, DHEC-OCRM; Scott Whitaker, Director of CCA; Bill Kennerty, Charleston Conservation District Commissioner; Jack Day, Charleston Conservation District Commissioner; Bill Wilkes, Charleston Conservation District Commissioner; Raymond Tumbleston, Charleston Conservation District Commissioner; Dwayne Mangum, NRCS - Charleston District Conservationist; Bobby Long, Dorchester Conservation District Commissioner and Tom Salisbury, Dorchester Conservation District Commissioner.

 

   V.      Approval of Minutes

            Chairman McShane asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the January 21, 2005 meeting.  Mr. Campbell made a motion to accept the minutes of the January 21, 2005 meeting as presented.  Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

VI.        Presentations/Commendations

            Priscilla Wright presented the Palmetto Wildlife Rehabilitator Award to Susan Bogart of James Island.

 

            Mr. Frampton commended Carole Collins and Linda Campbell for their efforts in organizing the four STARS (Staying Together After Retirement Starts) luncheon meetings.

 

VII.      Constituent Comment

Mr. Chamblee introduced Tim Geho to the Board.  Mr. Geho served on the ad hoc Blue Crab Committee and is a recreational crabber.  Mr. Geho informed the Board that he supports the Blue Crab legislation as proposed. 

 

Mr. Chamblee introduced Fred Dockery to the Board.  Mr. Dockery served on the ad hoc Blue Crab Committee and is a commercial crabber.  Mr. Dockery informed the Board that the proposed legislation is a compromise and he supports it as proposed.

 

Mr. Chamblee introduced Petey Davis to the Board.  Mr. Davis served on the ad hoc Blue Crab Committee and is a commercial crabber.  Mr. Davis informed the Board that he also supports the Blue Crab legislation as proposed.

 

 

Mr. Ray Barnes stated that he has heard that Georgia and North Carolina are able to keep sponge crabs and was wondering it that is true.  Mr. Whitaker stated that Georgia changed their law approximately five years ago and they no longer allow the harvest of sponge crabs.  Mr. Whitaker stated that he thinks North Carolina is the same.

 

Mr. Whitaker gave the Board a presentation on the proposed Blue Crab legislation beginning with the creation of the ad hoc Blue Crab Committee to the drafting of the proposed legislation, as sent to the Board in their meeting package.  Mr. Whitaker also noted that the proposed legislation is a compromise of those serving on the ad hoc committee.  Mr. Whitaker asked for the Board’s endorsement to move forward with this legislation.

 

Mr. Jerry Gault stated that he had some questions and concerns about the proposed legislation.  Mr. Gault posed several questions to the Board, Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Theiling.  Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Theiling answered most of Mr. Gault’s questions.  Chairman McShane asked that staff from the Marine Division work with Mr. Gault on questions of a specific nature.   Mr. Evans made a motion that the staff move forward with the Blue Crab Limitation Legislation as presented.  Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Scott Whitaker, CCA, commented that CCA supports legislation that enables DNR to have regulatory authority and the ability to change rules and regulations and encouraged the Board to endorse this legislation. 

 

  IX.      Advisory Committee Reports

A.   Heritage Trust

Dr. Barry Beasley reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met February 3, at the McKenzie Marine Field Station at Bennett’s Point.  Dr. Beasley stated that the Advisory Board approved expenditures for the following:  $30,000 – Duke trail work at Estatoe Creek; $10,000 - road work at Jocassee near the Lower Fork Heritage Preserve; $18,000 – to assist with Hemlock Wooly Adelgid releases at Jocassee Gorges; and $3.6 million for acquisition projects this year.  The Heritage Trust Program is looking to create more partnerships this year.  The Advisory Board approved a dedication agreement for Thompkins Island and approved management plans for Poinsett Bridge, Fort Lamar and Bear Branch Heritage Preserves.  The Advisory Board also received an overview of the Conservation Bank from Marvin Davant.  Dr. Beasley gave the Advisory Board an update on the Habitat Protection Strategy.

 

            B.   Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Breck Carmichael reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on February 15.  Vice Chairman Ed Muckenfuss chaired the meeting in Mr. Davis’ absence.  The Advisory Committee decided to establish a memorial fund for Charles Culbertson, which will go through the Hampton Fund.  The Advisory Committee received an update on the DNR Trout Management Program.  The Advisory Committee endorsed the Long Term Marketing Plan to Increase Revenue, as provided by staff, this item will be brought to the Board after it has been presented to the Deputy Directors.  Tim Ivey provided the results of the waterfowl season on the WMA’s.  The Advisory Committee received updates on the public meetings concerning the hatchery permit, game zone consolidation, current legislation and nutria.

