MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

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

Friday, July 21, 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, July 21, 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 Dr. Julius Leary, Ben Gregg, Danny Ford, Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker. Board Member Russell Holliday was absent. 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. Introduction of Guests

Chairman Lesesne asked Cary Chamblee to introduce any guests who were present. Mr. Chamblee introduced Angela Viney, Director of SC Wildlife Federation; Todd Speedy, SC Waterfowl Association; Jim Davenport, Associated Press; and Chip Sharpe, retired DNR employee.


IV. Constituency Comments

Mr. Chamblee stated that there were two requests for constituency comment made in advance by Walter Lawson and Ross Snowden. Mr. Lawson and Mr. Snowden's comments were directed toward their opposition of the proposed landfill near the Pee Dee River in Florence.

Ed Duncan explained that DNR has little input into DHEC's Solid Waste and Landfill Permitting Program. Mr. Duncan stated that under State regulations, any facility that meets the minimum requirements of the law is allowed to be permitted, essentially DHEC is required to approve an application that meets criteria. Mr. Duncan noted that DNR is continuing to investigate the issues and concerns of this project. Dr. Sandifer has written Dr. Lewis Shaw, of DHEC, expressing the agency's concerns and requesting that a permit not be issued until all the environmental concerns are addressed. Mr. Vang also commented that the groundwater in the Florence area may be at risk as well as the Pee Dee River. His staff will work with Mr. Duncan on this issue.


V. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the June 16, 2000, meeting. There being no corrections or additions the minutes of the June 16, 2000, meeting were approved as presented.


VI. Presentations/Commendations

Dr. Sandifer welcomed Carole Collins to first Board meeting as Deputy Director for Conservation Education and Communications.

Dr. Sandifer shared with the Board that notification has been received that the SC State Climate Office web site has been selected as one of the best climate web sites in the US. The site ranked 45th of no fewer than 559,000 sites specializing in climate research.

Dr. Sandifer commended Faye Couche of the License Office on her outstanding service. A letter was sent to Governor Hodges by Lester G. Hankins commending Ms. Couche for her outstanding service.

Dr. Sandifer presented the Director's Partnership Awards to Bob Bailey, Sportsmen's Coalition; Larry Huckabee, Sporting Protection League; and Angela Viney, SC Wildlife Federation. This award recognizes people and organizations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in assisting DNR.


VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Marine

Mr. Gregg stated that Dr. Bob VanDolah reported on the Offshore Dredging Material Disposal Site (ODMDS). Mr. Gregg reported that the issue of the three mile radar line vs the sea line will eventually be brought before the Board. Mr. Gregg noted that there was discussion at the meeting on DNR sponsoring a "State of the Ocean" seminar in 2002.

B. Marine Recreational Fisheries

John Miglarese stated that this was a called meeting of the Marine Recreational Fisheries Advisory Board with the item of discussion being the saltwater license expansion or fee increase. Dr. Miglarese reported that the Marine Recreational Fisheries Board made and passed a motion to support an effort in the General Assembly to increase the saltwater fishing license fee from $5.50 to $10.50 with $1 being retained by the license agent.

C. Land, Water and Conservation

The Land, Water and Conservation Division's Advisory Committee met July 12, in Columbia to review several items related to water resource allocation, trends analysis and the drought. The South Carolina Seismic Network was reviewed. Dr. Pradeep Talwani of USC discussed South Carolina's faults. Hydrology staff are looking at Trends Analysis for water availability. The Laurens Conservation District has distributed educational materials to all schools in the county. A Savannah Basin Study is being done in cooperation with the Army Corps of Engineers, the State of Georgia and the DNR. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission license for the Santee Cooper project expires in 2006. Governor's Summit on Agriculture and Natural Resources: a final report is being published and the recommendations will be presented to the Governor in August. The Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee voted to oppose the current proposal to site a wastewater treatment plant in Lancaster County that would include a 26-mile pipeline along the corridor of the Catawba River. They have asked that this Board review this matter.

D. Law Enforcement

Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met July 12, at the Dennis Center. The Committee received an update on issues of the Law Enforcement Division by Col. Wright. The DLEO program was reorganized and increases the use of manpower with volunteers. Lt. Col. Smith gave an update on the high fence issue. Dr. Leary stated that the main focus of the meeting was hunter education. At an earlier meeting Dr. Leary had asked the members of the Committee to 1) look at the hunter ed program, 2) create a future plan for the hunter program, and 3) see how to integrate the interdepartmental programs with hunter ed and boater ed and also look with other conservation organizations and see how they can interact that we currently have. Lt. Mike Williams gave a presentation on the hunter ed program. Dr. Leary stated that it appears that the schools are interested in a natural resource science course, which is not currently offered. Dr. Leary met earlier today with the Education Committee to try to develop this idea further. Dr. Leary made a motion to have the Education Committee investigate the concept of a natural resource science course to be offered in public and private schools and bring to the Board their thoughts and ideas as far as the conception of this idea. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Gregg stated that the Marine Advisory Committee is interested in meeting jointly with the other advisory committees.


