Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
September 21, 2012 10:00 am
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m., September 21, 2012, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman John Evans presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Hutchins, Norman Pulliam, Caroline Rhodes and Larry Yonce. Board members Cary Chastain and Randy Lowe’s absences were excused. Director Alvin Taylor and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman John Evans called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chaplain Ron Kenyon, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program, offered the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Larry Yonce led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Breck Carmichael, Special Assistant to the Director, introduced Doug Young, Chickasaw Point Property Owners Association; Scott Whitaker, Coastal Conservation Association, SC; Tombo Milliken, Coastal Conservation Association, SC; Joel Deason, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry; Douglas Ford, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry; Ekaterina Altman, University of SC; and Joey Holleman, The State.
- Constituent Comments
Chairman Evans asked Mr. Young to address the Board. Mr. Young’s comments were directed toward the Department’s budget.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Evans asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the July 25, 2012, meeting minutes. Caroline Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the July 25, 2012, meeting as submitted. Larry Yonce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Evans asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the August 27, 2012, meeting minutes. Norman Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the August 27, 2012, meeting as submitted. Mike Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Director Taylor commended Breck Carmichael, Capt. Robert McCullough, Al Stokes and other DNR staff for their hard work toward making the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Annual Meeting, hosted by SC DNR at Hilton Head, so successful.
Director Taylor commended Emily Cope and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries staff for their efforts in coordination of the Sassafras Mountain Improvement Project announcement at Jocassee Gorges.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Heritage Trust
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met August 2, 2012 in Columbia. The Advisory Board received an update on the Department’s budget. The Advisory Board reviewed the FY 14 Heritage budget request and two potential land acquisitions.
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met August 15, 2012 in Columbia. The Advisory Committee approved the late season waterfowl season recommendations. The Advisory Committee received a progress update for the previous peer reviews and recommendations. The Committee will continue to conduct peer reviews on properties not included in the first round.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Rentiers reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee met August 21, 2012 via conference call. The Advisory Committee received updates on division programs, the Department’s budget and water planning. The Advisory Committee reviewed and approved conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments.
- Governor’s Cup
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Governor’s Cup Advisory Committee met August 30, 2012 in Charleston. Mr. Boyles reported that 300 billfish were released during the 2012 Series year. The Advisory Committee passed four motions 1) approve the 2012 Series winners as provided by Series staff, 2) change the language in contracts entered into between DNR and individual tournaments to state that all Series points are to be verified and certified by Governor’s Cup staff before any prizes or awards are to be distributed, 3) express the concern of the Advisory Board of Directors to the Series Tournament Directors and urge them to make corrective measure regarding the affordability of the tournaments with the intent to increase participation and to enhance the tournaments quality and overall experience for all participants, and 4) change the language in contracts entered into between DNR and individual tournaments to state that official series scales provided by SC DNR to participating tournaments are to be only used to weigh eligible Series fish.
- Law Enforcement
Mr. Pulliam reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee toured the Tom Yawkey Wildlife Center Heritage Preserve on the afternoon of September 5 and held their meeting the morning of September 6.
- Items for Board Action
- 2012-2013 Late Migratory Bird Seasons Correction
Mrs. Cope noted that it is necessary to change the Canada Goose season closing date from February 8 to February 7 in order to allow youth to hunt Canada Geese on youth hunting day. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board approve the change as requested. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Heritage Trust Annual Debt Service
Don Winslow, Deputy Director for Outreach and Support Services, briefly explained the Heritage Trust Annual Debt Service. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Heritage Trust Annual Debt Service as presented. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefings
Director Taylor informed the Board that staff found out yesterday afternoon that the $2 million allocated for the water study is in jeopardy.
Director Taylor reported that he has been meeting with legislators throughout the month.
Director Taylor participated in the Governor’s Savannah River Advisory Committee.
Director Taylor attended the Conservation Voters of South Carolina’s Green Tie Awards Luncheon.
- Legislative Report
Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, reported on the passage of the pollution control language establishing the Isolated Wetlands and Carolina Bays Task Force. DNR staff have been working as the support staff along with other agencies, with the Task Force.
Mr. Meggie introduced Joel Deason, who will be succeeding Douglas Ford as the Research Director for the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee.
- Environmental Report
Bob Perry, Director, Office of Environmental Programs, reported that he had nothing of extreme importance to report and noted that the environmental report is much shorter due to the fact that four projects have gone through the permit process.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mrs. Cope reported on the opening day dove results on public lands. Mrs. Cope distributed a map of DNR properties and the results of the public meetings held on the Lower Saluda Trout.
- Law Enforcement
Col. Chisolm Frampton gave the Board an update on the interview process for new hires. To date 212 interviews have been conducted.
- Marine Resources
Mr. Boyles reported that shrimp baiting season opened September 14, 2012. Mr. Boyles informed the Board that shellfish season will open October 1, 2012. Mr. Boyles reported that red snapper season (recreational) opened last weekend for 3 days and will open again September 21-23, 2012.
- Outreach and Support Services
Mr. Winslow reported that the mainframe was down for one day at which time staff were unable to process deer tags and shrimp baiting tags. Mr. Winslow noted that during the time the mainframe was down some parts of licensing were transferred to SCI so most transactions could be completed. Mr. Winslow informed the Board that three companies want to pay the agency to create an agency app for smartphones.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Rentiers gave the Board a brief status report on water planning.
- Executive Session
Mr. Hutchins made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss personnel matters. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Open Session
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board approve the Conservation District Commissioner appointments/reappointments as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Reappointments: Stanley Keaton, Abbeville; Thomas W. McElmurray, Aiken; Freddy C. Major, Anderson; James R. Hill, Jr., Barnwell; Alton B. Jeffords, Darlington; Jamie E. Smith, Dillon; W. Tolman Salisbury, Dorchester; Malcolm J. O’Neal, Edgefield; Mickey D. Lankford, Jr., Georgetown; English W. Dixon, Horry; Calvin T. Robertson, Laurens; Larry Nates, Lexington; Alexander R. Ramsay, Oconee; Roddey E. Gettys, Pickens; and J. Kenneth Mullis, Jr., Richland
Appointment: Chris LeMaster, Cherokee
Mr. Puliam made a motion that the Board give final approval to acquire approximately 75 acres adjoining Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve/WMA in Aiken County. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board give final approval to accept a donation of approximately 25 acres adjoining Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve/WMA in Horry County. Mr. Yonce seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The October Board meeting will be held Tuesday, October 16, 2012, at Belfast Wildlife Management Area.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.