MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335

Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, August 21, 1998

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, August 21, 1998, in room 335 of 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. Dr. George Graham presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Tommy Miller, Marion Burnside, Campbell Coxe, Edwin Oxner, Mary Pope Waring and Edward Lee. 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 Graham called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

II. Meditation

Chairman Graham asked for a moment of silent meditation.

III. Introduction of Guests

Chairman Graham recognized Pat Robertson, with The State newspaper; Bob Bailey, President, Sportsmens' Coalition; and Lisa Sox, Research Director with the Senate Fish Game and Forestry Committee.

IV. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Graham asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the July 17, 1998 or July 24, 1998 meeting. There being no corrections or additions, Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board approve the July 17, 1998 and July 24, 1998 meeting minutes as mailed. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

V. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Marine

Mrs. Waring reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met on July 24, at Edisto. The Saltwater Stamp Expansion was discussed. The objective is to determine the current level of public support. The education process, for the possible Saltwater Stamp Expansion, will continue and get as much public input as possible.

The Technical Committee of ICCAT was in Charleston on August 13. Mrs. Waring informed the group that she gave a statement on behalf of the Board and the Marine Advisory Committee.

The Marine Advisory Committee also discussed that the oyster disease sub committee would review the problems with oyster disease in South Carolina.

Mrs. Waring reported that Dr. Miglarese requested that the dolphin legislation be placed on the next MAC agenda for discussion. Mrs. Waring stated that a motion passed that was made by Dr. Segars and seconded by Mr. Mikell to re-endorse the coastal fisheries legislation.

The first meeting of Partnership 2000 will be held in September or October to look at the overall issues facing the coast, the pressures on the coast from population expansion and try to get government to look at the next 5 years and plan for growth and to protect the resources on the coast.

B. Heritage Trust

Mr. Lee reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met on August 6. There were several additions to existing Heritage Preserves. It was agreed to purchase the Blackwell Bunched Arrowhead Heritage Preserve (11 acres for $725.00), the Rock Hill Blackjacks Heritage Preserve (28 acres for $58,850), the appraisal cost for the Lewis Bay Heritage Preserve Land Trades (the cost will be $22,000 which is primarily appraisal and surveying costs).

They agreed to increase the capital improvements budget by $312,000 to pay for access facilities on heritage preserves and received and approved three management plans for Bennett's Bay, Henderson, and Lynchburg Savanna Preserves.

Mike Thomas, State Engineer, also explained to the Committee why bids cannot be solicited on surveying, engineering or appraisal work.

Butch Clay, with Forest Watch, made a presentation on Jocassee Gorges and reported that they have identified 116 occurrences of threatened and endangered plants. Mr. Clay is proposing that as much of the property as possible be placed in Heritage Trust. There was also some discussion about some inaccuracies in a Greenville newspaper article.

The Committee created a sub committee to investigate the possibilities for educating the public on the need for some relaxed regulations on controlled burning as a management tool and the potential for having DHEC and EPA assist. The SC Forestry Association, SC Forestry Commission, Nature Conservancy and Heritage Trust will each have a representative on the Committee.

The Advisory Committee declined a proposal to acquire Morris Island Lighthouse because of the potential maintenance costs. The Advisory Committee approved a motion to move forward with the acquisition of the North Island Lighthouse if maintenance funding can be found. Discussed the possibility of archeological mitigation; the SC Department of Transportation is attempting to mitigate for archeological sites on Sandy Island. Received copies of the draft strategic plan for input.

C. Law Enforcement

Mr. Miller reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met in District 5 at the Dennis Center. Col. Wright discussed the Board's comments to the manpower assessment and dress uniform. The Committee was told it was approved by the Board.

The Advisory Committee was notified that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee made a motion to put road hunting legislation back into the legislative package and the Law Enforcement Division's five year plan and six vacant officer positions were discussed and staff asked the Committee to help with minority recruiting.

A motion was made and passed to approve the Committee's decision to have one day of dog hunting at the Hellhole Unit on Francis Marion on a first come first served basis. It was also the request of Vice Chairman Jernigan to revisit this issue at the next Advisory Committee meeting and discuss the probability of talking to magistrates about enforcing the fines that are in place and do closer research on this one day to see what may be done next year.

