MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Marine Resources Division, 217 Ft. Johnson Road

Charleston, South Carolina

Friday, October 15, 1999

10:00 a.m.

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, 1999, at the Marine Resources Division, 217 Ft. Johnson Road, Charleston, 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 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

II. Meditation

Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.

III. Introduction of Guests

John Miglarese introduced Steve Moore, DHEC-OCRM; and Dr. Vic Burrell, Director Emeritus of the Marine Resources Research Institute.

IV. Constituency Comments

Chariman Lesesne asked Robert Lockwood to address the Board regarding goose season.

Mr. Lockwood comments were directed towards stopping goose hunting on the east branch of the Cooper River. He also offered to donate an abandoned rice field to the Department if it would be reimpounded as a waterfowl sanctuary.

Chairman Lesesne called on Billy McTeer for a response from the Department's standpoint. Mr. McTeer asked Bill Mahan to deliver this response.

Mr. Mahan noted that because of Mr. Lockwood and other residents requests, the Department has looked closely at the goose situation on the east branch of the Cooper River as it relates to migratory birds. The results of this study does not warrant closure in this area.

Chairman Lesesne called on Dr. Chris Andrews, SC Aquarium, to review the proposed resolution in support of the environmental education program of the SC Aquarium. Dr. Andrews stated that the Aquarium is due to open in spring of 2000. Dr. Sandifer read the proposed resolution for the record (copy of resolution attached to the original minutes). Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board adopt the resolution as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Lesesne called on Tim Eubanks, Executive Director of Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission, to address the Board regarding the Shipyard Creek Boating Facility.

Chairman Lesesne called on Ed Duncan for a response from the Department. Mr. Duncan stated that there are no significant environmental problems with this project and the Department has no objections with the issuance of a permit.

Chairman Lesesne called on Gordon Stamler , Chairman of the Sea Pines Association for the Protection of Wildlife, to address the Board regarding their views of animals and wildlife management (copy of statement attached to the original minutes). Mr. Stamler introduced those also in attendance with him, Ms. Saundra Metcalf, Ms. Sandra Barr, Ms. Patricia Friedman, Mr. Henry Brzezinski and Ms. Deloris Mungo.

Chairman Lesesne noted that since the Department is in litigation with the Sea Pines Association for the Protection of Wildlife there would be no comment from the Department.

V. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the September 24, 1999, meeting. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the minutes of the September 24, 1999, meeting be approved as presented. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

VI. Presentations Commendations

Dr. Sandifer introduced Derrick Meggie, the recently hired Director for Legislative Services. Mr. Meggie will begin work on November 2.

Dr. Sandifer commended staff for their efforts during Hurricane Floyd and the flooding at Conway.

VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Marine

Mr. Gregg stated that the Marine Advisory Committee has met twice since the last DNR Board Meeting. In September the MAC met jointly with the DHEC-OCRM panel. At the October meeting the MAC received an update of the ad hoc shrimp baiting committee from Sam Hiott and several staff reports. Mr. Gregg distributed copies of a statement made by Sam Hiott concerning the Daniel Island project. Mr. Gregg asked that a motion from the MAC be considered regarding buffers. Following a discussion about buffers the following resolution was passed, "The Marine Advisory Committee recommends to the DNR Board that the SC DNR endorse the concept of riparian buffers for creeks, rivers and marshes. It is further recommended that DNR, in coordination with DHEC and other state agencies, review the need for buffers statewide and federal, state and local governments incorporate buffers into their management plans and ordinances for the protection of water quality and natural resources." Ms. Holliday seconded the motion. After much discussion regarding making this a statewide policy for freshwater as well as saltwater Mr. Gregg withdrew his motion and Ms. Holliday withdrew her second. Dr. Sandifer stated that staff will work to draft a suitable policy for review and action at the next meeting.

B. Conservation Education and Communications

Mr. Ford asked Mike Willis to report on the CEC Advisory Committee meeting. Mr. Willis stated that Cary Chamblee and Steve Bates reported on the progress of the Education Council and they will be delivering their report at the next Advisory Committee meeting. Mr. Willis noted that Richard Peterson chairs a subcommittee that has reviewed the agency's education and outreach programs and they have asked to be on the agenda for the full Board meeting in the future to give their report. The CEC Advisory committee also heard several staff reports.

C. Land, Water and Conservation

Dr. Rucker reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee provided the agency and the Governor timely updates and reports concerning Hurricane Floyd, the Wacammaw River flooding and the drought status. Dr. Rucker stated that Bud Badr presented information on the Savannah River feasibility studies to be conducted by the Corps of Engineers with support from Georgia and South Carolina. The primary purpose of the study is to develop a plan to better manage the basin's water resources including environmental restoration. Dr. Rucker noted that the Annual Meeting of the SC Association of Conservation Districts will be held January 5-8, 2000, at the Charleston Place Hotel. The Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee is asking that \the DNR Board consider holding their monthly meeting in conjunction with the SCACD Annual Conference.

D. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series

John Miglarese distributed copies of tournament schedule for the upcoming year. Dr. Miglarese noted that the annual "shootout" was canceled due to the hurricane and has been rescheduled for the last week of April.

