Minutes

Board of the Department of Natural Resources

Webb Center

Garnett, South Carolina

Friday, April 26, 2002

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, April 26, 2002, at the Webb Center, Garnett, South Carolina.  Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media.  Chairman Dr. Joab Lesesne presided at the meeting.  Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, M. Russell Holliday, Jr., Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker.  Board members Danny Ford and Ben Gregg were absent from the meeting.  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 Lesesne called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

II.   Meditation

        Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.

 

III.   Introduction of Guests

        Dr. Sandifer introduced Michael Blakely, SC Wildlife Federation and Huntmaster at Cherokee Plantation in Yemassee.

 

IV.  Constituency Comments

            There were no requests for comments for this meeting.

 

V.   Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the March 22, 2002, meeting.  There being no corrections or additions Dr. Leary made a motion that the minutes of the March 22, 2002, meeting be approved as submitted.  Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

VI.    Presentations/Commendations

            Dr. Sandifer announced that Mr. Ford, Dr. Leary, Dr. Rucker and Ms. Holliday have had their confirmation hearings before the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee and have been recommended for confirmation.

 

            Dr. Sandifer commended PFC Kristie Fisher-Lumley for her selection by the Attorney General’s Office as law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the Piedmont Region.  Dr. Sandifer Also commended Buck Sgt. Robert L. Crosby for his selection by the Attorney General’s Office as Law enforcement Officer of the Year for the Low Country Region and also for his selection as the Attorney General’s Statewide Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.

 

            Dr. Sandifer commended the Heritage Trust Program for its selection by the Historic Charleston Foundation to receive a “Robert N.S. and Patti Foos Whitelaw Founders Award” for efforts at protecting Childsbury.

 

            Dr. Sandifer commended Jim Goller and Mary Pugh and volunteers from across the agency for the outstanding job at this year’s Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic.  There were more than 40,000 people in attendance; this is 14% more than last year and 3% more than 1999, which had been the largest year to date.

 

            Dr. Sandifer commended staff involved in the agency’s March of Dimes fundraiser, the DNR Agency Olympics. 

 

            Dr. Sandifer congratulated Derrick and Jackie Meggie on the birth of their daughter, Derah Jai.

 

VII.   Advisory Committee Reports

A.      Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Ms. Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received an update on fox pens, hatcheries, waterfowl season, conservation reinvestment act, Chronic Wasting Disease and the budget.

 

VIII.  Items for Board Action

A.      Accord on North America’s Hunting Heritage

                  John Frampton reviewed the Accord as proposed and explained that development of this Accord began at the Canadian Premier’s Symposium on North America’s Hunting Heritage in August 2000, by a group of conservation organizations.  Mr. Frampton then stated that the IAFWA, the National Wild Turkey Federation Board of Directors and several state fish and wildlife agencies have already endorsed the Accord.  After Mr. Frampton answered questions posed by Board members, Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board endorse the Accord on North America’s Hunting Heritage.  Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. (copy attached to original minutes)

 

B.     Expenditure of Interest from Lifetime Hunting License Fund

Dr. Sandifer explained to the Board that the Law allows the agency to spend the interest from the Lifetime Hunting License Fund but not the principal.  Dr. Sandifer requested Board authority to spend as much of the interest in the Lifetime Hunting License Fund, $227,103.51, as necessary to help offset additional budget cuts recently imposed.  Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board allow Dr. Sandifer to spend up to $227, 103.51 of interest in the Lifetime Hunting License Fund.  Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

C.     State Lake Regulations

Damon Abernathy reviewed the proposed regulation changes for Lake Paul Wallace in Marlboro County.  Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the proposed regulation changes for Lake Paul Wallace.  Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. (copy attached to original minutes)

 

            D.  2002 Shrimp Trawl Season

                  John Miglarese requested that the Board authorize the Marine Division to: (1) open the 2002 Spring commercial shrimp trawling season on or after May 15, 2002, based upon sampling data and following notification of the DNR Board by telephone, and (2) adjust the season on brown shrimp on short notice should large quantities of small brown shrimp be found.  Mr. McEachin made a motion to this effect.  The motion was seconded by Dr. Rucker and the motion carried unanimously.

 

  IX.  Items for Board Information

A.      Report on Responsive Management’s Fishing Trends in South Carolina

David Allen and Bebe Harrison reviewed the South Carolina Aquatic Survey conducted by Responsive Management.  The purpose of this study was to assess South Carolina youths’ awareness of issues related to aquatic natural resources and recreational fishing.  The goal was to gather the data from youth to assist DNR to tailor it youth aquatic programs and services.

 

B.     Presentation on Quail Management

Breck Carmichael updated the Board on quail management activities on the regional and national levels.  Mr. Carmichael reviewed the Northern Bobwhite Conservation Initiative plan and goals, which were completed earlier this month.

 

Billy Dukes updated the Board on South Carolina’s quail and grassland birds’ initiative.  Mr. Dukes reviewed the outline of this plan then answered questions posed by Board members.

 

The Board then heard comments from Howard Williamson, State Chairman of Quail Unlimited.  Mr. Williamson stated that Quail Unlimited partners with SC DNR on quail seminars and publications.  Mr. Williamson informed the Board that when the Southeast Quail Study Group was formed in 1995, Dr. Timmerman and Breck Carmichael asked Quail Unlimited if they would consider helping with funding.  Mr. Williamson stated that he is truly excited about what has come from that group. Mr. Williamson noted that Quail Unlimited is very supportive of the Department and the biologists.

 

   X. Director’s Briefings

Dr. Sandifer reported that approval was granted for construction to begin on the Jocassee Gorges Passage of the Palmetto Trail.  The first segment, from Table Rock State Park to SC Highway 178, has been authorized to begin.

 

Dr. Sandifer gave the Board a brief status report on the Department’s budget situation and pending cuts for next year.

 

A.      Habitat Protection Activities

John Frampton reminded the Board of the Landsford Canal dedication that will be held May 6.  Mr. Frampton also reported that the Governor signed the Conservation Bank Act.  Mr. Frampton noted that there is much activity toward pursuing federal funds for land acquisition in the state.

 

B.     Legislative Report

Derrick Meggie distributed copies of a status sheet on DNR legislation and other bills of interest.  Mr. Meggie then reviewed several bills and answered questions posed by Board members.

 

  XI. Deputy Directors’ Reports

A.      Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Billy McTeer informed the Board that he is in receipt of a memo stating that Dr. Lesesne has appointed Russell Holliday and Malloy McEachin to a subcommittee to work with Tom Kohlsaat to review opportunities for cooperation with Burroughs and Chapin on the red-cockaded woodpeckers at Lewis Ocean Bay.  This group will report to the Board at the May Board meeting.

 

B.     Law Enforcement

Col. Alvin Wright reported to the Board that the Law Enforcement Division has been actively involved with Homeland Security exercises and have completed a nuclear facility response training.

 

C.     Conservation Education and Communications and Administrative Services

Carole Collins informed the Board that a “test license mailer” will be sent next month.  This mailer allows renewal of several types of licenses on one form.

 

D.     Marine

No further report.

 

E.     Land, Water and Conservation

            No further report.

 

XII. Executive Session

At this time Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters. 

 

XIII. Return to Regular Session

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

 

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board allow Dr. Sandifer to invoke another retirement incentive program, a possible limited RIF or a furlough as necessary to meet budgetary constraints.  Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

XIV.     Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, May 17, 2002, at the Dennis Building in Columbia, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

 

XV. Adjournment

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