Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Friday, September 13, 2002
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, September 13, 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.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
Chairman Lesesne asked Dr. Jim Barker, President, Clemson University to come forward and participate in the signing of the memorandum of agreement between DNR and Clemson University. This MOA will renew the research pact for science, academics and economic development that have been served by a 50-year partnership between SC DNR and Clemson University.
IV. Items for Board Action
Santee Coastal Reserve Management Plan
Derrell Shipes thanked all colleagues involved in the development of this plan, which took three-years. Mr. Shipes then recognized Mark Robertson, of The Nature Conservancy, and asked for his comments. Mr. Robertson spoke of the cooperative effort of all parties involved. Mr. Robertson reported that the group has reached a consensus on this management plan. At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the Santee Coastal Forest Reserve Management Plan as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Shipes requested that the Board give him permission to bring the property management plan into compliance with the forest management plan. The Board informed Mr. Shipes that they would like to review the proposed changes to the property management plan.
V. Introductions of Guests
Cary Chamblee introduced Jack Whetstone, Clemson University; Joey Holleman, The State newspaper; Marge Davenport, USGS; and Angela Viney, SC Wildlife Federation.
VI. Constituency Comments
Mr. Chamblee introduced, Dr. James Timmerman, DNR Director Emeritus, and asked him to address the Board. Dr. Timmerman’s comments were directed toward the Jocassee Trust Fund and the proposed action item on the meeting agenda. Dr. Timmerman noted that the legislature cut the interest accrued from trust funds and transferred them in the general fund. Dr. Timmerman noted that the Jocassee Trust Fund is mostly comprised of individual donations and was originally set up for only interest expenditures, with the principal being retained. Dr. Timmerman asked the Board and Dr. Sandifer to consider any other source of possible funding for the action item.
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 in Richland County. Mr. Sharpe expressed concern, at the August meeting, that officers were not fully equipped. Mr. Sharpe noted that since that time, every officer in District 6 has a shotgun and GPS. Mr. Sharpe also stated that he felt before new officers are hired, existing officers should be properly equipped.
VII. Presentations Commendations
Dr. Sandifer congratulated Captain John Watford on his graduation from the FBI Academy at Quantico, Virginia.
Dr. Sandifer congratulated Corp. Gene Morris on his selection to attend and participate in the Ninth Annual TOP COPs Awards Ceremony held in New York City.
VIII. Items for Board Action
Jocassee Trust Fund Budget
Billy McTeer explained that the requests for expenditures from the Jocassee Trust Fund are necessary for contractual work and supplies to be used for the roads in the area. Mr. McTeer asked Buford Mabry to review the legalities of expenditures from the trust fund principal and interest. After some discussion, Dr. Sandifer asked the Board to allow him to search for a source of funds to cover the necessary expenditures and as interest accrues in the Jocassee Trust Fund account he will seek Board authorization to use that interest to cover as much of the expenditures as possible, up to the requested amount.
IX. Advisory Committee Reports
Mr. Gregg reported that the Marine Advisory Committee received a report from Mike Able, Coastal Conservation Association, spoke to the Committee regarding a legislative proposal they are initiating that would give DNR some regulatory authority over 12 key recreational fish species. Diane Lee gave the Committee a report on the license trends. Madilyn Fletcher and David Whitaker, on behalf of the subcommittee, gave the Committee an update on the Blue Crab Study. Mr. Gregg asked John Miglarese to review the findings.
B. Land, Water and Conservation
Dr. Rucker reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee received a presentation from the Richland Conservation District on their activities. Hope Mizzell provided the Committee with an update on the drought. A protocol has been developed with the State of North Carolina, Alcoa and Carolina Power and Light to continue flows of 900 cubic feet per second into the Pee Dee from the North Carolina dams. There was much discussion about the problem of wells drying up around the state. The committee passed a resolution requesting that the DNR Board urge Congress to enact drought relief legislation. Dr. Rucker made a motion to this effect. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
C. Law Enforcement
Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee received comments from the SC Trappers Association and owners of fox enclosures. The Committee received a budget update, which outlined upcoming cuts. Palmetto Pride and DNR have signed a MOA for reporting litter violations through the OGT hotline. Dr. Leary noted that the Law Enforcement Division is going through some reorganization. Dr. Leary reviewed some of the duties officers covered on September 11.
