Board of the Department of Natural Resources
125 Regional Parkway
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, October 15, 2004 at the Ellison Building, 125 Regional Parkway, Orangeburg, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, John Evans and Karen Floyd. Board Members Smith Ragsdale and Frank Murray were absent. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Chaplin Ron Kenyon to offer the invocation.
III. Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Cary Chamblee introduced Senator Brad Hutto.
V. Constituent Comment
There were no constituent comments
Chairman McShane asked if there were any other corrections or additions to the minutes of the September 17, 2004, meeting. Mr. Campbell made a motion to accept the minutes of the September 17, 2004 meeting as presented. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Chairman McShane presented Board Member John Evans with a framed State Waterfowl Stamp print for his office or Board room.
John Frampton noted that former Deputy Director Larry Cartee health condition was very serious and that he was home from the hospital.
John Frampton recognized the efforts of two staff from the Marine Resources Division, Trey Zimmerman and Charles Farmer, for their work in developing the new marine conservation license tag. Chairman McShane then called on Robert Boyles to report on the press conference to unveil the new marine conservation license tag. Mr. Boyles thanked Chairman McShane, Board member Evans, and John Frampton for their attendance at the event, which included the release of Red Drum by school children. Mr. Boyles displayed the poster & brochure promoting the new license tag and informed the Board that the cost of the new tag is $75, of which approximately $66 will be returned to the DNR for use in marine conservation programs. Mr. Boyles also recognized the staff of the SC Department of Motor Vehicles for outstanding cooperation in helping to get the license tag program launched.
VIII. Advisory Committee Reports
A. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
Robert Boyles reported that the Governor's Cup committee had met on Thursday, October 7, 2004 and the topics discussed were the annual banquet and recommendations for appointments to the committee. Appointments were referred to Executive Session for discussion. The committee meeting dates will be March 17, 2005; July 14, 2005; October 20, 2005. The tournament dates and locations will be provided to the Board.
B. Law Enforcement
Vice Chairman Michael Campbell reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met on October 13, 2004 at the Marine Resources Division Office. Mr. Campbell also recognized and acknowledged the promotion of Major Glenn Ward previously a Captain in Region 4 and Major John Watford previously a Captain in the Columbia Office. Mr. Campbell then recognized Major Gregg Smith for his work with the Law Enforcement Division. Mr. Campbell then reported that SCDNR was very well prepared in the Emergency Preparedness Evacuation training. Mr. Campbell reported he regularly received updates from staff on Homeland Security efforts, deer enforcement and problems due to hurricanes.
C. Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries
Stephen Davis reported that the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Board met on October 14, 2004 and recognized Val Nash, noting the great job he was doing. Mr. Davis reported issues discussed were generating revenue sources such as a decal on vehicle windows, which will be brought to the DNR Board at a later time; opening day for public dove hunting; Game Zone restructuring issues; that Tom Kohlsaat was making progress in several Wildlife Diversity matters and Charles Ruth discussed several deer issues.
D. Migratory Waterfowl
Chairman McShane reported on the judging of the new Duck Stamp print, which was held on October 14, 2004. Billy McTeer will be bringing the winning print for viewing. Chairman McShane explained the judging process, reporting that there were 34 entries.
IX. Items for Board Information
A. Schlumberger Update
Chairman McShane reported that he understood legal advice would be needed in this matter and requested that it be deferred to Executive Session.
B. Proposed Impoundment Policy
Ed Duncan gave the Board an update on the Proposed Impoundment Policy. Chairman McShane reported that the Board asked the staff to review the Department Impoundment Policy and make recommendations for any needed changes. The staff committee determined it needed to pull important policy components out of the existing document into a clear and concise policy. The technical guidelines are still being compiled. Essentially the items presented to the Board incorporated all the key and critical policy issues from the original guidelines. Mr. Duncan offered the recommendation of staff. After extensive discussion and several questions for Mr. Duncan, Ms. Floyd made the following motion: The Board to reaffirm the Proposed Impound Policy to become the DNR's simplified policy. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
X. Items for Board Action
A. Yawkey Center Sanctuary
Bob Joyner reported that the Yawkey Center was named for Tom Yawkey former owner of the Red Sox who willed this property to the Department as a wildlife preserve and research center. It's available to all universities and private researchers for research studies. The area is limited in its access as designated by Mr. Yawkey. There are field trips once a week, that Mr. Joyner conducts, which are arranged in advance.
