MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335

Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, September 24, 1999

9:00 a.m.

The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was scheduled for September 17, 1999, but was postponed due to Hurricane Floyd. A special called meeting was held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, September 24, 1999, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335, Columbia, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Dr. Joab Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Russell Holliday, Dr. Julius Leary, 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 9:00 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 Bob Bailey, Director, Sportsmen's Coalition; Lisa Sox, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee staff; and Pat Robertson, The State newspaper.

IV. Constituency Comments

Mr. Chamblee introduced Malcolm Leaphart, Trout Unlimited. Mr. Leaphart expressed his concerns about the importance of FERC relicensing and the need for DNR to provide adequate staff and funding to fully participate in the relicensing process.

Mr. Chamblee asked Gerrit Jöbsis to offer a brief response to Mr. Leaphart.

Mr. Chamblee introduced Dell Isham, Sierra Club. Mr. Isham distributed a letter regarding the proposed Burroughs and Chapin Development which highlights the concerns of the Sierra Club.

V. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the August 20, 1999, meeting. Dr. Leary made a motion that the minutes of the August 20, 1999, meeting be approved as presented. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

VI. Presentations Commendations

Dr. Sandifer commended the Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Fisheries staff for their efforts in co-hosting the Annual Meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Charlotte.

Dr. Sandifer complimented staff of all divisions for their work during Hurricane Dennis, Hurricane Floyd, flooding in Conway and drought conditions in the upstate.

VII. Items for Board Information

2000 Legislative Proposal

Chairman Lesesne called on Billy McTeer to present the Board with the 2000 Legislative Proposal. Mr. McTeer distributed the 2000 Legislative Proposal notebooks to Board Members for their review. Mr. McTeer reviewed legislation passed in 1999, pending legislation and proposed legislation. Mr. McTeer stated that action will probably need to be taken at the October Board meeting and also requested direction on the priority of pending legislation.

VIII. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that he met with Lewis Shaw and Bob King, of DHEC, to discuss issues of mutual interest.

Dr. Sandifer stated that he, Mr. Chamblee and John Davis met with Katherine Frye and others from USC Press to discuss possible joint ventures.

Dr. Sandifer reported that there was a joint meeting of the Marine Advisory Committee and the Coastal Appellate Panel of DHEC's Office of Coastal Resources Management held in Charleston. This meeting was held to begin formal dialogue between the two bodies in order to explore areas of potential cooperation on issues of coastal growth and development and natural resources protection in the coastal zone.

Dr. Sandifer noted that he participated in Westvaco Press Conference regarding new habitat partnership with The Nature Conservancy.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he, along with other DNR staff, met with Mark Robertson, Executive Director of The Nature Conservancy, to discuss habitat issues.

Dr. Sandifer stated that John Frampton attended the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies annual fall meeting in Vermont.

Dr. Sandifer mentioned that Freddy Vang represented him at the Governor's Interagency Council on Natural Resources Policy meeting on September 20. The main topic of this meeting was water quality issues.

Dr. Sandifer announced that the DNR Media Fishing Tournament will be held on September 25 at Lake Murray.

Dr. Sandifer asked Mr. Vang to discuss the status of the drought. Mr. Vang stated that the recent tropical depression brought minimal rain to the upstate. Mr. Vang reported that data from the monitoring wells show an average adverse decline in the Piedmont is between 1˝ and 5 feet. Mr. Vang said that the NWS is predicting below normal rainfall from now through February.

IX. Items for Board Action

2000-2001 Budget Request

Chairman Lesesne asked Mr. McEachin to present the proposed 2000-2001 budget request. Mr. McEachin reviewed each item of the proposed request and answered questions. Representative Jake Knotts of Lexington County was recognized and spoke on behalf of the Law Enforcement salary and equipment budget increases. After much discussion about the vehicles and salaries for Law Enforcement, Dr. Leary made a motion that the 2000-2001 budget request be approved as submitted. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

At this time, Ms. Holliday asked for unanimous consent to reopen the budget issue for the purpose of offering an amendment. No objection being raised Ms. Holliday made a motion that the proposed 2000-2001 budget be amended to include the amount originally requested by Law Enforcement ($500,000 recurring and $250,000 nonrecurring). Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

State Duck Stamp Fund Budget Amendment

Chairman Lesesne asked Derrell Shipes to review the proposed Duck Stamp budget amendment. Mr. Shipes noted that the Board had previously approved the Duck Stamp budget. This amendment includes two activities which were mentioned but were not finalized for approval earlier. The first item is a study of the temporal and spatial changes in wintering mallard and Northern pintail populations in the Carolinas and the second item is a project that will raise 35,000 linear feet of existing dike and installation of three new water control structures on the Cape portion of Santee Coastal Reserve that borders the intercoastal waterway. The second item will be reimbursed from Ducks Unlimited MARSH Funds in March 2000. This amendment was approved by unanimous vote. (copy of the revise budget is attached to the original minutes.

At this time, Mr. Gregg introduced Thomas Spratt who works in the Intergovernmental Relations Department of the Governor's Office.

Heritage Trust Property Acquisition

Chairman Lesesne stated that this item will be discussed in Executive Session.

X. Executive Session

At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss advisory committee appointments, legal, contractual and personnel matters. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION

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

Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the following land acquisition: a 10 acre tract to be an addition to the Tillman Sand Ridge Property. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

XI. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, October 15, at 10:00 a.m., at the Marine Resources Division, in Charleston.

XII. Adjournment

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