Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Webb Wildlife Center
1282 Webb Avenue
May 18, 2007 10:00 a.m.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, May 18, 2007, at the Webb Wildlife Center, Garnett, 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, Norman Pulliam, and Caroline Rhodes. Board member Frank Murray's absence was excused. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
- Call to Order
Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Robert Boyles to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Hank Stallworth introduced Skip Johnson, LPA and Associates; Pat and Jan Robertson; Shane Belcher, Federal Highway Administration; and Zane Wilson, Sun News.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Stallworth noted that there were no requests for constituent comment.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions, or corrections to the minutes of the April 20, 2007, meeting. Mr. Pulliam offered the following two amendments:
- Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Robert Boyles reported that the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board met March 22, in Charleston. The Advisory Board received an update on a request for exempted fishing permit to allow fishing, using longline gear, out of season on the Charleston Bump. The Advisory Board elected to send a letter opposing the request. The Advisory Board also had discussion regarding circle hook requirements for tournaments. The Advisory Board discussed "Passing the Rod" and voted to allow only points for those under 13 years of age. The Advisory Board received recommendations and approved appointments to the Tournament Committee. The Advisory Board also recommended nominees for new Governor's Cup Advisory Board members, which will be taken into consideration during executive session.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the slate of Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board nominees Stephen L. Chryst, Edward P. Holder, Dixon L. Pearce II as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the April 20, 2007, meeting as amended. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the April 20, 2007, meeting as amended. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton commended staff who received their Certified Public Manager credentials on May 15: Scott Speares (OSS), Maureen Lane (OSS), Bridget Leslie (OSS), Lisa Jones (LWC), and Bob Martore (MRD)
Mr. Frampton recognized and commended Isaac White on his 41 years of service at the Webb Center.
Col. Alvin Taylor announced the selection of William Poole as Captain of Region 2.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Migratory Waterfowl
Chairman McShane reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee had a conference call meeting on May 4. The Advisory Committee recommended the transfer $25,000 of duck stamp revenue to Ducks Unlimited of Canada. Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board affirm this recommendation. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously..
Breck Carmichael reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met on May 9, at Bennett’s Point. The Advisory Committee discussed the waterfowl hunting guide, development of youth hunting days, and the continuation of peer reviews on DNR waterfowl areas. The Advisory Committee received a legislative update. The Advisory Committee also discussed resident geese and the four depredation orders provided by USFWS. The Advisory Committee received a Waterfowl Management Area Update from Region 1.
- Law Enforcement
Mike Campbell reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met on May 9, in Columbia. Vice Chairman Terry LeCroy chaired the meeting in Mr. Campbell’s absence. The Advisory Committee has one constituent comment from Shannon Currie regarding a resolution proposed by Sen. Clary to establish no wake buoys within 50 feet of all residents’ docks on Murrells Inlet Creek. Lt. Jim Wagers and Sgt. Lynwood Kearse expressed their thanks to Committee Member Bill Pherigo for his donation of firearms for the TOMO program and also thanked NWTF for discounts on the hipping of these firearms. Col. Taylor gave an update on officer hiring and the hurricane plan. Charles Ruth reviewed the Game Zone Reorganization.
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee
Robert Boyles reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met on May 17, in Charleston. Mr. Boyles informed the Board that the Advisory Committee approved eleven projects totaling $1.169 million as presented by staff. There was a motion that the SRFAC recommend the DNR Board approve using any additional license revenues above and beyond the approved funding for FY 08 projects to be used for four specific proposed projects: Red Drum Stocking Project, Shellfish Grounds Restoration and Oyster Recycling, Saltwater Fishing Outreach and Manmade Artificial Reef Development and Management. Chairman McShane noted that the full proposal will be sent to the Board for consideration at the June meeting.
- Items for Board Information
- Report on Youth Hunting Days
Breck Carmichael distributed and reviewed a sheet outlining what is currently available for Special Youth Hunting Days in South Carolina.
