Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Thursday, December 11, 2003
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Thursday, December 11, 2003, 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 McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, D. Malloy McEachin, Jr., and Smith Ragsdale. Board Members absent were Dr. Joab Lesesne, Jr., and Dr. Douglas Rucker. 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 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked for a moment of silence.
Mr. Chamblee introduced Joey Holleman, The State newspaper.
IV. Constituent Comment
Mr. Chamblee informed the Board that there were no requests for constituent comment.
Chairman McShane complimented staff for the work on the DNR/DHEC dinner held at Millaree on December 10.
Mr. McShane asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the November 21, 2003, meeting. There being no corrections or additions, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the November 21, 2003, meeting as submitted. Mr. Ragsdale seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton commended the Law Enforcement Division for the diligence shown during the recent saturation exercise over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Chairman McShane stated that he intends to send a correspondence of thanks to all officers. Vice Chairman Campbell also noted that several officers were also involved in the recent standoff in Abbeville County where two police officers lost their lives.
Chairman McShane informed the Board that Knox Haynsworth, who serves on the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee, was recently given the Tommy Thomason award by his peers in the Greenville County Bar Association.
VII. Advisory Committee Reports
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Davis stated that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received a report from Steve Bennett regarding the ongoing rattlesnake research at the Webb Center.
VIII. Item for Board Information
A. Red-cockaded Woodpecker Management
Tom Kohlsaat introduced Nicole Chadwick, RCW biologist, and asked her to review the recovery strategy of the red-cockaded woodpecker and the Department’s management for RCW’s and the contents of the recovery plan.
Mr. Kohlsaat introduced Jamie Dozier who gave the Board a brief background of Lewis Ocean Bay and what has been done in managing for the red-cockaded woodpecker. Mr. Dozier also described the goals for promoting further population growth of the species.
Mr. Ragsdale wanted to go on record stating that he thinks DNR should look at forming a red-cockaded mitigation bank and sell credits to developers and businesses.
After a lengthy discussion, the Board requested that Tom Kohlsaat and staff to update the value of credits and to develop a recommendation for the Board to review.
B. Role and Responsibilities of Soil and Water Conservation and Watershed Districts
Freddy Vang introduced Von Snelgrove, Chief of Conservation Districts Section, and Marc Cribb, Asst. Chief of Conservation Districts Section. Mr. Vang then reviewed the various roles and responsibilities of the Soil and Water Conservation Districts and the Watershed Districts.
After some discussion, Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board direct Mr. Frampton, Mr. Vang and Mr. Vang’s staff to begin having conversations with conservation districts to foster better working relationships with the Department as a whole. Mr. Ragsdale seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
IX. Items for Board Action
A. 2004 Legislative Priorities
Derrick Meggie reviewed the proposed 2004 legislative priorities. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the 2004 legislative package as presented. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. Proposed Chronic Wasting Disease Emergency Regulations
Tim Ivey provided a response to the question from the last meeting regarding these regulations. Mr. Ivey stated that according to Dr. Beth Williams, Colorado State University, it appears, according to experimental and circumstantial evidence, the primary transmission of this disease is from infected deer and elk transmitting laterally, through animal to animal contact and/or contamination of feed, water sources with saliva, urine and feces. It does not appear that the transmission of the disease occurs through food contaminated by rendered infected products added to the feed. Mr. Ivey stated that the most likely way it would come to South Carolina is by bringing an infected live animal, keeping it in a fairly confined area with other animals. Mr. Campbell stated that he would like to see some type of regulation that applies to the fencing areas in the state, where if a deer carcass is found, that owners be required to contact the agency and have the deer tested. Mr. Ivey noted that the current statute does not give the Department that authority and the statute would have to be changed. The Board asked Mr. Ivey to summarize and research the possibility of amending a statute to require testing of harvested deer in pens. At this time, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the Chronic Wasting Disease Emergency Regulations as proposed. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried with Mr. McEachin voting against the motion.
C. Regulations for Lancaster Reservoir
Mac Watson reviewed the Proposed Fishing Rules and Regulations for Lancaster Reservoir in Lancaster, South Carolina. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the Proposed Rules and Regulations for Lancaster Reservoir as presented. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Ivey reviewed the addition to allow waterfowl hunting on new state lakes. After some discussion, the Chairman tabled this item until consultation with legal counsel.
