BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina
Friday, April 17, 1998
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held
at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 17, 1998, at the Wampee Training and Conference Center, in
Pinopolis, 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 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the
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
March 27, 1998 meeting. There being no corrections or additions, the minutes were
accepted as mailed.
IV. Items for Board Action
A. Proposed Heritage Trust Dedications for Crab Bank, Joiner Bank, Bay Point Shoal and North Santee Bar
Stuart Greeter introduced Mark Dodd and asked him to explain the proposal. Mr.
Dodd described the four sites that have been selected. These sites all have a
history of nesting seabirds and are strategically located in estuaries which do not
contain other nesting habitat. They are being proposed for approval as protection
projects. They are located on accreted lands, meaning they belong to the State of
South Carolina and fall under the control of the State Budget and Control Board.
Mr. Dodd explained that there are more than eight species of sea and shore birds
and two species of wading birds utilizing these sites for nesting. Mr. Dodd
described that the primary threat to these sites is dredging from both beach
renourishment projects and channel maintenance dredging. (Proposal attached to
After brief discussion and clarification of questions, Mrs. Waring made a motion that
the following amendments be made to the Agreement.
2. The following restrictions, conditions, permissive and non-permissive issues
shall apply to the area:
(h) No change shall be made in the general topography of the area or
feature except for those alterations which may benefit the species of
concern; and this shall be done only where wholly compatible and
consistent with the character of the property and where no
detrimental effect shall result. Deposition of dredge spoil on or
around Crab Bank may be permitted if approved by the
Trust Advisory Board Director.
(j) Navigational aides may be constructed on or around dedicated sites,
with construction times coordinated with the SCDNR so as not to
interfere with nesting periods, and with construction plans and
specifications approved by the
Heritage Trust Advisory Board
Mr. Lee seconded the motion to amend the Agreement and the motion carried
Mr. Lee made a motion that the Board accept the amended recommendation by
staff and accept these four properties into the Heritage Trust Program. Mrs. Waring
seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. Proposed Regulation of White-Tailed Deer as Pets
Charles Ruth reviewed the draft document that outlines the course of action for
dealing with captive deer (draft document attached to original minutes). These
guidelines will by used by staff in developing permits. The permit will cover the
specific conditions and requirements. After discussion and clarification of questions
it was decided that guideline number six be amended to read:
6. Permittees are responsible for damages resulting from escaped or released
deer. Any escapes or releases will be considered a public nuisance and the
Department or designee may capture or destroy such animals.
Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board approve the staff recommendation on
Board Policy on pet white-tailed deer. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the
motion carried unanimously.
C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series 1998 Annual Report
John Miglarese introduced Bill Cox, Chairman of the Governor's Cup Billfishing
Series Advisory Board.
Mr. Cox reviewed the highlights of the 1997 Annual Governor's Cup Billfishing
Series Performance Report. Mrs. Waring made a motion that the Board approve
the 1997 Annual Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Performance Report as
submitted by the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board. Mr. Lee
seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
D. Hunt Activities at Francis Marion National Forest
Mr. Miller stated that new information has been received since the sub committee
met previously on the problems within the Francis Marion National Forest. Mr. Miller
read the following motion from the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee regarding
this issue. "Motion was made to recommend that the number of dog hunting days
on the Francis Marion National Forest be reduced to half its current level, from 78
to 39, and if the situation remains the same that the following year the days will be
reduced in half in 1999 and that a dog hunt be held for two days during the season
in the Hell Hole Unit. This will be administered by the Department of Natural
Resources. This motion was seconded by Coy Johnson and passed unanimously."
Mr. Miller requested discussion at this time due to the new information received.
Brock Conrad reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory
Committee also discussed this issue and they concur with reducing the season, but
recommended that the special hunt, from the Hell Hole Unit, be taken back to the
subcommittee for further discussion in view of the new information.
Mr. Miller stated that since there is agreement from the subcommittee, the Law
Enforcement Advisory Committee and the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Committee concerning the reduction of the season and that the issue of the Hell
Hole Unit hunt be referred back to subcommittee he would like to make a motion
that the number of dog hunting days on the Francis Marion National Forest be
reduced half its current level, from 78 to 39, and if the situation remains the same
the following year the days would be reduced in half in 1999.
Jim Quinn reported that he understood that the intention of the subcommittee and
the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee is that if the situation
improved then there is a chance that the days would be returned.