X. Approval of Minutes
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the August 16, 2002, meeting. There being no corrections or additions Ms. Holliday made a motion that the minutes of the August 16, 2002, meeting be approved as submitted. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XI. Items for Board Information
A. Marketing Initiative
Jim Goller reviewed the outcome of the agency’s direct mail license renewal test. Mr. Goller reported that this went from concept to final package in six weeks. Mr. Goller informed the Board of the steps taken in the development of the form and the selection of names. The project was very successful as nonresident sales increased over last year. It was indicated that all South Carolina zip codes performed evenly, indicating no low response areas. Mr. Goller then reviewed the plans for 2003.
B. GAP Analysis
Jim Scurry explained that SC GAP is part of a national program. This program began in the 1980’s and is used to determine areas where there are gaps in the protection for high biodiversity. Mr. Scurry reviewed the three components of GAP: vegetation, animal diversity and land ownership. Mr. Scurry informed the Board that this project was completed in December and has been sent to National GAP and they are currently in the third revision.
C. Drought Status and Update
Freddy Vang reported to the Board that South Carolina is currently in an extreme drought. Mr. Vang informed the Board that there is a five-foot deficit since 1998. Mr. Vang noted that evaporation accounts for 70% of what rain falls. Mr. Vang stated that as of September 11, stream flows were at an all time low. Mr. Vang reported on the protocol between South Carolina and North Carolina with regard to the Pee Dee River. Mr. Vang reported that the indications are that more than likely there will be an increase in rainfall in the winter months.
XII. Director’s Briefings
Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that Dr. Al Segars wrote DHEC with regard to the West Nile Virus and an issue of concern that was raised at the last Board meeting about the fact that along with mosquitoes, many beneficial insects/animals may be negatively impacted in conjunction with intense mosquito spraying/fogging. DHEC has responded that they will continue to advise the local mosquito control to use a scientifically sound integrated approach to control mosquitoes.
Dr. Sandifer shared a letter from Rob Keck of the National Wild Turkey Federation with the Board. This letter expressed appreciation for NWTF/DNR partnership over the years.
Dr. Sandifer participated in a joint retreat held on September 4-5 at the Webb Center with staff from the USFWS including the Regional Director, Sam Hamilton, from Atlanta. This retreat was held so that staff from both agencies could get to know each other better and promote a dialogue about important issues common to both agencies.
Dr. Sandifer attended the organizational meeting of the Conservation Bank Board held on September 6. After much discussion, it was decided that for the short term the Department will provide any necessary services and assistance as requested by the SC Conservation Bank Board.
Dr. Sandifer will attend the meeting of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies being held September 17-21 in Montana.
Derrick Meggie reported to the Board that they will be receiving the proposed 2003 legislative package within the next two weeks.
XIII. Deputy Directors’ Reports
A. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer noted the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated Recreation brochure. This is a comprehensive background completed every five years. This brochure is a preliminary report and the final should be released soon. Mr. McTeer also informed the Board about the poster recognizing SC Archeology Month.
B. Law Enforcement
Col. Wright explained to the Board the process of issuing equipment to new officers. Col. Wright informed the Board that equipment bought with Water Recreation or Fish and Game funds stay in the county where they were purchased.
At this time, the Board asked questions about the DLEO policy and legislation.
The Board then discussed how to respond to constituent comments. After much discussion, the Board decided to receive constituent comments and have an appropriate response provided to the Board and the subject may be discussed at the next meeting and this discussion will be reflected in the minutes.
C. CEC and Administrative Services
Carole Collins reported that the Budget and Control Board will be meeting next week. Ms. Collins stated that the Department is prepared to take a 5% cut. Ms. Collins announced the merging of the Administrative Services IT Section and the Land, Water and Conservation IT Section.
John Miglarese gave the Board an update on abandoned vessels.
Dr. Lesesne asked the Board if they had any questions about the new telephone system at the Marine Center or if everyone was satisfied with the response they received. There were no questions.
E. Land, Water and Conservation
No further report.
XIV. Executive Session
At this time Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters.
XV. Return to Regular Session
The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board adopt the letter of intent regarding the mitigation of red-cockaded woodpeckers between DNR and Burroughs and Chapin as stated in a draft letter that has been furnished to the Board. Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board reappoint Ed Muckenfuss to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board reappoint Terry LeCroy to the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Bennett’s Point facility be officially named in honor of a distinguished individual. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XVI. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, October 18, 2002, in room 335 of the Dennis Building in Columbia, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.