MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, October 20, 2000
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 20, 2000, 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 Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Russell Holliday, 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. Constituency Comments

Mr. Chamblee stated that there was one request for constituency comment made by Seth Boyer. Mr. Boyer is representing several conservation organizations in South Carolina and expressed their concerns regarding the proposed bridge from Rimini to Lone Star.


IV. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the September 15, 2000, meeting. There being no corrections or additions Mr. Gregg made a motion that the minutes of the September 15, 2000 meeting be approved as submitted. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


V. Constituency Comments

Mr. Chamblee stated that there was one additional request for constituency comment made by Chip Sharpe. Mr. Sharpe's comments were directed toward the issue of organic tin compounds discharged into the Congaree River by Cardinal Chemical and Tin Products and asked the Board to ask staff to address the situation as it relates to fisheries, aquatic mammals, and the like.

Billy McTeer responded to Mr. Sharpe's concern. Mr. McTeer informed the Board that the Department is cooperator with the Wildlife Disease Study of the University of Georgia. Mr. McTeer is also working with TIWET in the development of a plan to further study this problem.


VI. Presentations/Commendations

Mr. McEachin introduced three representatives of SMI Steel which is located adjacent to the Congaree Creek Heritage Preserve. SMI and its employees have taken an interest in assisting with the future of this preserve property and presented a check to the Heritage Trust to be used to improve the Congaree Creek heritage Preserve.

Buford Mabry introduced Susan Quinn, the recently hired attorney in the legal office.

Lt. Col. Stanley Smith introduced Jessica Boyken, the administrative assistant recently hired after Bethann Herbert's resignation.

Dr. Sandifer commended Freddy Vang, Rod Cherry, Bud Badr and other staff for the efforts with the recent successful FEMA appeal of the Congaree Creek flood maps.

Dr. Sandifer recognized the Jocassee Gorges employees for their hard work in getting the road ready for opening by October 1, particularly the heavy equipment crew and Jimmy Kluge.

Dr. Sandifer also recognized the staff at the Cohen Campbell Fish Hatchery, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries staff, CEC staff and Law Enforcement staff for their efforts in the National Hunting and Fishing Day.

Dr. Sandifer recognized the attendance of Caroline Foster, a mentee in the W.I.L.D. program, at today's Board meeting. Tom Kohlsaat is Ms. Foster's mentor.


VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Land, Water and Conservation

Dr. Rucker reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee met October 3, in Columbia, in conjunction with the SC Association of Conservation Districts' Fall Conference. Dr. Rucker stated that the Lexington Conservation District was highlighted at the meeting. Dr. Helfert gave the Committee a status report on the drought and reviewed the long range forecast. Dr. Rucker reported that the Committee accepted the staff recommendation that a 75 mile stretch of the Black River be recommended for State Scenic River status and the Board will receive a briefing and seek approval at next month's meeting. Dr. Rucker stated that the meeting also included discussion of the Department's position on impoundments.

B. Conservation Education and Communications

Mr. Ford reported that the Conservation Education and Communications Advisory Committee met on October 6, at Table Rock State Park. The Advisory Committee toured the Jocassee Gorges area. Mr. Ford stated that the Committee received an update from Charles Harrison on the joint venture between PRT and DNR. Mr. Ford reported that Carole Collins charged the members of the Committee to become more involved in the activities of the division. Mr. Ford stated that a motion was made and passed that committee members sponsor one scholarship for the BOW program and challenged all DNR advisory committees do the same.

C. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Ms. Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met on October 5, in Columbia. Ms. Holliday stated that there was much discussion on the concern of chemical levels, particularly copper, in Lake Murray. Ms. Holliday noted that the Committee also discussed the turkey restoration program. Ms. Holliday stated that the Committee received an update on Jocassee Gorges and the recent conflicts with four-wheelers and horseback riders and discussed the need for DNR to have legislation to allow for control of such activities. The Advisory Committee also discussed the impact of fox pens on the fox population. There was much discussion by the Board on the issue of fox pens and coyotes. Mr. Gregg requested that the Board be given a status report on fox pens. After much more discussion of enclosures and coyotes, Dr. Leary suggested that the Board receive this report suggested by Mr. Gregg and a report on legality issues at the December meeting.


VIII. Item for Board Information and Information

A. Preliminary Review of Legislative Package

Derrick Meggie distributed the 2001-2002 legislative package for review by the Board Members. Mr. Meggie stated that the package will be ready for approval at the November Board meeting. Dr. Leary asked that the package be placed in priority order by divisions.


