Minutes

Board of the Department of Natural Resources

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 149

Columbia, SC

Friday, August 16, 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, August 16, 2002, 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 M. Lesesne presided at the meeting.  Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, M. Russell Holliday, Jr., 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 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

        Cary Chamblee introduced Angela Viney, SC Wildlife Federation. 

 

IV.        Constituency Comments

            Mr. Chamblee introduced Chip Sharpe, a retired DNR employee, and asked him to address the Board.  Mr. Sharpe’s comments were directed toward the current equipment inventory of officers, specifically one in Richland County.  He expressed concern that officers were not fully equipped.  Mr. Sharpe also expressed his concern over the new telephone system installed at the Marine Center and asked that the Board consider being more involved in the day to day operations of the Department.

 

V.          Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the July 19, 2002, meeting.  There being no corrections or additions Dr. Rucker made a motion that the minutes of the July 19, 2002, meeting be approved as submitted.  Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

VI.        Presentations/Commendations

            Dr. Sandifer recognized the Greenville Saltwater Sportfishing Club and asked them to make their presentation.  The Greenville Saltwater Sportfishing Club awards a $1,000 scholarship to a child of one Law Enforcement officer, annually.  Col. Wright shared with the Board some of the information on the application of this year’s recipient, Rebecca Waller.  Ms. Waller is the daughter of Vandy Waller.

 

            Dr. Sandifer reviewed some positive news coverage the Department has received recently.

 

            Dr. Sandifer commended the Marine Division’s Dr. George Sedberry for his outstanding job as Chief Scientist on the first leg of this year’s Islands in the Stream expedition.  Dr. Sandifer also commended Dr. Sedberry’s enthusiastic and knowledgeable staff.

 

VII.            Advisory Committee Reports

A.      Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Ms. Holliday stated that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on August 8, 2002, in Columbia.  Ms. Holliday reported that the advisory committee received comments from Mr. Bryan McDonald of Rock Hill regarding the loss of public hunting lands.  Hope Mizzell provided an update on the drought in South Carolina.  The advisory committee then discussed the seventh draft of the proposed furbearer hunting regulations and received comments from interested parties.  The information gathered from the advisory committee meeting will be presented to the DNR Board today for information only.  Staff will consider all constituent comments and suggestions, redraft the proposed legislation and the redraft be considered by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee at its October 3 meeting.   Ms. Holliday reported that the advisory committee then discussed and approved the staff recommendation for this year’s waterfowl season.

 

            B. Law Enforcement

 Dr. Leary stated that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee and the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee held a joint meeting on July 24 to discuss fox pens.  Dr. Leary mentioned that there were a couple of issues regarding fox pens.  One issue is the stipulation of 100 contiguous acres and the second is the number of fox or coyotes released in a pen.  Dr. Leary reported that it appears that fox pen owners and trappers support legislation and registration of pens and there appears to be a consensus that a certain number of dogs per acre would be acceptable also, except in field trial situations.  Dr. Leary informed the Board that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee voted to support the concept of legislation for regulation with the exception of grandfathering pens and they also voted to support legal possession of coyotes in the legislation.

 

            C. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series

John Miglarese reported that the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board met the end of July to validate the winners for awards to be presented at the banquet. 

 

            D. Heritage Trust

Mr. McEachin reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met August 1, in Columbia.  The Advisory Board approved management plans for Lewis Ocean Bay and Victoria Bluff.  The Advisory Board also approved the management plan for Childsbury Heritage Preserve.  Mr. McEachin stated that the Board approved an updated Heritage Trust budget and a Wadakoe Mountain purchase.  Mr. McEachin informed the group that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board will meet in Beaufort in November.

 

VIII.      Items for Board Information   

A.      Morgan Island

Dr. Miglarese introduced Dr. Phil Snoy, US FDA.  Dr. Snoy reviewed the briefing paper describing the desires of FDA and the benefits to science and public of retaining the breeding colony of Rhesus monkeys on Morgan Island, as provided in the Board meeting package.  Dr. Snoy also answered numerous questions posed by Board members.

 

Dr. Randy Elkins, National Institute of Health, explained to the Board the importance of the vaccine research conducted with the Rhesus monkeys and importance of this research to public health.  Dr. Elkins then answered numerous questions posed by Board members.

