MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335

Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, November 19, 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, November 19, 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. Julius Leary, Vice Chairman, presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Russell Holliday, Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker. Board Member absent from the meeting was Chairman Lesesne. 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

Vice Chairman Leary called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

II. Meditation

Vice Chairman Leary asked for a moment of silent meditation.

III. Introduction of Guests

Mr. Gregg introduced Ted Snyder, his stepson, and Melissa Wolfe. Mr. Snyder has completed his undergraduate degree at Colorado State and Ms. Wolfe has completed her graduate degree in zoology from Southern Illinois University. Mr. Snyder and Ms. Wolfe has just finished a project in Wisconsin dealing with prairie restoration.

IV. Constituency Comments

Cary Chamblee asked Bob Bailey, Executive Director of the SC Sportsmen's Coalition, to address the Board regarding high fences for deer.

Mr. Bailey's comments were directed toward the problem of high fencing (copy of comments attached to original minutes). He also asked the Board to make efforts to solve and manage this problem.

Vice Chairman Leary recommended that a committee be formed from representatives of the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee and the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee to study this issue, receive public input and research the law. Dr. Leary also suggested that a report be brought back to the Board in a time period no longer than six months.

Mr. Watson, SC Wildlife Federation, stated that on January 29, 1993, the SC Wildlife Federation proposed a resolution supporting the prohibition of hunting hogs or deer within a fenced enclosure.

Cary Chamblee asked Mr. Tom Moses to address the Board regarding the Law Enforcement hiring process.

Mr. Moses', attorney representing Lance Price, comments were directed toward the Law Enforcement hiring guidelines of the Department. He stated that his client, Mr. Price, was not treated fairly because his application was not considered active for two years.

V. Approval of Minutes

Vice Chairman Leary asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the October 15, 1999, meeting. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the minutes of the October 15, 1999, meeting be approved as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

VI. Presentations Commendations

Dr. Sandifer noted that Lisa Holland received a commendation for her assistance to the Department of Insurance during flooding in Conway by a letter to Governor Hodges from Ernst Csiszar, Director of Insurance, SC Department of Insurance.

Dr. Sandifer reported that Captain Harvin Brock, Major Van McCarty, Buck Sgt. Glenn Davis and 1st Sgt. Dudley Britt received a commendation letter from Bert Pooser for their assistance during a fuel spill at Lighthouse Marina.

Dr. Sandifer stated that Hayne von Kolnitz, Erin Levette and Chris McDonough received a letter of commendation from Mary Nicolette and Austin Holt for their assistance when they became grounded while sailing a small keelboat on the Ashley River.

VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Heritage Trust

Mr. McEachin reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met on November 4, 1999. The meeting opened with a presentation and recognition of Ms. Juanita Trent, who donated a conservation easement on Bird Mountain. The Advisory Board received a presentation on the Morris Island Lighthouse. Mr. McEachin noted that the Advisory Board approved management plans for Brasstown Creek Preserve, Little Pee Dee River Preserve and Cathedral Bay. The Advisory Board recommended agreements to protect two cultural areas in the state. The Advisory Board also approved several new projects. There was also a budget addition in the Chestnut Ridge area.

B. Marine

Mr. Gregg reported that the Marine Advisory Committee had a discussion about the Ad Hoc Shrimp Baiting Committee and Mr. Sam Hiott, Chairman of that committee, will be presenting the status report later in this meeting. The Advisory Committee discussed the State Ports Authority Daniel Island Expansion. Mr. Gregg noted that the Advisory Committee also discussed limited entry fisheries. The Advisory Committee received a report regarding the Charleston Bump Colloquium. Mr. Gregg stated that the Advisory Committee also received a report from the Marine Patrol.

C. Marine Recreational Fisheries

John Miglarese reported that the Marine Recreational Fisheries Advisory Board had a discussion and may have a possible recommendation regarding expansion or change in structure for the saltwater stamp. The Advisory Board received a presentation on recreational fisheries research and had discussions concerning a standard budget for this program. Dr. Miglarese reported that there will be a presentation in the Auditorium of Marine Resources Division in Charleston on December 9, regarding the Charleston Bump.

VIII. Items for Board Information

A. Take One Make One

The SCDNR Board was formally briefed on the "Take One Make One" program during the November meeting held in Columbia. They were updated on the scope and success of the program which is designed to introduce the youth of South Carolina to traditional outdoor activities.

Currently there are 136 students and adult mentors entered in the program and 87 students awaiting assignment. Donnelly WMA hosted 10 adult mentors and their students on November 5-6, 1999 for youth deer hunts. The youth deer hunts are a tremendous success. The Clemson Office will be hosting the next adult mentor and student-hunting event on December 10-11 at Fants Grove. Ten Adult mentors and their students were drawn to participate in the program event. The final youth event for 1999 will be at the Webb Center on December 20-21. Sixteen adult mentors and their students were drawn to participate in this special "Take One Make One" youth hunting event.

The board members were extremely receptive and complementary about the program.