- Statewide Youth Hunting Days for all species authorized by 50-9-740
- Age 0-17; must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age
- Youth Hunt dates should be promulgated in regulation via the APA
- Federal Youth Waterfowl Hunting Days, first Saturday and Sunday following the close of the regular waterfowl season
- Age 0-15; must be accompanied by an adult at least 18 years of age, who does not have to be licensed
- State can be more restrictive, but not more liberal
- State can establish State Youth Waterfowl Days pursuant to 50-9-740 and utilize the Federal Youth Days, as long as the total allowable number of framework days (60) and segments (3) are not exceeded
- Federal Youth Dates are published in Federal Register, but State dates should be promulgated in regulation
- DNR Special Youth Hunts on WMAs
- Age requirements vary by WMA and species hunted
- Youth 15 years of age or younger must be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age (WMA Regulation 2.8)
- Adult cannot carry a gun, bow, etc, and cannot hunt
- DNR Special Adult/Youth Hunts on WMAs
- Age requirements vary by WMA and species hunted
- Adult must be at least 21 years of age, licensed, and can hunt
Staff recommendation is to standardize age requirements for DNR Special Youth Hunts and Adult/Youth Hunts such that the youth must be 8-17 years of age, and be accompanied by a licensed adult at least 21 years of age.
The staff alternative is to set youth age requirements to be consistent with the Statewide Youth Hunting Days promulgated under 50-9-740 (0-17 years of age) and require the youth to have successfully completed a Hunter Education course prior to participating in the hunt.
To give staff direction, Chairman McShane took a preliminary poll of the Board, regarding the recommendation or alternative for WMA hunts, the Board is more favorable of the alternative.
- Timeline for Santee Cooper Striped Bass Stakeholders Process
Mr. Carmichael distributed and reviewed a the Santee Cooper System Striped Bass Fishery Action Plan – Development of a Stakeholder Group as developed by Monica Linnenbrink and Fisheries staff. The objective is to integrate public relations and grassroots activities to develop a consensus from the interested public about what needs to be done to positively impact the striped bass fishery in the Santee Cooper system. Further objectives are to provide information to, and develop relationships with stakeholders, encouraging them to provide input about the striped bass fishery and what needs to be done to positively impact it. This should result in inncrease stakeholder support for changing striped bass fishing regulations. DNR will provide biological information, but the meetings will be professionally facilitated. The stakeholders group will be asked to develop a compromise for proposed legislation.
- Items for Board Action
Conservation Easement Policy
Barry Beasley distributed a list of conservation easement granted to SC DNR and the latest draft of the Conservation Easement Policy. Dr. Beasley reviewed the revision in the latest draft. After much discussion regarding public use, it was decided to bring this item to the June meeting for action.
- Advisory Committee Report
Dr. Beasley reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met on May 3, in Columbia at the Department of Archives and History. The Board received an update from Steve Smith, SC Department of Archeology and Anthropology at USC. Sean Taylor, DNR’s archeologist, and Mr. Smith have been working closely with the Francis Marion Trail Commission. The objective of the Francis Marion Trail Commission is to document Francis Marion sites around the state for heritage and tourism purposes. Mr. Smith has found a possible camp of Francis Marion on the Woodberry Tract. Mr. Taylor gave a report on the Kolbert Archeaological site public day. The Advisory Board approved the Natural Areas and Cultural Areas budget for the upcoming year and several property acquisitions, which will come to the Board at a later date. Dr. Beasley reported that Dr. Julia Krebs, HTAB Chair, appointed a committee to work with SC DNR staff and make a report on the overall impacts of the proposed I-73 crossing of the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve to the Board at the May 18, 2007, meeting. The members of this committee are (HTAB) Dr. Julia Krebs, Campbell Coxe and Jake Rasor; (SCDNR) Ed Duncan, Bob Perry and Dr. Beasley. Dr. Beasley reviewed the Impact Report. A key recognition was that the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve would be impacted even if the corridor were moved further south to avoid crossing the preserve. There would still be impacts on the management regarding the use of fire in management and on the overall character of the southern portion of the preserve. There would also be additional habitat fragmentation. The committee recognized in this regard, it might be more practical for I-73 to be build adjacent to an existing road that already crosses the preserve, rather than disturb another portion of the Little Pee Dee River corridor. The committee recognized that economic and safety issues must be balanced with the need to protect the ecological integrity and character of the heritage preserve. Also it was stressed that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board has no interest in stopping or delaying this project but must exercise its responsibility for stewardship of SC's heritage preserves. Direct impacts listed on this report are habitat loss impacts, habitat fragmentation impacts, property management impacts and impacts on the character of the preserve.