A motion was made to continue the study on the use of cellular telephones for officers.

There was no vote but there was a consensus of the Committee to leave the proposed trespass legislative request as is and not ask for increased penalties at this time. After the meeting, the group toured the Dennis Center facility.

D. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series

Dr. Miglarese reported that the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Committee met on August 4, at the Charleston Hilton Hotel. At this meeting the Committee recapped the season. This year there was a 35% increase in the total tournament effort, which is a record. There also was one tournament record of 94 participating vessels. There was a 91% release rate this year. The awards ceremony is August 28, at Charlestowne Landing.

E. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Mr. Coxe reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on August 6, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee discussed the status of waterfowl in South Carolina, duck season harvest report, report on the Waterfowl Hunters' Survey and report on the experimental teal season. Staff recommendations were given at this meeting for waterfowl season and the Committee reviewed the Francis Marion sub committee report. Mr. Coxe gave the Board the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committees recommendations for the 1998-99 waterfowl season. The Advisory Committee is recommending a 60 day season, November 14-28 with an eight day break, starting again on December 7 through January 20, 1999, with a six bird limit, not to include more than one pintail, two wood ducks, two redheads, one canvas back, one fulvous tree duck, four scaup, four mallards and not to include more than one female mallard or one black duck or one mottled duck. The Advisory Committee is recommending that there be a statewide closure at 5:00 p.m., it is also recommended that there be no rest days. The Canada Goose season would run 50 days with five birds, but since the meeting the federal framework has been increased to allow for 70 days, so the Board may wish to consider this change.

1998-99 Waterfowl Season

Brock Conrad asked Tommy Strange to give a brief status report on waterfowl. Mr. Strange read the harvest considerations for this year from the Office of Migratory Bird Management. "To date adaptive harvest management is focused primarily on mid-continent mallards but progress continues on extending the process to include mallards breeding eastward and westward of the mid-continent region. The ultimate goal is to develop flyway specific harvest strategies which represent an average of optimal strategies for each mallard breeding population. Weighted by the relative contribution of each population to the respective flyways". Mr. Strange explained that this means that the harvest recommendations that come from USFWS are based primarily on mid-continent mallards. There is a mallard model the has been taken into consideration for the east. Preliminary harvest strategies were derived for mid-continent mallards and eastern mallards but they do not yet allow for flyway specific regulatory choices. The strategy for mid-continent mallards was based on (1) an objective to maximize long-term harvest and achieve a population of goal of 8.7 million breeding mallards, (2) an assumption that regulatory alternatives will remain the same as they were in 1997, and (3) based on a current understanding of mallard population. To sum it up briefly the number of ponds in Canada and the number of breeding mallards determines the regulatory alternatives.

Mr. Strange then discussed the status of ducks in 1998. The 1998 estimate of total ducks in the traditional survey area, the mid-continent area of Canada, was 39.1 million birds, this is an 8% decrease from 1997 but still 20% higher then the long-term average. The estimate for mallards was 9.6 million, a value which was similar to last year. Abundance of green wing teal, northern shovelers, northern pintails, and lesser and greater scaup combined decreased from levels observed in 1997. Estimates for seven of the ten principle species were above their long-term averages but northern pintail and the two scaup species remained below their averages. The number of ponds in the breeding grounds in May was 38% lower this year than last and 6% lower than the long-term average. In eastern areas of Canada and the US, the number of total ducks was similar to last year and to the 1995-97 average. Habitats in the eastern areas were somewhat drier than last year but conditions remain favorable for waterfowl production. The preliminary estimate of the total duck fall flight index in 1998 is 84 million ducks, compared to 92 million last year. Fall flight is predicted to include 11.7 million mallards, which is 18% lower than the 14.4 million in 1997. Mr. Strange reported on species that are important to South Carolina. The mallards were down 3% from last year, but still 32% above the long-term average; the gadwall were down 4% from last year, but 152% above the long-term average; the American wigeon 8% below last year, 8% above the long-term average; green-winged teal 17% below last year, 19% above the long-term average; blue-winged teal 4% above last year, 49% above the long-term average; northern shoveler 23% below last year, but 61% above the long-term average; the pintail 29% below last year, 43% below the long-term average. Total ducks are down 8% from last year, but remains 20% above long-term average.