The sanctuary renewal comes up every five years and is very much needed to protect the waterfowl population. Mr. Joyner stated the Center is located in Georgetown, South Carolina made up of three islands, Cat Island, part of the mainland and separated by the waterways; South Island and North Island are on the south and northern sides of Winyah Bay, they are pristine barrier islands with some twelve miles of ocean beachfront. There are vendors hired to take people out on a regular basis, they go out in boats to the beaches and enjoy the islands. Chairman McShane commended Mr. Joyner for his efforts and leadership in this project area.
Breck Carmichael distributed a series of maps reflecting areas discussed in the Sanctuary Agreement. Mr. Carmichael discussed the Yawkey Center had been under a Sanctuary Agreement for many years giving legal designation to SCDNR and approved by the Budget & Control Board. Mr. Carmichael showed the Board changes in the new agreement as designated by the maps. Mr. Carmichael informed the Board that by law the agreement couldn't be made for any longer than five years and if at the end of five years the Department sees there are problems it can recommend the agreement be changed. Mr. Davis made a motion to accept the recommendation to accept the Sanctuary Agreement as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion. After some discussion, Chairman McShane stated that a motion had been made and seconded, and asked if there was any further discussion. There was no further discussion and the motion was affirmed unanimously.
XI. Director's Briefings:
A. Executive Office
John Frampton reported that hopefully we were through with hurricane conference calls for the year. This was a time consuming process for nearly all divisions and thanked Vice Chairman Campbell for his comment earlier regarding the Department's response and participation in the Homeland Security training.
Mr. Frampton noted that the Department had been involved in budget hearings with the Governor. Mr. Frampton stated that the Department has undergone some substantial cuts in budget and personnel and he is optimistic that the next legislative session will be better than the past. Mr. Frampton stated we would continue to track the budget process and he was also optimistic that we would have a good year working with the legislature.
Several meetings of importance include the DNR hosting the 58th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies at Hilton Head. We host the meeting every 17 years. Cary Chamblee and staff are working to put the conference together and felt it would be an excellent meeting. Over $80,000 has been raised in private funds to cover costs and very little cost will be incurred by the State. Chairman McShane recommended Board participation if possible.
October 27-29 the American Sportfishing Association will be meeting in Hilton Head and Mr. Frampton will be speaking.
November 8-11 the Atlantic State Marine Fisheries Commission will be meeting in New Hampshire and Robert Boyles and John Frampton will be attending.
Mr. Frampton stated that the Ducks Unlimited License Plate Bill signing ceremony will be Friday, October 22, 2004 at 11:30 a.m. at the Dennis Building. The Chairman will be attending and other Board members are invited to attend. This license tag has been approved by the General Assembly for DU and a reception will be held after the announcement.
Derrick Meggie submitted a handout to the Board with the October additions to the SCDNR Legislative Agenda. Mr. Meggie informed the Board that at the last Cabinet meeting that the Governor's Office requested all legislation be submitted from all agencies to the Governor's Office by November 15, 2004. Mr. Meggie discussed four revenue enhancements previously discussed with the Board. These were: Hatchery Stamp, One-Dollar Surcharges on licenses and registrations for five years for DNR to modernize its computer capabilities, Senior Lifetime License – age 64,and the ATV Safety Act.
Senator Hutto commented on the Hatchery Permit issue and recommended asking for $10. Senator Hutto stated he agreed and understood the safety issue involved with registering ATVs, but he would recommend a charge for a training fee and not a registration requirement for ATV's and this would probably get a better response. Chairman McShane thanked Senator Hutto for his comments.
Chairman McShane confirmed the Legislative Reception scheduled for January 19, 2005 at the State Museum.
XII. Deputy Directors’ Reports
1. Outreach & Support Services
Glen Gardner represented Carole Collins and reported on license sales through September 29, 2004 as compared to the previous year. There was an increase in total income of 4% for hunting and fishing licenses, 8% for saltwater-related licenses and an increase in total number of licenses sold of 5% for hunting and fishing licenses and less than 1% for saltwater licenses.
Mr. Gardner reported that Elizabeth Bradley is the new merchandise manager for the Wildlife Shop and has reworked the shop giving it a more upscale retail look. The annual catalogue will be mailed by the end of October in time for Christmas shopping to over 65,000 individuals. A sample of the catalogue was presented.
Mr. Gardner reported the Sportsmen's calendar is selling well with 6,200 already sold and pre-orders for the Weather Calendar is at 339.