Mr. Frampton distributed a copy of a proposal he received from Tony Chapman, Acting Director of DOT. Mr. Frampton stated that at this point he is not comfortable accepting this proposal because of the stated in a finding of a De Minimus impact to the Heritage Preserve. Mr. Frampton will be meeting with Buck Limehouse, newly appointed Director of DOT, to further discuss this issue. Mr. Frampton will report back to the Board on his meeting with Mr. Limehouse. Dr. Beasley informed the Board that the HTAB is aware that a meeting can be called at any time to act on this matter.
- Item for Board Action
Revisions to Compensation Policy
Terri McGee informed the Board that the proposed revisions to the Compensation Policy were included in the Board package for their review. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the revised Compensation Policy as presented. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director's Briefing
Mr. Frampton distributed a copy of a letter received from Santee Cooper Country expressing thanks for action taken on grass carp.
Mr. Frampton gave the Board an update on the budget.
Mr. Frampton and Chairman McShane participated in a breakfast meeting with John Luke, Jr., President of MeadWestvaco on April 27, in North Charleston at which time MeadWestvaco discussed development plans for their East Edisto Project.
Mr. Frampton participated in the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’ Farm Bill Fly-in events in Washington, DC on May 14-15. While there, Mr. Frampton met with staff of the SC Congressional Delegation members. In his capacity as Acting Chair of the Executive Committee of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies’, Mr. Frampton met with Congressman Colin Peterson, Chairman of the House Agricultural Committee on the 2007 Reauthorization of the Farm Bill.
Mr. Frampton attended the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee meeting on May 16 at which time Mike Campbell’s confirmation hearing was held for his reappointment to the DNR Board.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that regional meetings will be held across the state: Region 2 – May 30, in Florence; Region 3 – May 31, in Columbia; Region 4 – June 4, in Charleston; and Region 1 – June 7, in Seneca.
Mr. Frampton reminded the Board of the Board Workshop planned for Tuesday, June 19, at Johnny Evans’ office in Orangeburg.
- Legislative Report
Mr. Frampton asked Mr. Boyles to report on the finfish legislation. Mr. Boyles reported that the House Wildlife Subcommittee met on S 489 (as amended by the Senate to remove flounder). The House Subcommittee amended S 489 by attaching Representative Hayes' flounder bill and Representative Hosey's red drum bill. The subcommittee further amended S 489 by recommending a three fish red drum limit. S 489 is on the agenda for the full House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee. Mr. Boyles stated that staff are uncomfortable with going to the three red drum limit, but if it must happen they suggest modifying the slot limit by reducing it one inch from 15 minimum – 24 maximum to 15 minimum – 23 maximum. After much discussion, Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the DNR Board, based on its interest in acting proactively to sustain marine finfish species in the face of tremendous coastal growth pressures, and based on sound scientific and biologic advice, does not support an increase in the daily possession limit on red drum. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Deputy Directors' Reports
- Land, Water and Conservation
Steve de Kozlowski informed the Board that the next Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for July 19. Mr. de Kozlowski reported that the State Geological Survey Program is hosting the Digital Mapping Technology Conference in Columbia May 20-23. Mr. de Kozlowski gave the Board an update on climatic conditions and reported that the Drought Response Committee declared incipient drought for the entire state.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Carmichael reported on positive media coverage received on two separate occasions – DNR's monitoring of the seabird nesting islands on the coast in the May 2007 issue of Southern Living Magazine; and assistance one of our wildlife technicians gave to a local community after a tornado in April.
- Outreach and Support Services
Scott Speares gave the Board an update on the FY08 License Mailer Program
- Law Enforcement
Col. Taylor reported on turkey season.
Mr. Boyles had no further report.
- Executive Session
At this time Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal, and personnel matters. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board return to regular session. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion to set up a project near Dungannon Heritage Preserve in Charleston County. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis made a motion to set up a project to acquire property on the Wateree River in Lancaster County. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion to set up a project near Walhalla in Oconee County. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion to set up a project to acquire an inholding in Jocassee Gorges. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Campbell made a motion to start a property acquisition in Richland County on the Wateree River. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Campbell made a motion to approve the acquisition of an inholding in Donnelley. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Chairman McShane abstained from this discussion.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The June Board meeting will be held on Friday, June 15, in the Rembert C. Dennis Building, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.