VIII. Items for Board Information

A. Shad Legislation: ASMFC

John Miglarese and David Cupka gave an overview of the steps SC has taken on the shad compliance issue. Dr. Miglarese stated that DNR is responsible for the management of shad but the General Assembly has the authority to set regulations for shad. Mr. Cupka briefed the Board on the regulatory process and gave the status of SC's compliance. Mr. Cupka reported that the only area that SC is not in compliance is establishing a 10 fish creel limit on shad. Mr. Cupka stated that on the final day of the special legislative session a bill was passed. This bill has not been signed yet. The bill establishes a 10 fish creel limit for all state waters with one exception, the Santee River where it will remain 20 fish limit. Mr. Cupka then reviewed the steps of non compliance. Mr. Cupka stated that he feels that once the bill is signed by Governor Hodges, SC will no longer be out of compliance and at the October meeting of the ASMFC South Carolina will request that they withdraw finding of non compliance.


IX. Items for Board Action

A. Draper WMA Pond Regulations

Mac Watson reviewed the proposed Draper WMA Pond Regulations. Mr. Watson requested approval to place these ponds in the State Lakes Program. Mr. Watson made one wording change for clarity - delete hunting in number 5 of the regulation, as this is addressed in number 2. Dr. Rucker made a motion that regulations be adopted as proposed. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

B. Early Season Selections for Migratory Birds

Derrell Shipes reviewed the proposed early season guidelines and answered questions posed by Board Members. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board adopt the recommendation for the Early Season Selections for Migratory Birds. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.

C. Heritage Trust Property Acquisitions

This item was deferred to Executive Session.

D. Emergency Drought Regulations

Mike Helfert gave an update on the drought status. Freddy Vang reviewed the proposed Emergency Drought Regulations. Mr. Vang requested that the Board approve the emergency regulations, which are similar to the regulations that were in place prior to passing the new law. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board adopt the proposed Emergency Drought Regulations as presented. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


X. Director's Briefings

1. Legislative

Derrick Meggie reviewed the Conservation Incentive Act. Mr. Meggie reviewed the history of this Act and the guidelines for eligibility. Mr. Meggie then answered questions posed by Board Members.

High Fence

Charles Ruth reviewed the processes taken to inform citizens of the changes with high fence enclosures and reported on the registration of high fences and visits to high fence owners.


XI. Executive Session

At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss appointments of conservation district commissioners and DNR advisory committee members, proposed property acquisitions by the Heritage Trust Program, a briefing on the proposed land acquisition of US Army Corps of Engineers, to receive a legal briefing on the ongoing investigations of the seafood industry and ongoing litigation with Safety-Kleen and to discuss personnel matters related to the Director's position and responsibilities. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


XII. RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

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


Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board approve the conservation district commissioner appointments/reappointments as submitted. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. (Recommendations attached to the original minutes)

Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board direct Heritage Trust staff to acquire three properties: Bald Rock, Chestnut Ridge and an addition to the Little Pee Dee/Ward Heritage Preserve. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board direct staff to begin transfer of properties from the Corps of Engineers to the State. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Mr. Ford made a motion that the Board approve the reappointment of Richard Peterson to the CEC Advisory Committee. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


XIII. Director's Briefings

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer stated that he and Chris Judge attended a meeting of the Governor's Task Force on Historic Preservation and Heritage Tourism Task Force on June 22.

Dr. Sandifer attended a meeting of Law Enforcement Training Council on June 27.

Dr. Sandifer attended a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new SC Emergency Operations Center at the Pine Ridge Armory.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the agency's 1999 Accomplishments and 2000-2001 Goals and Objectives were placed at their seats for review.

Dr. Sandifer stated that the next regional staff meeting is scheduled for July 27, at 3:00 p.m., at Palmetto Electric Coop in Ridgeland.

Dr. Sandifer noted that he plans to attend the Annual Law Enforcement meeting which is scheduled for Friday, July 28, at Midlands Technical College - Airport Campus.

Dr. Sandifer reported that plans are continuing for the Queensland Australia Delegation trip on August 17-25, 2000.


2. Habitat Protection Activities

John Frampton reported that they are moving forward with the establishment of a steering committee. Mr. Frampton asked for input from the Board for possible members to the steering committee.

Mr. Frampton then updated the Board Members on the current status of CARA.


XIV. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Conservation Education and Communications

Carole Collins reported that the Association for Conservation and Information Awards Program was held July 20, in Reno. Ms. Collins then reviewed the awards won by the agency.

2. Marine

Dr. Miglarese reported that the Coastal Fisheries bill that passed in the Spring has gone through major efforts on behalf of all divisions with regard to formulation of policy and implementation.

3. Land, Water and Conservation

Mr. Vang presented the Board with the Governor's Summit on Agriculture report and informed them that it will be passed along to the Governor.

4. Administrative Services

Benny Reeves distributed and reviewed the budget status, through June 30, 2000.

5. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Breck Carmichael gave the Board an update on the National Hunting and Fishing Day, which will be held September 23, 2000.

6. Law Enforcement

Col. Wright informed the Board that the officer interview process will begin next week. Col. Wright asked Major Taylor to update the Board on some resource cases being made on the coast. Major Taylor stated that a significant case was made over the weekend as a result of over two years undercover work and investigation. Major Taylor reported that DNR has been the lead in security for The Hunley. Major Taylor also noted that the raising should take place somewhere from August 6-9. Major Taylor reported that to date there have been 12 boating fatalities this year.


XV. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Vice Chairman Leary stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, August 25, 2000, in Charleston.


XVI. Adjournment

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