 

            C.  Waterfowl

Mr. Carmichael reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met on February 15.  Mr. Carmichael reported that he chaired this meeting in Mr. Davis’ absence.  Tim Ivey provided the Advisory Committee with the results of the waterfowl season on the WMA’s.  Bob Perry gave the Advisory Board an update on the Wood Duck Box Program.  Derrell Shipes provided information about a management plan for Double Crested Comorant.  The Advisory Committee took action on a mission statement, which will be provided to the Board.    Walt Rhodes reported on results of the mid-winter waterfowl survey.

 

            D.  Migratory Waterfowl

Chairman McShane reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Committee met on February 17.  The Advisory Board approved sending $20,000 to Ducks Unlimited Canada project.  Chairman McShane asked that the Board ratify this issue.  Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board accept the recommendation of the Migratory Waterfowl Committee to forward $20,000 to the DU Canada Project.  Mrs. Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. 

 

   X.      Items for Board Information

A.   Impoundment Policy and Evaluation

Chairman McShane asked that Ms. Hernandez participate in the discussion of this item as it relates to DHEC’s Board meeting last week.  Chairman McShane asked Ms. Hernandez how DHEC is handling this item.  Ms. Hernandez stated that it is a product of the Ricefield Impoundment Strategy Collaborative.   Chairman McShane asked the Board to adopt the same charge that the DHEC Board adopted at their meeting last week for the Ricefield Impoundment Strategy Collaborative.  This will form a group, which will report to both Boards the facts.  Ms. Hernandez stated that this work has been ongoing and in cooperation with DNR.  The ricefield impoundment inventory has been collected, the first time since the late 1970’s.  DHEC has asked a researcher to prepare A State of the Knowledge Report that analyzes the research from the 20 years under the current policy.  The stakeholder process is the third component; this will be managed by a facilitator.  It is hoped that this group will come up with recommendations by July to provide back to both Boards.  Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board adopt the charge and forward it on to DHEC.  Mrs. Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

B.   Predatory Beetle Funding

Mr. Carmichael gave the Board a brief background of the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.  Mr. Carmichael stated that the US Forest Service has come up with a biological control agent, the predatory beetle that will specifically attack the Hemlock Wooly Adelgid.  Mr. Carmichael noted that there are very limited supplies of this beetle and very few people producing them, but the Forest Service is the primary producer at this point.  Mr. Carmichael reported that Clemson University is raising these beetles and provided the Department with approximately $30,000 worth of beetles, free of charge, to be released at Jocassee Gorges.  It is too soon to tell if it is having an impact yet, but it will be surveyed during the spring and summer.  The Heritage Trust Advisory Board has agreed to provide $18,000, which will allow Clemson the ability to produce the predatory beetles.  Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the $18,000 expense and provide the Board with an evaluation in one year.  Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

  XI.      Items for Board Action

            A.   Little Pee Dee Scenic River Eligibility Study

Dr. Beasley gave the Board a brief history of the Scenic River Program and an overview of the proposed Little Pee Dee River Eligibility Study to the Board, as provided in the Board meeting package.  Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board accept the recommendation from staff that a 48-mile segment of the Little Pee Dee River be designated as a State Scenic River.  Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

B.   Fish Kill Investigation, Horse Creek, Aiken County

Wade Bales reviewed the report of the Fish Kill Investigation of the Graniteville Chlorine Spill in the Horse Creek System in Aiken County, as provided in the Board meeting package.  Mr. Bales stated that the total cost for this investigation and the replacement cost of the fish totals $4110.57.  Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve the report as presented.  Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

XII.      Director’s Briefing

            Mr. Frampton, Robert Boyles and Johnny Evans met with Mike Abel of the Coastal Conservation Association in Charleston on February 4, to discuss legislative issues.  Mr. Frampton asked that the Board include the limited authority proposed legislation on the legislative agenda.  The Board was in favor of this action.

 

            Mr. Frampton reported that the Department had its Budget Hearing before the Senate Finance Natural Resources Subcommittee on February 17.

 

            Mr. Frampton participated in the Southeastern Wildlife Expo Preview Night on February 17 and he and several staff will be representing the Department throughout the weekend.