Mr. Gardner reported the Wildlife TV Show had good numbers. July had almost doubled over the February viewing. The numbers are 4,000 in the Columbia area, 2,000 in the Florence-Myrtle Beach area, and 3,000 in the Charleston area and 11,000 in the Greenville-Spartanburg area (which is the largest viewing market). The Outdoor Channel has contacted the agency requesting copies of shows and the agency will be working with them in the future.
2. Marine Resources
Robert Boyles reported that Marine Resources Division staff is planting oyster shells on recreational shellfish harvesting areas. The program is supported by the saltwater license program and helps both the recreational oyster fishery as well as provide habitat for other important estuarine species. Mr. Boyles reported that the agency has recently received a lot of attention in the media and from estuarine conservation groups for efforts in shellfish restoration. Mr. Boyles briefed the Board on the grounding of the M/V Bahama Spirit, which ran aground on September 28, 2004. The vessel was entering Charleston Harbor at high seas conditions and ship lost power and ran aground at the north jetties carrying 3,500 tons of Canadian gravel which were jettisoned overboard which created a 16-17 foot mound in the area. DNR staff worked with the US Coast Guard and other authorities on a plan to retrieve the jettisoned cargo and to restore the site. Mr. Boyles also reported DMV was very good to work with regarding the new MRD license tag. Chairman McShane inquired as to how shrimp bait season was progressing. Mr. Boyles reported that as of Thursday, October 14, 2004, license sales were at 10,203 and the price of shrimp was way down.
3. Land, Water & Conservation
Freddy Vang reported on a Climate update and provided the Board with two handouts. The first provided the long-term weather forecast showing the weather to be colder and wetter over the next several months. Mr. Vang noted more storms to come but most in the Atlantic. The second handout related to sea level rises and the statistics will have an impact on the reworking of Flood Insurance program for flood zones worked between DNR & FEMA. Mr. Vang promoted the Weather Calendar.
4. Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries
Breck Carmichael reported on reinstituting the public waterfowl hunting at Samworth Wildlife Management area. The staff recommended a supplemental drawing for the Samworth area. Individuals not successful in the regular drawing will be put into a drawing for the Samworth area. The staff is recommending four hunts will occur on December 23, December 28, January 8, and January 22 and 6 hunters per hunt for these dates. The $50 hunt fee must be included with the application and the preference point system will be in effect. Chairman McShane asked if anyone had any objections to this process and there being none, Chairman McShane advised Mr. Carmichael to move forward with the hunts. Mr. Carmichael addressed a second issue regarding placing tidal creeks in the WMA program and Chairman McShane had legal questions and this matter be deferred to Executive Session.
5. Law Enforcement
Col. Alvin Taylor introduced two new Majors and reported that they are now posting and filling the Captain's position in Region 4. Col. Taylor reported that Law Enforcement had officially ordered the new airplane. Col. Taylor also reported that Law Enforcement had requisitioned 2 boats for Homeland Security through SLED. He stated that he had attended the budget hearings that included DMV, Juvenile Justice and the Dept. of Corrections and this was a good opportunity to network with the other agencies. Col. Taylor stated he met with the Sheriff's Association thanked them for their letters of support during the budget process and their partnerships in other projects. Col. Taylor reported 17 counties had 2 or fewer LE officers and Mike Campbell stated SLED and the Highway Patrol were also operating with fewer staff and a pay study was being done for all law enforcement. Mr. Frampton stated the pay issue was impacting all employees of the agency.
XIII. Board Comments
Steven Davis thanked John Evans for hosting the Board meeting, as did Karen Floyd and the other Board members.
XIV Executive Session
Chairman McShane requested a motion to go in to Executive Session. At this time Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board to break for lunch and then go in to Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters. Ms. Floyd seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XV. Return to Regular Session
Chairman McShane stated that it is the consensus of the Board that the Department strictly comply with the Governor's Executive Order # 2004-29 dated September 22, 2004, regarding budget pass through funds.
Mr. Davis made a motion to include Carr and Little Carr Creeks, within Samworth in Georgetown County, in the WMA program. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Evans made a motion that Robert Faith be appointed to the governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board, filling the expired term of Robert Hood. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board reappoint the Norman Pulliam, Edgar Buck, Francis Johnson, Nancy Ravenel and Sam Hiott to a second three-year term. The motion was seconded and carried unanimously.
XVI. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The next meeting of the DNR Board will be held Thursday, November 18, 2004, in Columbia.
The December Board meeting will be held in Columbia either December 10 or 17, 2004 and would be discussed further at the November Board Meeting.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.