     

John Miglarese informed the Board that Dr. Gibson, DHEC, sent his written comments to the questions posed by Board members at the earlier meeting.  Dr. Miglarese then provided these comments to the Board.  Robert Boyles reviewed the DNR Assessment outlining the pros and cons of maintaining the monkey colony on Morgan Island.  Mr. Boyles provided this assessment in the Board meeting package.

 

B.     Proposed Furbearer Legislation

Billy McTeer informed the Board of the status of the proposed furbearer enclosure legislation and reported that the most recent draft is #8, as distributed.  Mr. McTeer explained the process used to reach this latest draft.  Ms. Holliday made a motion to submit draft #8 to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Law Enforcement Advisory Committees for their review and final recommendation to the Board.  Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

  IX.      Items for Board Action

A.      Heritage Trust Property Acquisitions

This item will be discussed in executive session.

 

B.     Beech Hill WMA License

This item will be discussed in executive session.

 

C.     2002-2003 Late Migratory Bird Season

Tommy Strange described the system that has been used to set waterfowl seasons since 1995.  Mr. Strange reviewed the recommendations for the 2002-03 waterfowl season for South Carolina.  Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the 50-day season with a 6 bird bag limit as recommended by staff and the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee.  Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. (season table attached to original minutes)

 

           D. Emergency Regulations – WMA and Public Dove Fields

Tim Ivey reviewed and explained each of the changes proposed in the emergency regulations for WMA’s.  Mr. Ivey then answered questions posed by Board Members.  Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the emergency regulations as proposed.  Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Mr. Ivey reviewed and explained each of the changes proposed in the emergency regulations for public dove fields.  Mr. Ivey then answered questions posed by Board Members.  Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the emergency regulations as proposed.  Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

 

E.     Broad River Mitigation Fund

Dick Christie reviewed the two proposals submitted to the Board to utilize portions of the Broad River Fisheries Mitigation Trust Fund.  The first proposal involves the morphological classification of tributaries to identify candidate streams for protection/restoration efforts.  Also a correlation between physical degradation and the presence and abundance of certain aquatic organisms will be made.  The proposal is to approve the expenditure of $39,900 over the next three years to conduct this work.  This money will be used as the State match needed to access federal CARA Funds.  Dr. Rucker made a motion that the Broad River Fisheries Mitigation Trust Fund proposal be approved as presented.  Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

   X. Executive Session

At this time Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual matters. 

 

  XI. Return to Regular Session   

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

 

Dr. Leary made a motion to allow Heritage Trust to acquire the Ditch Pond property in Aiken and Barnwell Counties.  Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Dr. Leary made a motion to acquire the Waccamaw River Heritage Preserve Addition as presented.  Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

Dr. Leary made a motion to approve a license to Mr. Leo Hill on the Beech Hill WMA property as proposed by Attorney League.  Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

           

XII.Item for Board Action

Shooting Tree Forest Management Plan

Mark Hall described the process of the development of this management plan.  Mr. Hall then reviewed the Forest Management Plan for the Shooting Tree Ridge Tract as submitted to the Board in their meeting package.  After Mr. Hall addressed questions posed by Board Members and brief discussion, Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Forest Management Plan for the Shooting Tree Ridge Tract be approved as presented.  Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

XIII. Director’s Briefings

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that Bethany Narboni has left DNR to take a position as Internal Auditor at the SC Education Lottery.  Angie Williams will carry on the work of DNR’s Internal Audit Office.  Ms. Williams will report jointly to he and the Board as did Bethany.

 

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that he will be traveling during the next two weeks.

 

Dr. Sandifer referred to an editorial in the August 12, The Island Packet, the Hilton Head Island Newspaper entitled “Federal government must pay for security; strapped state agency cannot be spread too thin.”

           

XIV. Deputy Directors’ Reports

A.      Law Enforcement

Col. Wright informed the Board that the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year luncheon will be held on October 8, in Edgefield.

 

B.     CEC and Administrative Services
Carole Collins reported that the CEC Division received three awards at the annual conference of the Association for Conservation Information (ACI).
 
C.     Marine

No further report.

 
D.     Land, Water and Conservation

No further report.

 

            E. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Billy McTeer distributed a document outlining staff actions as related to Chronic Wasting disease.

 

XV. Executive Session

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

 

XVI. 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 present the Meritorious Service Award to an employee of the Marine Division.  Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

XVII.    Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, September 13, 2002, in room 335 of the Dennis Building in Columbia, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

 

XVIII. Adjournment

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