 

            Mr. Frampton reminded the Board that the Mead Property Dedication will be held at Wappaoolah Plantation on February 24, at 12:00 noon.

 

            Mr. Frampton also reminded the Board that the Legislative Reception will be held from 6:00 – 8:30 pm, on Tuesday, March 8, at the State Museum.

 

            Mr. Frampton thanked the Conservation District Commissioners for their attendance at today’s meeting.

 

            Legislation

            Derrick Meggie reported that the Ways and Means Committee will meet on Tuesday at 10:00 am and S 80 will be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday at 10:00 am.  The Senior Statewide Hunting License Bill has gone to the full Senate.  Mr. Meggie stated that Representative Rhoad amended his Red Drum bill to provide for a three fish bag limit.

 

XIII.      Deputy Directors’ Reports

            A.   Marine Resources

Robert Boyles introduced Carl Dipace, the newest member of the Marine Advisory Committee.  Mr. Boyles also introduced Bill Mayer, the newly hired manager of the NERR.  Mr. Boyles stated that staff of the Marine Division recycled 680 bushels of oyster shells at the Lowcountry Oyster Festival.

 

            B.   Land, Water and Conservation

Freddy Vang reported that the Aquatic Plant Management Council will meet March 3, to approve the 2005 plan.  The plan recommends stocking grass carp in two impoundments (Dean Swamp Impoundment and Church Branch Impoundment) that are sub-impoundments of Lake Marion.  The design of these dams will not allow grass carp to move into Lake Marion.  Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve utilization of grass carp in the two stated impoundments.  Mr. Ragsdale seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Vang distributed a press release on the Archeological Excavations on the Great Pee Dee Heritage Preserve, which will be open to the public in March.

 

Mr. Vang reported that Dr. Scott Howard, of the Geological Survey, has been selected as part of an international team to investigate dinosaur sites in central China this summer.

 

Mr. Vang informed the Board that the SC Geological Survey celebrates its 180th year of service this year.

 

Mr. Vang stated that NRCS will hold three public meetings to receive comment on its conservation cost share program, EQIP.

 

            C.  Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Breck Carmichael distributed the Waterfowl Peer Review Committee Report for Bear Island.  Mr. Carmichael reported that the Governor’s Wood Duck Box Program distribution is nearly complete.  Over 1,000 boxes were distributed this year and 1,200 boxes are ready for next year’s distribution.  Tim Ivey distributed and reviewed the summary of the WMA Waterfowl Hunt Results for the completed season.

 

            D.  Law Enforcement

Maj. Gregg Smith reported on waterfowl enforcement for this season.  Maj. Smith informed the Board that the aircraft is in Columbia and the pilots have been certified for this aircraft.  Maj. Smith gave the Board an update on the contract for standardized patrol boats for in-state waters.  Maj. Smith reported that Maj. Watford has sent a request out to officers for BDU uniform sizes.  Orders will be placed as soon as the contract is awarded.

 

            E.   Outreach and Support Services

Carole Collins reported that license sales are down 2%.  Ms. Collins also showed the Board the new sculpted decoy, which will be available in the Wildlife Shop.

 

XIV.     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. Ragsdale seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

XV.      Return to Regular Session

The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.

 

Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board provide preliminary approval to purchase properties on the Little Pee Dee River in Charleston County and Horry County.  Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the acquisition of the 97 acre Kreese tract, adjacent to the Aiken County Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve.  Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve staff to move forward with preliminary plans to purchase property in the Catawba River Corridor.  Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the renewal of the license to the South Santee Community Center, Inc., for use of a building at Santee Coastal Reserve.  Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mrs. Floyd made a motion that the Board approve a Board Policy that prohibits the employment, in a private capacity, of former DNR employees for a period of two years following disassociation with the agency. 

 

“It is the policy of the Board of the Department of Natural Resources that the Department will not employ, either directly or indirectly, a former department employee in a private capacity for a period of two years from the anniversary date on which the former employee leaves the position previously held as a public employee.  It is the intent of this policy to avoid the appearance of an opportunity for any department employee to create private employment opportunities for himself or herself prior to disassociation with the Department of Natural Resources.”

 

  Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

  XVI.    Time and Location of the Next Meeting

The March Board meeting will be held on Friday, March 11, 2005, in Columbia.

 

 

XVII.    Adjournment

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