MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, May 19, 2000
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 19, 2000, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, 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 Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Russell Holliday, Dr. Julius Leary, Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker. 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 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.


II. Meditation

Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.


III. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the April 21, 2000, meeting. Mr. Gregg requested that the following amendment be made:


XIV. Director's Briefings

1. Habitat Protection Activities

John Frampton informed the Board that a Habitat Summit is scheduled for May 16, at the SC Department of Archives and History. The participants in this Summit will be agency directors, federal agency partners, conservation minded groups and some key and influential individuals in the State. The purpose of the Summit is to develop a habitat protection plan that can be carried forward by entities outside DNR a private/public partnership.

Mr. McEachin made a motion that the minutes of the April 21, 2000, meeting be approved as amended. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


IV. Items for Board Action

A. Lake Hartwell Boating Event Facility

Chairman Lesesne asked James Duke to present staff recommendation for the Lake Hartwell Boating Event Facility. Mr. Duke asked Kurt Batey to present a summary of the report entitled "Boating Event Facility on Lake Hartwell - Recommended Sites" and review the process used in arriving at the recommendation of staff for Apple Island (copy of report attached to original minutes). Mr. Duke asked Capt. Simms to present an overview of safety considerations around both the Apple Island and Weldon Island sites. Capt. Simms stated that both proposed locations would have the same problems. Capt. Simms asked Mel Justice to comment further on enforcement. Officer Justice stated that either location is workable to an extent but they feel that from a law enforcement prospective that Apple Island is more centrally located. After questions from the Board were answered, Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board accept the report and forward it to the legislative delegation and the county for their consideration. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried.


V. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Heritage Trust

Mr. McEachin reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met on May 4, 2000. The Committee accepted the following cultural sites as approved projects: Tusaw Island Shell Ring, in Beaufort County, was approved as a protection project; Hammond Rock Shelter, in Cherokee County, was approved as a registration project and a budget increase for the Childsberry Tract, in Berkeley County, was approved. Mr. McEachin explained the different ways that Heritage Trust can protect property. Mr. McEachin reported that a preserve design was approved for Henderson Heritage Preserve, in Aiken County, and funds were approved for three additional acquisitions in that area. A protection project was approved in the Saluda River Watershed, in Greenville County, on Ball Rock which was authorized for acquisition. Funding was authorized for additional bunched arrowhead survey work and survey work for endangered crayfish in Newberry County. The Committee discussed strategic planning and acreage cap situation. The 25th anniversary of Heritage Trust will be in 2001 and there was discussion about the magazine having an issue dedicated to the Heritage Trust program. The guidelines for the use of Heritage Trust Fund money for biological and cultural survey work was approved. There was a committee appointed to recommend a vice chairman candidate which will be considered at the next meeting.

B. Conservation Education and Communications

Mr. Ford reported on the success of the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic. There were approximately 38,000 individuals in attendance. Mr. Ford stated that the Rules and Regulations are complete and are more user friendly. Mr. Ford noted that the Committee received an update from Steve Bates on the Education Council. Wildlife Magazine has been awarded first place in the magazine category of the National Association of Government Communication for 1999. Mr. Ford announced that Caroline Foster received her Master's Degree in Journalism from USC. Ms. Foster had applied for and received reimbursement for these courses through the DNR Tuition Assistance Program. The Committee received a financial report from the magazine. Mr. Ford stated that Steve Bates reported that plans are underway for Camp Wildwood, two advanced Project WILD workshops have been held and a WILD and Crafty Workshop was held at Harbison Forest which included Project WILD, Project WET and Project Learning Tree. Mr. Ford reported that the Reel Kids program kickoff was held at the Sportsmen's Classic and that at present there are 160 children participating. Mr. Ford stated that Mike Willis reported that WIS-TV aired a 30 minute program entitled "Boating South Carolina". This program aired April 25 and April 29. Mr. Willis worked in cooperation with WIS in coordinating law enforcement officers, boats, safety inspections and provided research data, specifics and wrote scripts. The DNR media fishing tournament will be held Saturday, June 10. Mr. Ford reported that the next Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop will be held May 26-28 at the Clemson Outdoor Lab.

C. Marine Recreational Fisheries

John Miglarese reported that the Marine Recreational Fisheries Advisory Board is the group that advises and reviews the expenditure of funds derived from the sale of saltwater stamps. The Advisory Board reviewed the expenditures of funds and discussed the allocation of funds to projects for next year. Ed Holder and Peter Nash were appointed as members of the Advisory Board by Governor Hodges.

Dr. Miglarese asked the Board for approval of the 1999 SC Governor's Cup annual report. The report was accepted as presented. Dr. Miglarese also requested approval of the nominations for the Governor's Cup Billfishing Board. This item will be discussed in Executive Session.