Mr. Conrad reported that biologists met in early August to prepare proposals presented to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Conrad outlined options for the Board to consider. The federal framework provides a 60 day season, with 6 bird limit, in the framework of October 1 to January 20.

Option 1 is for a 55 day season, November 21-28 with a six day break with the remaining season being December 5 - January 20, 1999.

Option 2 is for a 60 day season, November 14-28 with an eight day break with the remaining season being December 7-January 20, 1999.

There were two options regarding afternoon closures.

Option 1 is for a statewide 5:00 p.m. closure. The earliest sunset would be 5:13 p.m. and the latest sunset would be 5:41 p.m.

Option 2 is for no afternoon closure.

With regard to the Canada Goose season, it has been learned recently that there can be a 70 day season for the first time in South Carolina and they would like to modify the recommendation to allow for a 70 day season, overlapping the duck season selected, with the remainder extending to the end of January.

At this time, several Board Members asked questions and received answers regarding the percentage of ducks on the coast, why the special regulations of 12:00 noon closure on the coast were instituted, the effect of the special regulations on the coast, the percentage of increase in harvest on the coast, the reason for the increase in harvest, what would happen if the special regulations were discontinued, justification of the options presented to the Board, and if selecting option 2 would have any impact with the USFWS in requesting extension of the season.

Chairman Graham then asked for constituency comments from Dave Wielicki, SC Waterfowl Association and Danny Stone, Five Rivers Coalition.

VI. Constituency Comments

Dave Wielicki, SC Waterfowl Association

Thank you Mr. Chairman, I would like to thank you and the entire DNR Board itself for allowing me to come to speak today. I am here on behalf of the SC Waterfowl Association Board of Directors of over 5,000 members across the State. On July 18, our Board of Directors met, and as you know this whole issue has been something people have been discussing for more than a year. Our Board met and unanimously voted on a position statement and that is basically to support a 1998-99 Duck Season that fully utilizes the season length and shooting hours allowed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. As has already been discussed the season length allow this year is 60 days for ducks, 70 for geese, shooting hours of one-half hour before sunrise to legal sunset. Our Association supports that statewide in order to help preserve the heritage of waterfowling in this State and to give youth and adults the opportunity to go hunting. Remember, opportunity is not how many ducks you kill it's the ability to go and enjoy the sport, as many people like to do. I want to thank Derrell Shipes and the entire staff for the job they did on the Waterfowl Survey. Dr. Graham, as you said last year there would be more dialog on this issue, I appreciate that you followed through very well on that, we've had a lot of good dialog with the Department and other people and I want to thank John Frampton. Derrell came to our Wetland Wildlife Center and reported on the results of the Waterfowl Survey. Our staff was there, members from the state Ducks Unlimited Committee, Five Rivers Coalition, the Sportsmen's Coalition and also the Wildlife Heritage Group. At that meeting, Derrell reported that he felt the survey was a good survey, that it accurately represented the views of the South Carolina duck hunter and we all know that the survey reported that 65.8% of South Carolina hunters are in favor of all day hunting, they want the opportunity, 70% are in favor of adding five days to the season, if allowed by the USFWS. As has been discussed, some of the DNR staff have supported a 5:00 p.m. closure in order to protect wood ducks. Our Association has the largest managed wood duck production program that I know of. Right now we have six college interns and four full time staff out in the field checking thousands of wood duck boxes, we are running checks from July through the end of December, checking over 10,000 structures this year. Our indications, right now, on 1,000 nest boxes on Lakes Marion and Moultrie, our production is up. Last year those boxes produced about 6,800 birds, production is over 7,000 for those boxes. We don't see and are not seeing in our checks any indication that we have depressed South Carolina's wood duck population with the season that we had last year. We'll have final data on that, by December we'll have all the structures checked and ready for next year, but we don't see that as a problem. To us, we fully support, if we're worried about wood ducks and worried about people shooting late, let's not punish the law abiding hunter, let's get an 18-point violation passed for shooting late, shooting early or shooting over the limit. There are a lot of landowners on the coast that are very much against all day hunting because they don't like people shooting on the edge of their dikes and they feel it scares birds away and I know that's a lot of the emphasis to try to keep half-day hunting or 5:00 p.m. closure in place. What we need to do is, we need to get strict regulations in place so that a game warden doesn't have to catch somebody twice. Let's punish these guys that are breaking the law instead of punishing the majority of people who want to go out with their kids, who want the opportunity to be able to go hunting when they have the chance to go. We support that, we don't feel that having hunting until sunset is going to have any negative impact on wood duck population. Wood ducks have been increasing for the last 50 years. We've had all day hunting for many, many years during that time. We hope that the Board will approve a 60 day season with all day hunting. We feel that's what the public wants and we don't feel there is any biological reason not to do that. The USFWS has allowed it and as Brock mention, they are charged ultimately with the responsibility for migratory waterfowl, so we support that. Thank you.


