Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
June 18, 2009 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 Thursday, June 18, 2009, in Room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC. 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, Frank Murray, Norman Pulliam and Caroline Rhodes. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Mike McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Ron Kenyon to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Michael Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Ben Gregg, Executive Director, SC Wildlife Federation; Chip Sharpe, retired DNR Law Enforcement officer; Emmett Davis, Chairman, Natural Resources Society; Scott English, Chief of Staff, Governor’s Office; Douglas Ford, Director of Research, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; and Senator Ronnie Cromer.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Winslow informed the Board that Mr. Sharpe requested to make comments to the Board. Mr. Sharpe’s comments concerned improvements in the general operations of the Department. Mr. Sharpe stated that his conversations with legislators indicate that the Law Enforcement Division has regained credibility with the General Assembly. Mr. Sharpe also commended the Board and Mr. Frampton for selecting Mr. Winslow to serve as Chief of Staff.
Mr. Winslow informed the Board that Scott English requested to make comments to the Board. Mr. English thanked the Board, Mr. Frampton and staff for their work on several issues and for insuring the Governor and his staff receive information on a timely basis.
Emmett Davis told the Board that the Natural Resources Society supports DNR and its efforts. Mr. Davis stated that the Society is pleased with the results of the economic impact study and believes this information should be used to obtain additional funding for DNR.
Mr. Winslow informed the Board that Ben Gregg requested to make comments to the Board. Mr. Gregg commended the Board, the Department and the Natural Resources Society for the economic impact study. Mr. Gregg reported that he is talking with leaders in the forestry, tourism, agriculture and natural resources sectors to attempt to establish a roundtable to get out the message of the economic force of natural resources. Mr. Gregg stated an initial meeting will be held on July 15 at the Palmetto Club in Columbia and invited all those interested to attend.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the May 21, 2009, meeting minutes. There being none, Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the May 21, 2009, meeting as presented. Mr. Norman Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton commended Dr. Jim Rex, Superintendent of Education, for the comments he gave at the Shooting Sports Summit in Weston, Florida.
Mr. Frampton commended Representative Mike Pitts on his selection as the Safari Club International’s 2009 Legislator of the Year.
Mr. Frampton commended Monica Linnenbrink, Mike Willis, and other staff involved with the Economic Impact Study announcements held on May 27.
Mr. Frampton commended Richard Morton, wildlife biologist in Region 1, for being awarded an honorary State Future Farmers of America (FFA) Degree from the SC FFA Association, for his 15 years of work with FFA in Region 1.
- Advisory Committee Reports
Mr. John Evans reported that the Marine Advisory Committee held a workshop on June 4 at which staff presented an overview of the trends affecting marine and coastal resources in South Carolina and the Southeast. Committee members discussed these trends and and how they will shape the future of marine resources in South Carolina, offering suggestions to staff on how the agency might harness these trends to help sustain and improve marine resources. The committee’s emphasis on sustaining marine resources was largely related to maintaining high quality habitat and water quality. Specific areas of discussion to address long-term sustainability included focusing on an aging demographic; more pro-active habitat management through partnerships and education; defining the impacts and trends of poor water quality; targeted outreach and education efforts; and enlisting constituents to help promote the conservation agenda.
Staff will review the salient points of discussion and present a brief summary at the next MAC meeting.
- Items for Board Information
- Drought Update
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, informed the Board that the Drought Response Committee announced that the drought is officially over. Dr. Mizzell reviewed streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
- Twelvemile Creek Ruling
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, gave the Board a brief background of issues concerning Twelvemile Creek. Mr. Carmichael reported that DHEC has had fish consumption advisories on Lake Hartwell since 1976 due to elevated PCB levels in fish. In 1987, EPA listed Lake Hartwell as a “Superfund” site. In 2006, the federal court issued a consent decree approving the settlement for natural resource damages to Lake Harwell and Twelvemile Creek. The settlement includes the removal of two dams on Twelvemile Creek and restoration of the stream channel, $800,000 for additional stream restoration projects in the Twelvemile Creek drainage, and $11 million in compensation for lost recreational fishing opportunities (1/3 for Georgia DNR and 2/3 SC DNR). The cash portion of the settlement has been deposited in a trust account managed by the Department of Interior. The Natural Resource Trustees must issue a resolution with unanimous agreement in order for fund to be released. After the consent decree was signed, Schlumberger’s management team changed and they replaced their consultants. Schlumberger and the new consultant vary from the statement of work attached to the consent decree and the Trustees Council has concerns about the proposed methods. The Trustees Council will meet with Schlumberger representatives on June 25 and 26 to attempt to resolve Trustee concerns over the proposed methods of implementation. Schlumberger and the Trustees will appear in court on July 7 to provide the ruling judge a status report on implementation of the consent decree.