D. Regulations for Lake George Warren
Mr. Watson reviewed the added Proposed Regulation to the Fishing Rules and Regulations for Lake George Warren in Hampton County. Mr. Ragsdale made a motion that the Board approve the proposed addition as presented. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
E. Establishment of Habitat Enhancement Fund for Duke Energy Managed Lakes within the Mitigation Trust Fund
Ed Duncan reviewed the history of the Duke Power Habitat Enhancement Program and the Memorandum of Agreement between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, the SC DNR and Duke Power. Mr. Duncan requested that the Board give the Department the authority to hold Habitat Enhancement Funds in the Mitigation Trust Fund while areas/projects are being identified. Mr. Ragsdale made a motion that the Board approve the establishment of the Duke Catawba Wateree Habitat Enhancement Fund within the Mitigation Trust Fund as proposed. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
X. Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton met and spoke with various legislators and constitutional officers on the Bonneau Ferry acquisition project in preparation for the Joint Bond Review Committee meeting on December 3 and the Budget and Control Board meeting on December 9.
Mr. Frampton traveled to Washington and met with Congressional staff and NOAA staff on December 8.
Mr. Frampton met with Mark Robertson, The Nature Conservancy, on December 9, regarding land acquisition.
Mr. Frampton represented DNR at the Governor's Cabinet meeting on December 10.
Mr. Frampton is planning to attend the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission meeting on December 15-18, in New York.
Mr. Frampton will be attending the SC Association of Conservation District Conference in Charleston on January 5-8.
A. Legislative Report
No further report.
B. Habitat Task Force
XI. Deputy Directors’ Reports
1. CEC and Administrative Services
Carole Collins reminded the Board that the next ETV show will be Saturday, December 20, at 6:00 pm. This show will feature Jocassee and the Webb Center. Ms. Collins reported that license sales are up over last year's sales.
David Whitaker reported that the commercial shrimp fishery is winding down and will probably close sometime in January. Mr. Whitaker stated that the Blue Crab Limited Entry planning process is moving forward and he may ask to make a presentation in February. Mr. Whitaker noted that blue crab assistance money has been distributed.
3. Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Vang reported that DNR, jointly with the NWS, has a series on winter weather advisories. Mr. Vang asked that the State Water Plan be considered at the January meeting.
4. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer distributed the report from the first week of waterfowl hunting on public lands.
5. Law Enforcement
Col. Wright reported that he has been attending regional meetings. Col. Wright thanked the Board for their taking the time to thank officers for their work over the Thanksgiving holiday. Col. Wright then reviewed case activity for the month.
XII. Board Member Comments
Chairman McShane stated that it has been brought to his attention that Beaufort County has initiated a project to develop a Northern Beaufort Trails and Blueway Plan, Rails to Trails. Chairman McShane stated that in a good portion of where the railroad spur goes from Port Royal to Yemmassee is in the heart of the ACE Basin, on private land. Chairman McShane asked that the record show that this does not affect his personal interest. Chairman McShane asked agency staff to look into this and comment on the project. The project is supported by a grant from DHEC obtained through federal government grants of gas tax. Chairman McShane noted that private landowners have not been involved in the planning process for this project.
XIII. Executive Session
At this time Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XIV. Return to Regular Session
Mr. Ragsdale made a motion that the Department not release grass carp into the waters of the State without a full discussion and action by the Board. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the acquisition of a conservation easement on property located in the Cooper River Cooridor under the Forest Legacy Program. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board create an honorificate to be revealed at the January Board meeting. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
After consideration of the Department's regulatory authority, Mr. Ivey asked to withdraw the previously recommended regulation as it relates to the Lancaster Reservoir. There was no objection by the Board of Mr. Ivey’s request.
XV. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The next meeting of the DNR Board will be held Friday, January 16, 2004, at the Drummond Center, Lake Greenwood State Recreation Area, Ninety Six, SC.
The February meeting of the DNR Board will be held Friday, February 13, 2004, at the Marine Resources Center Auditorium, Charleston, SC.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.