Danny Stone, Five Rivers Coalition

Dr. Graham, it's good to be back with you today. A lot of people think that Five Rivers is just a waterfowl organization, well, we're not. Before we get into these issues of waterfowl hunting and everything, I'd just like to thank the Board, thank Mrs. Waring, thank Dr. Sandifer, I don't see James Duke here, but we really appreciate the fine work you did at Buck Hall Landing. I walked around it the other day and its just nicer, it's probably the best landing we have between Charleston and Murrell's Inlet. I've got about 70 members who are retired gentlemen in our 400 member organization and come September, it's just like a shot of 20 year old blood into their veins when they get to go shrimp baiting. They just have limitless energy and I didn't even have to know what was going on, those men kept me informed the whole way this project was being done and once again we do appreciate it. Thank you very much on that. Into these issues of waterfowl regulations, let me just say that the Five Rivers Coalition is very simple on the subject of waterfowl regulations. We support staff's simplified regulations that apply from the coast to the mountains, it includes hunting to sunset, Sunday hunting, and hunting with the full number of allotted days, essentially hunting by the federal guidelines. Let me just say, there are no biological reasons or anything to be gained by continuing special restrictive regulations. The Department has had 15 years to show measurable benefits from such regulations, yet still cannot convince the overwhelming majority of duck hunters of their necessity. The Department has failed to make its case. Any further continuation of such regulations would only serve the needless limiting opportunity and normally I would not comment on biological things except I am from Georgetown County and I hunt in Georgetown County. I think if that is reported in the paper that we've seen a 40% increase in harvest down there in Georgetown County, I think it'll be laughable, because the hunters know it's not true. Let me just say, the duck hunters of the State have spoken strongly to the issues of afternoon hunting to sunset. Quite simply 65% want it. Let me just say that any attempt to impose a closure is going to really call the question of credibility of the DNR in asking the sportsmen of the State what they want in these surveys. I think the belief would be reinforced, and there is a belief out there, that DNR does what it wants to do regardless of what its constituents say. In addition, the 5:00 p.m. closure has been suggested as a way to protect against late shooting. The Five Rivers suggests the better way, one that preserves opportunity for the legitimate sportsman, while putting the burden squarely on the back of a violator, making late shooting 10 minutes after sunset an 18-point violation will deter opportunistic late shooting while allowing law enforcement to concentrate on the willful malicious violator. A 5:00 p.m. closure cannot serve as a substitute for active patrols by law enforcement. Let me just say, the Five Rivers Coalition values the privilege of being able to hunt to sunset and would actively seek and see this proposal through the legislature and beyond that, we want to spend time working on the ethics side of it too, with the hunting constituency and we are willing to spend time educating people how to hunt. Let me just say, in closing, the Five Rivers asks you to set a season which includes hunting to sunset, Sunday hunting and all the days allotted to us by the USFWS and if I understand correctly that is your option 2 that has been presented by the biologists. Mrs. Waring, the only thing I'd like to just caution you over, I know you're looking at Colleton and Georgetown Counties, that has a strong potential of becoming a have versus a have not situation, it has that strong potential. I don't believe in have and have not, I think we're all in this together but that's the way it would very much appear if there was any attempt to rope out certain counties in the coastal region. Thank you very much Dr. Graham.