Dr. Miglarese reported to the Board that the shrimp season will be opening on Wednesday, May 24, at 7:00 a.m.

D. Law Enforcement

Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met May 10, at the Webb Center. The meeting was opened with condolences for Tommy Norris, who had served the agency for 27 years. Dr. Leary stated that the Coy Johnston Dedication to the Donnelley Center on June 8 was announced. The Advisory Committee received a constituent comment regarding the need for more enforcement in commercial fisheries. Maj. Taylor presented the Coastal Enforcement Plan. Dr. Leary stated that there was a lengthy discussion on the Hunter Education Program. Lt. Walters presented recommendations for the OGT program. Dr. Leary reported that the HOFNOD fishing rodeos have been very successful. Dr. Leary stated that the new officers will be completing their training on May 19.


VI. Items for Board Information

A. Habitat Conservation Programs

Chairman Lesesne asked Dr. Rucker to introduce the habitat conservation program. Dr. Rucker stated that at a previous meeting of the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee, Chalmers Dial gave a presentation on the efforts in Berkeley County. Dr. Rucker then introduced Mr. Dial and asked him to give his presentation to the Board.

Mr. Dial introduced Barry Jurs, of the Land, Water and Conservation Division. Mr. Dial and Mr. Jurs reviewed the efforts and successes of the partnerships the Berkeley Conservation District have in protecting greenbelt systems, wetlands and other habitat conservation areas.


VII. Items for Board Action

A. Information Technology - Lease/Purchase Equipment

This item was deferred to Executive Session.

B. Regulation Change - Sunrise Lake

Chairman Lesesne asked Val Nash to present the proposed regulation change at Sunrise Lake. The proposal is to change the existing regulation from "No Boats Allowed" to "Boats Allowed with Trolling Motors". Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board amend the regulation change on Sunrise Lake to include the use of electric trolling motors only. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

C. Palmetto Invitational Water Ski Show - Lake Paul Wallace

Chairman Lesesne asked Mr. McEachin to give the recommendations of the subcommittee that reviewed this item from the last Board meeting. Mr. McEachin reported that he spoke with Representative Doug Jennings and others from Bennettsville about this one day event. The city of Bennettsville has applied to the Department of Revenue for a permit for the sale of beer for this event. Part of the event will include a boating/alcohol safety demonstration and advertising effort. The city of Bennettsville feel this would be an asset and they also feel they have local law enforcement as well as some DNR law enforcement on site. Ms. Holliday agreed that the city of Bennettsville and town officials are in support of this event. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board adopt the proposed amendments to the regulations regarding Lake Paul Wallace in Marlboro County, which would allow a special permit to be issued with the limitations as set forth in the proposed rules change. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion. The motion passed with Mr. Ford abstaining from the vote.


VIII. Items for Board Information

  1. Santee Coastal Reserve Report

Chairman Lesesne asked Tommy Strange to review the operations of the Santee Coastal Reserve over the past year. Mr. Strange stated that he would be reviewing four areas: 1) the Santee Club which was organized in 1898 and ended in 1974, 2) the period of the lease and license to the Collins Creek Gun Club from 1974 to 1999, 3) what has transpired during the past year, and 4) intentions for the future. Dr. Sandifer noted that Mr. Strange reviewed the history of Santee Coastal Reserve and the involvement of two organized groups as well as the African-American community. Dr. Sandifer then stated that the former Board asked staff to develop a plan to recognize the contributions of the Santee Club and the Collins Creek Gun Club. Dr. Sandifer distributed a suggested draft for the plaques. Dr. Sandifer asked for approval from the Board to move forward with installing the plaques and development of a plan to adequately recognize the contributions of the African-American community. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board allow Tommy Strange to move forward with developing plaques, monuments and ceremonies for consideration by the Board at a later date. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Derrell Shipes informed the Board that the previous Board formed an advisory group with representation from Coastal Conservation League, Native Plant Society, Wildlife Federation, Sierra Club, Ducks Unlimited, Horseman's Council, historical interests, City of McClellanville, Sportsmen's Coalition and the Budget and Control Board. This advisory group was charged with reporting to the Board any recommendations for changes or improvements in March of 1999. The group has not made its recommendations as of this time due to two pending items, 1) forest management plan, and 2) public use and access.

Mr. Shipes also mentioned that another issue which will need to be addressed is the future of the Club House. The Club House has been maintained but there is a need for improvement.

Dr. Leary commended Tommy Strange for his efforts at Santee Coastal and his service to the Department.

