BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Marine Resources Division Auditorium
Charleston, South Carolina
Friday, August 25, 2000
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 25, 2000, at the Marine Resources Division Auditorium, Charleston, 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, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Russell Holliday, 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.
- Call to Order
Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
- Introduction of Guests
Chairman Lesesne asked Cary Chamblee to introduce any guests who were present. Mr. Chamblee introduced Pat Robertson, The State newspaper; Lynn Langley, Post and Courier newspaper; Boo Lachicotte, retired DNR employee; Vic Burrell, Director Emeritus of the Marine Institute; Bob Bailey, Executive Director of the SC Sportsmens Coalition; and Larry Huckabee, Sporting Protection League.
Mr. Chamblee stated that there one request for constituency comment was made in advance by Jimmy Leland. Mr. Lelands comments were directed toward shrimp trawling and enforcement of the new net law.
Mr. Gregg asked if the Board could receive a report on the enforcement of the new net law later in the meeting.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the July 21, 2000, meeting. There being no corrections or additions the minutes of the July 21, 2000, meeting were approved as presented.
Dr. Sandifer commended Greg Lucas, DNR Public Information Officer in CEC Division, who volunteered to fight wildfires in Western US was sent to Nevada.
Dr. Sandifer recognized Judy Barnes, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, for being selected to attend the Governors EXCEL Leadership Institute this year.
Dr. Sandifer recognized Lt. Robert McCullough who was elected 3rd Vice President of the SC Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Dr. Sandifer thanked Marine Center staff, Law Enforcement and those involved with DNRs part of the raising of the Hunley submarine.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Advisory Board Chairman, Bobby Hood, reported on the activities of the Governors Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board. Mr. Hood stated that the Advisory Board received a report on the boats that had won the series. He also reported on the shootout team for competition between Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina that was selected. Mr. Hood then asked Wayne Waltz to report on the background and status of the Series.
- Heritage Trust
Malloy McEachin reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board had a retreat in McCormick County. The Advisory Board participated in a tour of Stevens Creek, one of the Heritage Trust Sites in McCormick County. Mr. McEachin reported that the Advisory Board had a lengthy discussion about what the mission of the Heritage Trust Program should be in the future.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Russell Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on August 17, in Columbia. Ms. Holliday stated that the Advisory Committee received a status report from Derrell Shipes on the 2000 waterfowl population and presented recommendations for the 2000-2001 waterfowl season. Ms. Holliday noted that all four flyways agreed to request the Fish and Wildlife Service to evaluate season extensions on both ends of the season before next year. Ms. Holliday reported that Wildlife Management Staff recommendations for the 2000-2001 waterfowl season was to provide a 60-day season with a six bird daily bag limit, the season would open November 22 and run continuously through January 20. She reported that Mr. Shipes expressed staff concerns over the liberal frameworks particularly from a disturbance standpoint but also noted that South Carolina is on the southern end of the weakest waterfowl flyway. Ms. Holliday also stated that the Waterfowl Focus Group Committee has met several times and has had some general findings. The Focus Group did agree with staff recommendations on the 2000-2001 waterfowl season. Ms. Holliday discussed the deterioration of the Santee Federal Refuge and informed the Board that DNR will be receiving a request to fund $4,500 out of the State Duck Stamp funds to purchase diesel fuel to assist the Santee Refuge. Ms. Holliday reported that another issue brought up was the impact of fox pens on local fox population.
Dr. Leary commented that the deterioration of the Santee Refuge needs some attention from the Board. Dr. Lesesne noted that the Santee Refuge is a US Fish and Wildlife Service refuge and felt it necessary to call it to their attention. Dr. Sandifer recommended a letter be sent to the US Fish and Wildlife Service from the Board reflecting the desire of the Board that USFWS pay more attention to this refuge. Dr. Sandifer also recommended that this letter be sent to South Carolinas Congressional Delegation to make them aware of the continuing problem. Dr. Leary asked if there was any way funds could be tied from relicensing to the enhancement of the habitat. Dr. Lesesne requested that staff review this issue and make recommendations at the September meeting.