Mr. Miller offered to amend his motion to include that language.
Mr. Frampton stated that the motion may need to include "at least in half" because
if the situation is not corrected other recommendations may be made beyond.
Mrs. Waring commented that she feels it should be made clear, when publicizing
this issue, that the Department supports deer hunting with dogs as a traditional form
of hunting in the State and that the Board will review and consider any possible
opportunities that may be created in other coastal plain areas for additional deer
hunting with dogs.
Mr. Frampton asked Bill Mahan to express some of the concerns relative to the hunt
on the Hell Hole Unit. Mr. Mahan stated that the initial idea for having a hunt at the
Hell Hole was for biological reasons, a deer herd reduction effort. Mr. Mahan
reported that since Hurricane Hugo there has been significant habitat changes on
the Hell Hole and the rest of the Francis Marion and they have had difficulties
obtaining desired deer harvest level on the Hell Hole Unit under the still hunting
regime which has been in place for several years. The harvest on the Hell Hole last
year, on 40,000, acres was less than 200 deer. Mr. Mahan stated that deer hunting
with dogs on the Hell Hole has been considered for a number of years. Mr. Mahan
reported that one of the problems with the draw hunt is that it severely limits the
number of areas and acres that can be hunted on the Hell Hole because of the
regimented activities of a draw hunt. Mr. Mahan stated that under our guidelines
only approximately 50% of the Hell Hole could be hunted.
Mr. Miller asked that with this information the Hell Hole proposal be sent back to the
subcommittee for further discussion.
Mr. Frampton stated that if this motion is approved the information would be placed
in the Rules and Regulations and if the hunt on the Hell Hole is available at a later
date a PR campaign would be made.
Mr. Miller clarified his motion. Mr. Miller made a motion that the number of dog
hunting days on the Francis Marion National Forest be reduced to half its current
level, from 78 to 39 days, and that if the situation remains the same the following
year the days would be further reduced, however, if the situation improves the days
may be returned to the 1997 level. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the
motion carried unanimously.
V. Advisory Committee Reports
A. Law Enforcement
Mr. Miller reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met at the Webb
Wildlife Center on April 8. Lt. Col. Smith and Maj. Pulaski were introduced and
recognized for their promotions. Elese Limehouse from the Marine Resources
Coastal Information section was introduced and will be attending the Law
Enforcement Advisory Committee meetings regularly. Mr. Miller stated that the Law
Enforcement Advisory Committee felt this was a good idea and decided to suggest
that the Law Enforcement staff be represented at other advisory committee
meetings. Mr. Miller reported that there was also discussion on dress uniforms. Mr.
Miller reported that Derrell Shipes outlined a pilot program underway in Newberry
and Orangeburg Counties concerning deer depredation to be administered by
Clemson Extension Service.
B. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Nothing further to report.
VII. Director's Briefings
A. Executive Office
Dr. Sandifer reported that the Senate Finance Committee is meeting today on
the State budget. He and Benny Reeves met before the Senate Finance
Subcommittee on April 9.
Dr. Sandifer stated that he has been working with the Deputy Directors
concerning a Board Retreat. Dr. Sandifer mentioned several topics for
possible consideration at this Retreat. Dr. Sandifer will be asking Board
Members for other topics of discussion.
Dr. Sandifer praised the Jocassee Gorges Management Planning Team for
their job in development of the draft plan. The last public meeting was held
in Columbia on April 2. The final conceptual plan will include comments
received up until April 9. Comments received after that date are being held
and if further evaluation is needed these will be used. The plan will be
brought before the Board for action at the May meeting.
Dr. Sandifer commented that Departmental displays and staff participation with the public at the Sportsmen's Classic was the best he has ever seen.
Jim Quinn stated that he had two items for discussion in Executive Session.
Chairman Graham called on Cary Chamblee for this report. Michael
Thompson could not be present due to a death in his family.
Mr. Chamblee asked Maj. Alvin Taylor to give a brief on the proposed bill for
Boating Under the Influence. Maj. Taylor reported on two bills, first the Points
bill. This bill was held up originally but went through the Senate
Subcommittee and several endorsements were received. Maj. Taylor
explained that this bill is a repeat offender bill that sets point values on current
boating violations that are already on the books and gives Law Enforcement
an opportunity to get someone who is a repeat offender off the water.