- Items for Board Action
- Proposed Projects for Funding with FY 2010 Saltwater Recreational Fisheries License Funds
Mrs. Caroline Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the projects as proposed and recommended by the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Heritage Trust Budget
Barry Beasley, Land, Water and Conservation Division, distributed a comparison of the 2009 and 2010 Heritage Trust Budget. Mr. Stephen Davis made a motion that the Board approve the 2010 Heritage Trust Budget as proposed and recommended by the Heritage Trust Advisory Board. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Heritage Trust Annual Report
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the 2008 Heritage Trust Annual Report as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Frank Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Botany Bay Management Plan
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Botany Bay Management Plan as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Use of Interest from Wildlife Endowment Fund
Carole Collins, Deputy Director for Outreach and Support Services, explained the restrictions on using the interest from the Wildlife Endowment Fund and noted that no interest has been used since before 2001. If approved, it will only be used for FY 2009-2010. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board authorize the expenditure of the Wildlife Endowment Fund Interest Account, not exceeding of up to $330,000, during FY 2009-2010, for appropriate operating expenses. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefing
Mr. Frampton gave the Board a brief update on the budget; in response to the most recent report from the Board of Economic Advisors, the Department sequestered 5% of State funds in anticipation of another cut on July 1. Mr. Frampton informed the Board that he met with several legislators to discuss the possibility of using up to $600,000 of Water Recreation and County Game and Fish Funds for FY 2009-2010. This will be a percentage of new money not from the current balance. Mr. Frampton noted that the same percentage will be used from each county. The plan is to have these funds and the Wildlife Endowment Fund Interest available in preparation for another cut in September. Mr. Pulliam made a motion to authorize the Director to withdraw up to $600,000 in County Game and Fish Funds and Water Recreation Funds for appropriate operations in FY 2010 with the caveat that he inform the Board when it is being used, how much is being used and that he completes conversations with key legislators about this prior to July 1, 2009, provided all legal ramifications have been checked. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Davis made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss a legal matter. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton reported that there will be a Deputy Directors’ Workshop on July 29 and 30.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that USC preparing a documentary on the History of the ACE Basin.
Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, distributed and reviewed the year-end legislative update.
- Environmental Report
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, reported that he attended the annual interagency meeting hosted by the Corps of Engineers. Mr. Perry informed the Board that Col. Kirk will be the new colonel in charge of the Charleston District Corps of Engineers. Duke Energy has advised that they are exploring and evaluating opportunities to construct and operate a nuclear facility in Ohio and this does not change their plans for the project in Cherokee County. The Corps gave an update on the Santee Cooper Pee Dee Electric Generating Station. They noted that the EIS will not be released in July and gave no indication of a release date. Mr. Perry distributed and reviewed a summary of the Woodruff-Roebuck Water District’s proposed reservoir.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Law Enforcement
Nothing further to report.
- Outreach and Support Services
Ms. Collins informed the Board that individuals who purchased a lifetime license add-on from point of sale were not sent a mailer this year. Ms. Collins reported that the bid process would be required in order for the Department to sell the original duck stamp paintings. At this time, Holly Gillam, Outreach and Support Services Division, gave the Board a presentation on the updated Managed Lands web application.
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reminded the Board that the Harry Hampton Marine Conservation Banquet is scheduled for August 7, at the Marine Center. Mr. Boyles distributed a news release from the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council regarding the overfishing of red snapper.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that he attended the Hampton County Conservation District meeting. Mr. Rentiers informed the Board that he and Hydrology staff met with Beaufort County and Town of Bluffton regarding their request for DNR assistance on water studies for the area. Mr. Rentiers met with Eric Krueger of TNC and others in an organizational meeting to discuss the Savannah River Potable Water Study.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Nothing further to report.
- Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Campbell made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal and personnel matters. Mr. Murray seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The July Board meeting will be held Wednesday, July 8, 2009, in Charleston, beginning at 10:00 am.
The August Board meeting will be held Thursday, August 13, 2009, location to be determined.
The September Board meeting will be held Thursday, September 24, 2009, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.