VII. Items for Board Action

A. 1998-99 Waterfowl Season

Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board approve a 60 day season from November 14-28 with an eight day break starting again December 7 - January 20, 1999. Duck limits being six birds not one more than one pintail, two wood ducks, two redheads, one canvas back, one fulvous tree duck, four scaup, 4 mallards not to include more than one female mallard or one black duck or one mottled duck. Hunting hours being 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset statewide. There will be no rest days and the Canada Goose season would run 70 days from November 14-28 and December 7 - January 30, 1999. Mr. Lee seconded the motion.

Mrs. Waring requested that staff, based on this recommendation, conduct an in-depth study this year of the effects of the additional hours in the afternoon in the coastal counties, so that we can continue to have good biological data in making our decisions regarding duck seasons and determine the affects of disturbance on the coastal wood ducks, migratory ducks and all other species. The fact that 70% of the ducks, as our biologists have told us, transit the coast, I feel that we have a responsibility to conduct that survey.

Mr. Oxner expressed his appreciation to all of the hunters who have contacted him and other Board members for letting them know their opinion. Mr. Oxner also asked Mr. Coxe if he would consider amending his motion to make the limit with regards to pintails to apply to drakes only. Mr. Coxe stated that he considered that point but the advice of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries biologists is that a lot of the hen pintails would not make it to the boat landing.

Mr. Miller stated that he concurred with Mrs. Waring regarding the research. He would like to extend the request to include the upstate.

Chairman Graham asked if there were any further comments, questions or discussion by the Board. There being no further comments, questions or discussion by the Board, Chairman Graham called the question. The motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Graham asked the Board to support the idea of Mr. Wielicki not only to enforce the 18 point violation for ten minutes after sundown but an 18 point violation needs to be enforced at sundown. There needs to be a strict interpretation and strict enforcement of the law for 30 minutes before sunrise to sunset starting in 1998-99 with the present penalty in place and if possible to increase the penalty in the legislature.

Mr. Burnside agreed to this point not only for waterfowl but on all wildlife. If it is shot after or before legal shooting time he feels that at the point of conviction, hunting privileges should be suspended for two years.


B. Proposed Deer Hunt with Dogs on the Hellhole Unit, Francis Marion

Mr. Shipes requested action from the Board to allow staff to schedule and implement a one day dog hunt on the Hellhole Unit of the Francis Marion on a first come first served basis. Staff will assess the result of this hunt and if necessary will reconsider the possibility of a draw hunt in 1999. Mr. Shipes reviewed the background of the area under consideration. Board action today will allow emergency regulations to be filed to conduct this hunt.

Mr. Coxe made a motion that the Board accept staff recommendation to allow a one day dog hunt on the Hellhole Unit of the Francis Marion. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


C. State Water Plan

Mr. Vang presented a video clip of the recent video teleconference conducted by the Land, Water and Conservation Division regarding the State Water Plan. Mr. Youmans briefly described purpose and summarized the guidelines of the State Water Plan. Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board adopt the proposed State Water Plan and forward it to the Governor's office. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


D. Proposed Management Plans for the Longleaf Pine, Lynchburg Savanna, Bennett's Bay and Henderson Heritage Preserves

Mr. Stowe reviewed the proposed management plans for the Longleaf Pine, Lynchburg Savanna, Bennett's Bay and Henderson Heritage Preserves (proposals attached to the original minutes). Mr. Lee made a motion that the Board approve the proposed management plans for the Longleaf Pine, Lynchburg Savannah, Bennett's Bay and Henderson Heritage Preserves as submitted. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


E. Revisions to Deputy Law Enforcement Officers Policy (300.01)

Lt. Watford reviewed the revisions recommended to the Deputy Law Enforcement Officers Policy (300.01). Chairman asked that the policy be amended to read that the Department supply the hat and badge for non employee DLEO's. Lt. Watford stated that if the Department can legally furnish the hat and badge it will be included. Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board accept staffs recommendation on the Deputy Law Enforcement Officers Policy (300.01) including the provision that the Department supply the hat and badge if legally possible. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


F. 1999 Legislative Package

Mr. Chamblee reviewed the summary of the 1999 legislative proposals. If this proposal is approved today, staff will begin drafting legislation to bring back to the Board in November for pre-filing in December. Mr. Burnside requested that the following legislative proposal be added.