Maj. Taylor reported that last year there was a bill to give Law Enforcement
increased summons authority. This new bill will add three violations to the
summons authority (1) indecent exposure, (2) destruction of sea oats, and (3)
use of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance.
This bill remains in the House and Senate Committees.
Mr. Chamblee stated that the Ag Land Protection bill has made some positive
moves recently and asked Hank Stallworth to report on this and other bills.
Mr. Stallworth reported first on the designation of the Ashley River as a state
scenic river. This bill was introduced by Sen. Ravenel and is now on the
Mr. Stallworth stated that the Farm and Forestland Protection Act was stalled
in the Senate Agriculture Committee and also in the House Agriculture
Committee. This was stalled because the Municipal Association and Farm
Bureau had some amendments. Mr. Stallworth reported that these
amendments have been addressed and the bill was reported out of the
Senate Ag Subcommittee and Full Senate Ag Committee.
Dr. Sandifer reported that the bill regarding the Jocassee Gorges Trust Fund
has been carried over. The Conference Committee are currently at an
impasse over a House sponsored requirement for a special advisory
committee to advise on the use of funds from the trust. The Senate feels that
it is not necessary to have an additional advisory committee. They are
working on a compromise and will meet again next week.
4. Human Resources
Mrs. Waring commented that the Board's concern over the condition of many
boat landings has been previously discussed and has been a topic of
discussion recently relative to Murrell's Inlet. Mrs. Waring would like to see
a report to the Board on boat landings for which DNR is responsible. She
would like information on their condition and law suits that have been filed
against the Department relative to boat ramps.
Mr. Miller requested a future discussion and staff position on mega ramps.
Mr. Lee asked that they also be briefed on the procedure that is followed for
maintenance and improvements to boat landings.
Mr. Burnside then asked that photographs be taken of the entrance at each
landing in their current condition. Dr. Sandifer recommended that a video may
give a more detailed picture of the condition of landings.
6. Audit Services
Bethany Narboni reported that presentations are being made to the Deputy
Directors and receiving input regarding the development of an Annual Audit
Plan. This plan may be presented for Board approval at the May meeting.
Ms. Narboni stated that an Audit Services Charter has been developed and
that Mr. Oxner has offered his comments.
Mr. Oxner made a motion that the Board approve the Audit Services
Department Charter. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried
unanimously. (Charter attached to original minutes).
B. Deputy Directors
1. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Brock Conrad asked Bill Mahan to present a report on the Wildlife
Management Area Program involving Santee Cooper.
Mr. Mahan stated that the Department has been involved with Santee Cooper
in wildlife management for over 50 years and gave a brief outline of the
ongoing projects and programs involving Santee Cooper.
2. Natural Resources Enforcement
Col. Wright welcomed Lt. Col. Stanley Smith and Maj. Windy Pulaski. Col.
Wright also commended Cpt. Bradford, Sgt. Dial and Tom Curtis for their part
in the highly successful Fishing Rodeo held recently at the Dennis Center.
Col. Wright reported that he attended a Chief's meeting which included the 16
Chiefs of Natural Resources Law Enforcement in the Southeast. Col. Wright
stated that there will be some joint operations between Georgia, South
Carolina and North Carolina with the upcoming boating season.
Maj. Taylor distributed copies of a Boating Accidents Statistics Annual Report
and commented on boating accident trends over the past few years.
3. Conservation Education and Communications
4. Marine Resources
5. Land, Water and Conservation
6. Administrative Services
VIII. Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Lee made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss
legal, contractual and personnel matters. Mr. Miller seconded the motion. Motion carried
RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION
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, Mr. Miller made a motion that the Executive Director of DNR be
exempt from reimbursing commuting mileage due to the nature of his position, specifically, the
director must be available to communicate via Department radio and to respond to emergencies
twenty-four hours/day seven days/week. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board accept staff recommendation to reappointment Dr. Earl
Hayter to the Land, Water and Conservation Division's Advisory Committee. Mr. Burnside
seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller recommended that the Board appoint Dr. John Mark Dean as a new appointment to the
Land, Water and Conservation Division's 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, reappointments, emeritus appointments (recommendations attached
to the original minutes). Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller noted the first official donation to the Jocassee Gorges Trust Fund from the Wildlife
Action Upstate Chapter in Spartanburg.
IX. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Graham stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday,
May 15, 1998, at 10:00 a.m., at the Quail Unlimited's National Headquarters, in Edgefield.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.