IX. Items for Board Action

A. Operation Game Thief (OGT)

Steve Walters gave the Board a brief background of OGT and reviewed new ideas and concepts for the program along with changes to the current program. Lt. Walters also reviewed the schedule for OGT Reward Payments. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the OGT Reward Payment schedule as presented and support the direction of OGT and instruct staff to proceed with implementation of the program. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

B. Fish Kill Report, Unnamed Tributary to Broad River, Union County

Dick Christie reviewed the facts of the report that was sent to Board Members at an earlier date. Mr. Christie noted that the monetary replacement value of the fish killed was $293.22, the cost to conduct the fish kill investigation was $772.78 at a total cost of $1,066.00. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the Fish Kill Report as submitted. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

C. Heritage Trust Property Acquisitions

This item will be deferred to executive session.


X. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Administrative Services - No report.

2. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries - Mr. McTeer showed a video of the road work that took place at Jocassee. Mr. McTeer also mentioned to the Board the proposal for a trail through the Jocassee Gorge property. Mr. McTeer distributed copies of a memorandum regarding a meeting that was held October 19, between DNR staff and the Palmetto Trails group to form a proposal for the project. The Palmetto Trails group would like to put a new trail through the Jocassee property that would connect Table Rock State park to Keowee Toxaway State Park. DNR has asked this group to provide specific details for this trail. Mr. McTeer provided a summary page describing some of the southeastern states approaches to the quail initiative.

Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board, in concept, endorse the Palmetto Trail and also agree that DNR will cooperate with Palmetto Trail to make sure that DNR's land is used to the maximum extent possible consistent with management of other DNR resources.

3. Environmental Update - Ed Duncan reported that DNR is continuing to work with the Savannah Port issue and the Charleston Port Terminal issue. There have been no significant changes in the status of either project. Mr. Duncan gave the Board an update on two new projects. 1) A permit for South Island Dredging Association in Hilton Head do maintenance dredging of Harbor Town Marina, South Beach Marina and several residential canals. 2) The proposed DOT project to build a bridge between Rimini and Lone Star.

4. Law Enforcement - Col. Wright reported that they are in the process of conducting background checks on the possible new hires. After the background checks are complete the next step is psychological testing and medical testing.

5. Conservation Education and Communications - Ms. Collins reported that the Communications Section is working with Law Enforcement on media training for the officers. The November/December magazine is going to press soon and the catalog will be mailed at the end of October. There is a BOW workshop this weekend at Clemson.

6. Marine Resources - John Miglarese distributed copies of The Press and Standard from Colleton County highlighting a grant from the Donnelley Foundation used to target Colleton County Schools to help students understand natural resources. Dr. Miglarese also reported that the State of South Carolina is back in compliance regarding shad.

7. Land, Water and Conservation - Freddy Vang reported that the South Carolina Geological Survey is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year.


XI. Director's Briefings

1. Habitat Protection

Barry Beasley reported that he, Dr. Lesesne and Mr. Hugh Lane, Jr. have been spending a lot of time on the Habitat Protection Initiative over the past month. The Habitat Protection Initiative is beginning to take shape, with the appointment of an Executive Committee and the appointment of five co-chairs. Mr. Beasley stated that several work groups have been formed.

2. Director

Dr. Sandifer attended the IAFWA meeting in Indianapolis, IN, September 15-20. Dr. Sandifer was appointed by President of IAFWA to represent the Association on the Boating and Sportfishing Partnership Council.

Dr. Sandifer met with heads of other LE and corrections agencies on September 27 at the Governor's invitation to discuss a variety of issues of common concern, such as educational requirements, overtime pay, rank structure, and turnover rate.

Dr. Sandifer met on October 13 with Board member Ben Gregg, Cary Chamblee and others regarding possible improvements to the DNR web page.

Dr. Sandifer attended a meeting of the Alliance for Coastal Technologies at the Chesapeake Biological Laboratory in Solomons, MD, at the invitation of the Director on October 18-19.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the final regional staff meetings will be held October 23 and 24 in Moncks Corner.

Dr. Sandifer attended the Agency Directors Organization Fall Conference in Clemson, on October 25-27.

Dr. Sandifer stated that he would be leaving tomorrow to attend the annual meeting of the SEAFWA, which will be held in Baton Rouge, LA.

Dr. Rucker asked Stuart Greeter to inform the Board of the events at Forty-Acre Rock. Mr. Greeter stated that the next Heritage Trust Advisory Board meeting is scheduled for November 3, in Lancaster, so that members can take advantage of the anniversary celebration of Forty-Acre Rock.


XII. Executive Session

At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.


XIII. 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 that the Board approve the appointments/reappointments of the conservation district commissioners and a commissioner emeritus appointment as presented (copy attached to the original minutes). Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the Heritage Trust Land Purchases for the Hanlin and Hutchins Tracts in Aiken County as additions to the Henderson Heritage Preserve and the second is to the Pee Dee Island Bays Addition in Marion County. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the property swap relating to Clayman Grimes as recommended by staff. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board reappoint Obie Stokes to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


XIV. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, November 17, 2000.

The December meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, December 8, 2000, at Keowee-Toxaway State Park. The DNR Board will take part in a dedication ceremony at Jocassee Gorges on December 7.


XV. Adjournment

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