Conviction of hunting or taking wildlife before or after hours will, in addition to criminal penalties, result in suspension of all hunting and fishing privileges for two years.

Mr. Coxe asked that the road hunting bill be added to the 1999 legislative proposal.

Mr. Miller also asked about the status of the trespass amendments. Mr. Mabry stated that the trespass amendments have been added into Chapter 11 revisions. Mr. Mabry mentioned that this can be submitted both parallel with Chapter 11 and separate. Mr. Miller stated he would advise to submit both parallel and separate.

Mr. Lee made a motion that the Board accept the 1999 Legislative Proposal as amended. Mr. Coxe seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


G. FY 2000 Budget Proposal

Mr. Oxner stated that if there are any questions regarding the budget proposal Mr. Reeves is in attendance to answer such questions.

Chairman Graham mentioned that there is an opportunity in the supplemental budget with the state surplus to seek some of the funding that is on this budget. If funds are received from the supplemental budget they will be removed from the FY 1999-2000 fiscal request.

Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board accept the Finance Committee's recommendation for the FY 2000 budget as submitted. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Graham stated one point of clarification regarding the one day dog hunt on the Hellhole Unit of Francis Marion, the date is Friday, December 18.


VIII. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer stated that he has asked Larry Cartee to work, essentially full time, updating the Strategic Plan. Efforts are also being made to connect the budget request and expenditures back to the objectives of the Strategic Plan.

Dr. Sandifer noted recent newspaper articles about the Boating Boom. Lately there has been media interest in boating activities with regard to boat traffic, accidents, incidents and greater use of the resource. Dr. Sandifer expects that this PR will help with the public hearings on the boating safety bill regarding point violations, however there is still some active opposition.

Dr. Sandifer gave an update on Teaming with Wildlife. This is an issue of trying to provide a dedicated funding base for the non-game threatened and endangered species habitat acquisition activities. It was originally proposed as a 10% federal excise tax on items such as bird seed, binoculars and backpacks. This proposal has been difficult to sell to Congress. There is another approach, to use a portion of revenue generated from leases of outer continental shelf lands for oil and gas exploration and production.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he had attended some of the events of the Southern Legislative Conference in Charleston. Dr. Sandifer wanted to point out that there was significant participation by DNR staff. There were 45 officers assisting with security and the Marine Division provided educational opportunities. Dr. Sandifer stated that he heard nothing but high praise for the activities.

Dr. Sandifer met with Erwin Faulkner, Cabinet Director, and Don Hottel, Budget Director, of the Governor's Office regarding the five-year plan they asked be compiled.

Dr. Sandifer stated that the internal team for the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic is planning for this year's event. Dr. Sandifer announced that Jim Goller will be the Director of the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic and Mary Pugh will be the Assistant Director.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he and Cary Chamblee are continuing to meet with Lewis Shaw, Deputy Director for DHEC, EQC office, to review matters of mutual interest and strive for staff cooperation.

Dr. Sandifer noted that the accomplishments and objectives, on a fiscal year basis, will be completed and distributed to Board members for the September meeting.

Dr. Sandifer announced that Billy McTeer has been selected as the Legislative Liaison. Mr. McTeer will be formally in that role by mid-September.

Dr. Sandifer stated that the Department is planning a Tabletop Hurricane Exercise on August 25 in Charleston.

Dr. Sandifer asked the Board members to note on their calendar, January 22, 1999. John Frampton has arranged for Shane Mahoney, an internationally know speaker, to conduct a Future of Hunting in South Carolina symposium. The symposium will be held at the Columbia Sheraton.