  1. Status and Future Needs of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division

Chairman Lesesne asked Breck Carmichael to review the Division's planning document with the Board. Mr. Carmichael reviewed the responsibilities and roles of the Division, current budget status, identified needs for the future, and present opportunities.

 

IX. Executive Session

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


X. RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

Following the Executive Session, the regular meeting was resumed and participants were invited into the meeting.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board accept the nominations presented for the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Board: Furman Cullum, Charleston; John Darby, Charleston; Bert Pooser, III, Columbia; and Smyth McKissick, Greenville. Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve a property swap with Mr. Claymon Grimes, Georgetown, as proposed by Jim Quinn. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the DNR approve the payment of attorney fees in the Colonial Oil matter from proceeds of the settlement. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve two Certificates of Meritorious Service to be presented at later dates. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board present an Honorary Lt. Colonel position to Coy Johnston for his conservation efforts with the Department. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Department enter into a lease/purchase agreement with Bank of America for the mainframe computer to the satisfaction of the legal staff. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


XI. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Land, Water and Conservation - Freddy Vang reported on the drought status.

2. Administrative Services - Benny Reeves reported on the status of the budget.

3. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries - Billy McTeer mentioned that a reception will be held on June 8, for Coy Johnston. Mr. McTeer reported that the National Guard has begun its work on the roads at Jocassee. Mr. McTeer stated that a committee has been formed between Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and PRT to develop a proposal for Keowee-Toxaway State Park being the "Gateway to Jocassee". Mr. McTeer announced that the reopening for Lake Cherokee will be May 26.

4. Law Enforcement - Col. Wright congratulated Vandy Waller, Law Enforcement Employee of the Year. Col. Wright commended Tim Baxley for receiving the Southeastern Boating Officer of the Year. Col. Wright reported that he attended the Southeastern Chiefs meeting.

5. Conservation Education and Communications - Carole Collins reminded the Board that Sonny Baines' retirement party will be June 16.

6. Marine - John Miglarese informed the Board that the radar line for shrimp trawling has been opened and there have been many complaints received. Dr. Miglarese stated that the policy regarding this will be brought to the Board for revision.


XII. Director's Briefings

1. Habitat Protection Activities

John Frampton reported that the Habitat Summit was very successful. Dr. Sandifer distributed copies of Governor Hodges' comments at the Summit. Mr. Frampton stated that there were over 200 attendees at the Summit. Mr. Frampton noted that the Conservation Reinvestment Act passed the US House of Representatives and will be forwarded to the US Senate. Mr. Frampton and Dr. Sandifer emphasized the need for support of this bill in the Senate and encouraged Board Members and others to send letters of support to Senator Hollings and Senator Thurmond.

Dr. Sandifer distributed a habitat summary of the agency.

2. Legislative Report

Derrick Meggie reported on S 753 - regulatory authority on WMA's; H 4703 - high fence; H 4864 - shad; S 12 - forest and farm land protection; H 3344 - road hunting; S688 - drought response; and informed the Board that S1329 - youth hunting day passed.

3. Director

Dr. Sandifer reported that Anne Hale Miglarese, wife of John Miglarese, was one of seven women honored with 2000 Woman of Achievement Award by Commission on Women.

Dr. Sandifer noted that Dr. Lesesne will be featured in a 30 minute program on ETV, on May 28, at 7:30 p.m., on Dr. Lesesne.

Dr. Sandifer announced the 1999 Department Employee of the Year - Glenn Gardner. Mr. Gardner was also the Conservation, Education and Communications Employee of the Year. Dr. Sandifer then recognized the remaining Division Employees of the Year: Eva Smith, Executive Office; Dusty Rhodes, Administrative Services; Henry Kluge, Jr., Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries; Willie Carson, Marine; Vandy Waller, Law Enforcement; and Barry Beasley, Land, Water and Conservation.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he participated in the first meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism.

Dr. Sandifer stated that Cary Chamblee represented him at the Spring meeting of Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Dr. Sandifer was elected Vice-President of the SEAFWA and South Carolina will be hosting next year's Spring meeting.

Dr. Sandifer spoke to the Leadership Charleston group on May 18 about DNR and its programs.

Dr. Sandifer stated that he attended the SC Aquarium Board meeting on May 18.

Dr. Sandifer announced that the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee Hearings were held for the reappointment of Dr. Lesesne and Mr. McEachin on May 17 and extended his congratulations on their reappointments.

XIII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, June 16, 2000, in Columbia at 10:00 a.m., with the Agency Head Training Session being held at 9:00 a.m.

The July meeting of the DNR Board will be held Friday, July 21, 2000, in Columbia.

It was suggested that the August meeting and Board Retreat be held August 18-19.


XIV. Adjournment

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