B. Ad Hoc Shrimp Baiting Committee Status Report

Mr. Hiott, Vice Chairman of the Marine Advisory Committee and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Shrimp Baiting Committee, presented a status of the Ad Hoc Committee. Mr. Hiott thanked Wayne Waltz, Robert Boyles and John Miglarese for their support and the support of their staff. In February 1999, the Marine Advisory Committee and the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee held a joint meeting and from this it was evident that an Ad Hoc Shrimp Baiting Committee needed to be formed to study the controversial issues. A twelve member committee was formed with representatives from special interest groups, general public, recreational shrimpers, commercial shrimpers and other involved constituencies. This committee decided that there had to be a consensus of the group for recommendations and findings. The committee agreed on the following four issues: 1) prohibit sales of baiting permits to people who are in the trawling business; 2) impose a stricter proof of residency; 3) establish a minimum mesh size on the net of inch; and 4) require all active participants to have some type of permit or some type of saltwater stamp. Wayne Waltz reported that this year the Department sold 15, 896 permits, surveys have been developed, working with commercial shrimpers on log books, and they will be working with Clemson University on the development of a business analysis of a commercial trawl fishery. Dr. Miglarese stated that Mr. Hiott has been involved with this for quite some time and this public involvement process will have to be brought to closure. The Marine Advisory Committee and the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee will have a joint meeting in Charleston in January and from that meeting will come an item for action for the Board.

Dr. Sandifer reviewed some of Mr. Hiott's accomplishments and contributions on behalf of the Department. Dr. Sandifer then presented Mr. Hiott with the Board's Meritorious Service Award.

C. Congaree River Flood Analysis

Dr. John Grego, Associate Professor of Statistics and Director of the Statistical Laboratory-USC, made a presentation on his studies of the FEMA Congaree River Flood Analysis. A copy of Dr. Grego's statement is attached to the original minutes. Freddy Vang stated that the Department does a technical analysis and comments to FEMA. The Department is currently reviewing the technical data for comment development.

IX. Items for Board Action

A. Proposed Board Policy on Riparian Buffers

Barry Beasley gave the Board a brief background on how this issue has been developed into the proposed resolution for action. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board adopt the Buffer Resolution as presented. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously (copy of resolution attached to the original minutes). Dr. Sandifer read the resolution for the record.

B. Proposed Legislation to Remove Heritage Trust Cap

Dr. Sandifer reviewed the proposed amendment to the legislation to remove the Heritage Trust Cap of 100,000 acres. Dr. Sandifer asked that the Board approve the proposed amendment and understand that the Department will need to do groundwork with members of the General Assembly to determine the best time for introduction. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board approve the proposed legislation to remove the Heritage Trust Cap as presented and allow the Department leeway to judge the timing for introduction. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously (copy of proposed amendment attached to the original minutes).

X. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer reported that the Jocassee Gorges project has been completed. The second phase of approximately 8,000 acres has been completed and transferred. There will be a dedication ceremony on December 15 for acquisition of the Laurel Valley Lodge property.

Dr. Sandifer stated that Mr. Gregg, John Durst, Buddy Jennings, Cary Chamblee and he met recently to discuss follow up to the Queensland, Australia Delegation visit.

Dr. Sandifer noted that he and Cary Chamblee met with Secretary of Education Inez Tennenbaum and members of the SC MAPS Board to discuss enhancing and coordinating the program.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he recently attended the Interagency Council on Natural Policy meeting on October 26 and participated in discussion on land protection and related issues.

Dr. Sandifer stated that he and other staff met with Rick Eager, representing the SC Aquaculture Association, Betsy Sheehan, of the SC Agriculture Department, and two local aquaculturists to allow them to express their interest in expanding the species allowed for aquaculture in South Carolina.

Dr. Sandifer noted that he met with Mark Robertson, The Nature Conservancy, and Nancy Vinson, SC Coastal Conservation League, to discuss habitat protection and future cooperative efforts.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he attended the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, November 6-10 in Greensboro, NC.

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that he attended the SC Aquarium Board of Directors meeting and stated that the Board may wish to have their May or June meeting in the new building.

Dr. Sandifer announced that plans are being finalized for DNR Regional Meeting to be held on Monday, November 29, in Clemson, beginning at 5:00 p.m.

Dr. Sandifer distributed an update of the Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA). The bill was passed favorably out of the House Resources Committee.

Dr. Sandifer reported that the North American Wetlands Conservation Council will meet at Donnelley on December 7-9. There will be a reception and dinner at the Lodge for Board, staff and the Council with a brief program with Senator Hollings.

B. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Land, Water and Conservation - Mr. Vang invited the Board to a meeting regarding the Reedy River that will be held on December 1. This meeting is an attempt to reach a consensus, among interested parties, of how to better manage the resource. Mr. Vang informed the Board that there will be a teleconference on January 18, including DNR, Farm Bureau, the Governor's Office and Clemson University on agriculture.

2. Administrative Services - Benny Reeves reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Committee met this week and judged the Waterfowl Stamp.

3. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries - Billy McTeer mentioned that the public waterfowl hunts are in progress. Mr. McTeer also reported that with the recent Santee Coastal Reserve publicity 519 additional applicants for the draw hunts were received, with 357 additional applicants being selected.

4. Law Enforcement - Col. Wright informed the Board that Tara Fabian and Lt. Steve Walters received the Best Presentation Award at the annual meeting of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies held recently in Greensboro for the Manpower Study. Col. Wright also announced that conditional job offers have been proposed to 34 individuals and 33 have accepted.

5. Conservation Education and Communications - Sonny Baines stated that Christmas sales have started in the Wildlife Shop.

6. Marine - Dr. Miglarese informed the Board that Marine Division staff will be in court beginning December 6, for the longlining issue. Dr. Miglarese also reminded the Board that the Charleston Bump Colloquium will be held on December 9.

XI. Executive Session

At this time, Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss advisory committee appointments, legal, personnel, and contractual matters. Mr. Ford 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.

Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board approve the Quit Claim Deed and Easement with Spivey Lands Company and Pierce Land Company as amended. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

XII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Vice Chairman Leary stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, December17, 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.