2. Associate Director

Mr. Chamblee reported that he was a guest at the USFWS National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, WV. The USFWS is offering the training services to individual states as well as their own employees.

Mr. Chamblee noted that the Quail Unlimited National Convention will be in Charlotte, NC, the weekend of August 28.


3. Audit Services

Bethany Narboni reported that the scope, on the recently mailed audit letters, is somewhat different than the scope will be in the future because this was required by the State Auditor's Office. Currently, they are working on the equipment audit which was necessary to meet State Reorganization Commission's deadline of September 30.

B. Deputy Directors

1. Conservation Education and Communications

Cindy Thompson distributed copies of the Nature Viewing Guide and stated that it will be available for distribution this fall. Mrs. Thompson noted that the Nature Viewing Guide was a cooperative effort of DNR, PRT, DOT, Forestry Commission, USFS, USFWS, National Parks Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, National Audubon Society and SC Handicapped Sportsmen.

Mrs. Thompson reported that the Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop was held August 7-9, in Florence, at Francis Marion University. Mrs. Thompson stated that because of the success of the Becoming an Outdoors Woman program there are two Beyond Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshops scheduled, one in Charleston and one in Greenville.

2. Marine

John Miglarese stated that under the new agreement with the Harry Hampton Fund, interested parties in Charleston would like to pursue the Charleston Banquet. They are currently in the planning stages and the date is set for October 16.

Dr. Miglarese notified the Board members of the Governor's Cup Awards presentations scheduled for August 28.

Dr. Miglarese reported that the Chapter 5 legislation education activity for the House Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs and the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committees is scheduled for October 1-2.

Dr. Miglarese noted that over the past month they have been working closely with the shrimping industry and regulators with regard to the shrimp culture industry.

Dr. Miglarese stated that there have been meetings with the shrimp growers about the potential for an in-state shrimp hatchery. There are a number of issues that need to be addressed and a proposal has been drawn but final recommendations are not ready.

Dr. Miglarese reported that the Advisory Committee to ICCAT was in Charleston on August 13, and Mrs. Waring made a statement on behalf of the Board.


3. Land, Water and Conservation

Freddy Vang noted that Beach Sweep/River Sweep will be next month. Mr. Vang distributed copies of inserts to be placed in newspapers statewide. Mr. Vang requested time on a future agenda to recognize SCANA for their contributions to this program.

Mr. Vang also distributed a publication just printed by USGS "Ground Water and Surface Water: A Strategic Resource".

Mr. Vang noted that the effort to coordinate the activities of land trusts is now in place and moving forward.

Mr. Vang also distributed copies of the rainfall events relative to the drought, which has been downgraded. There are still numerous places which still have dry conditions.


4. Administrative Services

Nothing further to report.


5. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Brock Conrad reported on the road management plan for Jocassee Gorges. This plan was out for public review the first two weeks in August and was extended for another week at the request of a legislator. As of yesterday afternoon six letters have been received with different ideas. Unless there is any Board objection, they would like proceed. Mr. Conrad stated that typically road plans do not go out for public review but due to the interest in Jocassee Gorges they want input from the public in all aspects of management.


6. Natural Resources Enforcement

Col. Wright reported that the two vacant Sergeant positions have been filled. Charles Stone is the Sergeant in District 2 and Gerald Moore is the Sergeant in District 3. Interviews have also been conducted for the pilot positions.

Col. Wright reviewed some of the resource cases made in July.

Col. Wright stated that the six vacant officer positions have been posted.

Col. Wright announced that the Law Enforcement Officer of the Year luncheon will be September 18, at 1:00 p.m., at Embassy Suites.


IX. Executive Session

At this time, Mrs. Waring made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss personnel matters. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

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

Chairman Graham called the meeting back to order and stated there were no items requiring Board action taken up in Executive Session.


X. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Graham stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, September 18, 1998, at 9:30 a.m, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, in Columbia.

Mr. Vang asked State Climatologist, Mike Helfert, to brief the Board on Hurricane Bonnie.


XI. Adjournment

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