- Items for Board Information and Action
- 2000-2001 Waterfowl Season Recommendations
Billy McTeer stated that the USFWS has offered a liberal framework for the 2000-2001 waterfowl season. Mr. McTeer informed the Board that after all things were considered from several different meetings with staff that the recommendation is to accept the 60-day, six bird bag limit season, with one minor change from what was recommended to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. McTeer asked Tommy Strange to explain how waterfowl seasons are set and the status of different waterfowl. Mr. Strange answered questions posed by Board members. Derrell Shipes distributed copies of the 2000-2001 waterfowl season recommendation containing the change from what was recommended to the Advisory Committee (copy attached to original minutes). Mr. Shipes notified the Board that the change is an additional 10 days of Canada Goose hunting is recommended during the period of February 3 through February 12. Mr. Shipes then reviewed the recommendations and answered questions posed by Board members. At this time, Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the 2000-2001 Waterfowl Season recommendation as proposed including the amendment for the additional 10 days of Canada Goose hunting. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Reedy River Restoration Project Proposal
Dr. Lesesne asked Ed Duncan to report on the Reedy River Restoration Project Proposal. Mr. Duncan reviewed the background information that had been previously sent to the Board. Mr. Duncan reviewed the Natural Resource Trustee Action Items for the Reedy River Restoration, 1)requested the release of not more than $15,000 from the mitigation trust fund to conduct the restoration planning and pay actual out of pocket expenses; 2) to continue the biological sampling to assist in the restoration planning process, and; 3) a proposal by the Conestee Foundation for $200,000 to assist them in the acquisition and initiation of the restoration of Lake Conestee. These contractual items will be discussed in Executive Session.
Dana Leavitt, President of the Conestee Foundation, gave a brief summary of the rehabilitation of Lake Conestee to the Board and answered questions posed by Board members.
- Item for Board Information
- Offshore Dredge Material Disposal Site (ODMDS)
Bob Van Dolah and Pamela Jutte gave the Board a brief update and background of the Offshore Dredge Material Disposal Site for the Charleston Harbor deepening project by the Corps of Engineers. Dr. Van Dolah then answered questions posed by Board members.
- SCE&G/Lake Murray Briefing
Dr. Sandifer asked Hank Stallworth to give the Board a briefing on SCE&G/Lake Murray. Mr. Stallworth reported that last week Governor Hodges and Bill Timmerman, President of SCANA, signed a letter of intent for the donation of islands, land around Lake Murrays shores and the lake bottom to the state. Mr. Stallworth stated that federal officials have told SCE&G that it must strengthen the 70-year old earthen dam against a possible earthquake. The cost for this is estimated at $195 million and SCE&G wants to use tax credits from the land transfer to pay this cost.
- Directors Briefings
Dr. Sandifer participated in the DNR Regional Staff meeting held on July 27 at the Palmetto Electric Coop in Ridgeland for employees in Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Jasper Counties.
Dr. Sandifer participated in the annual Law Enforcement meeting held in two sessions on July 28 at which time briefings were provided to all law enforcement officers on DNR budget, legislation and human resources issues.
Dr. Sandifer reported that he left for Australia on August 16 with members of the Governors Queensland Australian Delegation and returned on August 23.
Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that DNR has been selected to receive the Kodak American Greenways Award for 2000. DNR was chosen in recognition of its successful effort to protect more than 40,000 acres of ecologically significant land in the Jocassee Gorges area.
Dr. Sandifer stated that he is serving as Chair of the Aquariums Animal Care Committee and their first meeting will be held on Thursday, September 14, in Charleston.
Dr. Sandifer noted that John Frampton is in Canada at the Premiers Symposium on North American Hunting Heritage. Mr. Frampton was invited to give a paper at the symposium. Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that Barry Beasley will present a report on Habitat Protection at the Board Retreat following the Board meeting.
- Deputy Directors Reports
- Law Enforcement
Col. Wright commended District 9 for their efforts in the protection and raising of the Hunley. Col. Wright asked Maj. Alvin Taylor to addressed the question early about enforcement of the new net law.
- Conservation Education and Communication
Carole Collins reported that the September/October issue of the magazine is still at the press and is due next week. Ms. Collins distributed the 2000-2001 calendar. Ms. Collins stated that summer camps are finished and the educators are focusing on the upcoming school year. The Becoming an Outdoors Woman staff are preparing for the Coastal Adventure in September. Ms. Collins stated that the news section is concentrating on the National Hunting and Fishing Day.
John Miglarese distributed copies of the Chapter 5 Implementation Draft Report. Dr. Miglarese also distributed copies of a letter from the Governor to the Commissioners of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission on behalf of shad compliance.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Freddy Vang distributed T-shirts and copies of brochures for Beach Sweep/River Sweep which will be held September 16. Mr. Vang also reported on the drought status.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer informed the Board that dove season opens next week.
- Directors Briefings
Derrick Meggie informed the Board that the Divisions are currently working on their legislative proposals. The legislative package will be ready for Board review in October.
- Executive Session
At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.
- 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 approve the following reappointments to the Land, Water and Conservation Division Advisory Committee: Chalmers Dial, Webb Smathers, Lewis Walker, Oscar Stevens, Marvin Davant, Nadim Aziz and Dr. John Mark Dean. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board accept the proposal for approval of funds from the Reedy River Restoration, as recommended by the Trustees: $15,000 - preparation of restoration plan; $23,500 - for biological sampling, and; $200,000 for the purpose of implementing the Lake Conestee Water Quality and Environmental Restoration Project. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, September 15, 2000.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.