E. Law Enforcement

Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met at the National Wild Turkey Federation Headquarters on October 12. Dr. Leary stated that Ed Stuckey, a Governor appointed new member, was introduced. Dr. Leary noted that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee received reports from Hurricane Floyd, Conway flooding, and field staff regarding recent constituency comments. Dr. Leary stated that the Physical Fitness Program is in place for the officers. Dr. Leary reported that the selected candidates for Law Enforcement Officer vacancies will be given conditional offers beginning November, with hiring beginning January 17 and new officers should have completed training and be deployed to their districts by May 19. Dr. Leary reported on a presentation received on dove baiting and encouraged that this presentation be brought to the Board at a later meeting. Dr. Leary distributed copies of a motion from the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, for information, concerning the sale of resident license to out of state residents.

F. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Ms. Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Committee met October 14, 1999, at the Webb Wildlife Center. Ms. Holliday stated that the committee received a presentation from Val Nash about human dimension surveys and freshwater fisheries. Ms. Holliday noted that there was discussion about the recent fish kill at the Lake Hartwell dam. The committee received a report on the public dove fields. Ms. Holliday stated that the committee supports the staff position on the Santee Cooper Lakes Aquatic Management Plan. Ms. Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee supports the riparian buffer proposed by the Marine Advisory Committee with some minor wording changes.

VIII. Items for Board Information

Minority Intern Presentation: "Integrated Environmental Studies: Extrapolating from Habitat Conditions to Biological Consequences"

Dr. Miglarese introduced Dr. Amy Ringwood to describe the Minority Intern Program. Dr. Ringwood then introduced Natasha Cobb, a student participating in the program. Ms. Cobb then made a brief presentation of her studies and research.

Waddell Mariculture Center Overview

Dr. Miglarese introduced Steve Hopkins, Manager of the Waddell Mariculture Center. Mr. Hopkins provided a brief overview of the activities of the Waddell Center.

IX. Items for Board Action

A. 1999-2000 Legislative Proposal

Billy McTeer reminded the Board that they were given the 1999-2000 Legislative Proposal at the September Board meeting and have been mailed a summary of pending legislation since that time. Dr. Sandifer asked the Board for endorsement of pending and new legislation. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board endorse the 1999-2000 Legislative Proposal. Mr. Ford seconded the motion. After a short discussion and Board member questions being answered, the motion carried unanimously.

B. Proposed Management Plans for Tillman Sand Ridge, Lewis Ocean Bay, Crab Bank, Deveaux Bank and Congaree Creek Heritage Preserves

Johnny Stowe presented the management plans for Tillman Sand Ridge Heritage Preserve and Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. Mr. Stowe then answered questions asked by the Board.

Jamie Dozier presented the management plans for Crab Bank Heritage Preserve and Deveaux Bank Heritage Preserve. Mr. Dozier then answered questions asked by the Board.

Chris Judge presented the management plan for the Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve. Mr. Judge then answered questions asked by the Board.

Mr. McEachin made a motion that the proposed management plans for Tillman Sand Ridge, Lewis Ocean Bay, Crab Bank, Deveaux Bank and Congaree Creek Heritage Preserves be approved as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

C. Heritage Trust Property Donation

Mr. McEachin requested that this item be deferred to Executive Session.

X. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer noted that he, John Watford, Sonny Baines, Val Nash, Hank Stallworth and Benny Reeves participated in the dunking booth to raise money for United Way and to promote the awareness of staff that their donations can be designated to the Chaplaincy Program.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he and Billy McTeer met with Bill McCabe of Duke Power to discuss several issues of mutual interest related to the Catawba-Wateree system and other matters.

Dr. Sandifer stated that he spoke to the "Becoming an Outdoors Woman" group in Clemson on October 8. Dr. Sandifer also noted that his wife, Betty, was a participant in this event.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he welcomed the participants to the Southeastern Aquatic Nuisance Species Conference on October 12, at the Sheraton in Charleston.

Dr. Sandifer noted that he also attended the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Board of Directors meeting held October 13.

B. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries - Mr. McTeer reviewed the reorganization of the Wildlife and Freshwateries Division. Tim Ivey will serve as the Chief of Wildlife Management and Derrell Shipes will serve as the Chief of Statewide Projects, Research and Surveys.

2. Natural Resources Enforcement - Col. Wright thanked the Board for their commendations of staff efforts during Hurricane Floyd and the Conway flooding. Col. Wright mentioned that at a future date he would like for Steve Walters to make a presentation on the Wildlife Crime Information Center, this will allow all law enforcement agencies throughout the nation to share criminal activity information.

3. Conservation Education and Communications - Nothing further to report.

4. Marine Resources - Nothing further to report.

5. Land, Water and Conservation - Ann Nolte gave the Board copies of the 1999 SC Environmental Awareness Award nomination form and also informed the Board that the Lynches Scenic River Advisory Council is hosting a public seminar entitled "Stewardship: The Community's Role in Protecting the Lynches River."

6. Administrative Services - Nothing further to report.

XI. Executive Session

At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss advisory committee appointments, conservation district commissioner appointments, legal, and contractual matters. Mr. Gregg Seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

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 to accept the donation of an addition to the Tillman Tract in the Little Pee Dee Heritage Trust Preserve. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion to approve the conservation district commissioner appointments for the Land, Water and Conservation Division. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously (copy of recommendations attached to the original minutes).

Dr. Leary made a motion the Board accept the staff recommendation for the DNR Meritorious Service Award. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

XII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, November 19, 1999, at 10:00 a.m., at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335, in Columbia.

XIII. Adjournment

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