Minutes

Telephonic Meeting

Board of the Department of Natural Resources

Edgar A. Brown Building, Room 252

Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, December 14, 2001

9:00 a.m.

 

 

The telephonic meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was conducted by conference call at 9:00 a.m., on Friday, December 14, 2001, in room 252 of the Edgar A. Brown Building, Columbia, South Carolina and DNR Wildlife Region 1 Office, 153 Hopewell Road, Pendleton, South Carolina.Notice of the date, time and places of the meeting were posted and mailed to the news media.Chairman Dr. Joab Lesesne presided over the meeting from the DNR Wildlife Region 1 Office in Pendleton.Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker.Board member Russell Holliday, Jr. was absent.Dr. Paul A. Sandifer and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources and various guests were present at both meeting locations.

 

I.        Call to Order

†††††       Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.

 

II.           Meditation

      Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.

 

III.         Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the November 16, 2001 meeting.Dr. Leary made a motion that the minutes of the November 16, 2001 meeting be approved as submitted.Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

†††††††

IV.        Items for Board Action

††††††††††† A.    Habitat Strategy

††††††††††† Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any changes or comments to the proposed habitat protection strategy distributed at the last meeting.There being no comments or objections staff were instructed to proceed with the strategy.

 

††††††††††† B.    Proposed Regulations on DNR Owned Lands

††††††††††† Chairman Lesesne asked Billy McTeer to brief the Board on the proposed changes in response to public comments of 123-204.Mr. McTeer stated that comments were received from five individuals/groups regarding two issues:1) ATVís, and 2) backcountry camping.Mr. McTeer then reviewed the recommendations of staff based on public comments received.

 

††††††††††† Chairman Lesesne asked for clarification in Section 204.N(2) regarding the time of operation of all terrain vehicles.Paul League explained the section.

 

††††††††††† Mr. McEachin questioned how the distinction of ATV use would be supported between hunting and non-hunting.Billy McTeer stated that this is consistent with regulations on other WMAís.Jim Quinn stated that an ATV used for hunting would be in one area most of the time, whereas, an ATV used for non-hunting would be riding around the area.Mr. League also stated that with this proposal, hunters would have only one day (Saturday) of ďgeneral peaceĒ without intrusion by ATVís, whereas those who wish to joyride would have five days.

 

††††††††††† Ben Gregg commended staff on their work and also commended those who presented comments about the proposed regulations.Mr. Gregg asked if there are adequate resources in the area to assure compliance of the ATV regulations.Mr. Gregg also asked if the penalties are strict enough to serve as a deterrent for off-road ATV use.Larry Holbrook stated that resources are available and currently every effort is being made to raise awareness of speed limits.Mr. Gregg asked if the ATV organizations commented on the proposed regulations and if there is a way to notify them of the changes.Mr. McTeer stated that they did not comment and were not happy with the original regulations and they would like to have a specific area for off-road ATV use.

 

††††††††††† Mr. McTeer mentioned that the current regulation requires users of ATVís to hold a valid drivers license.After much discussion it was decided to strike the drivers license restriction.

 

††††††††††† Cary Chamblee asked Chairman Lesesne if he would provide an opportunity for public comment.†† Chairman Lesesne opened the floor for public comment.Chester Sansbury requested time to comment to the Board and was given the opportunity.Mr. Sansbury commended the staff of DNR for efforts made in working with organizations, such as REP America, Forest Watch and others, to address concerns raised by members of these organizations.Mr. Sansbury stated that most of the concerns he submitted, on behalf of REP America, have been addressed.

 

††††††††††† Chairman Lesesne stated that Dennis Chastain would like to make a comment.Mr. Chastainís stated that he felt the ATV restriction is a good, practical solution.Mr. Chastain also noted that there will probably be questions from dirt bike riders, motocross bike riders and three-wheel riders as to why they canít enjoy that form of recreation in the area.

 

††††††††††† After much discussion, Dr. Leary made a motion to amend 204.N(2) (f) and (g).Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

(f)     Subject to the authority in subsection (d) above, the operation of all terrain vehicles is restricted as follows.All terrain vehicles may be operated only by a person holding a valid current drivers license.The oOperation of all terrain vehicles is restricted to one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset each day beginning on Monday and continuing through the following Friday.on Monday to one hour after sunset on Friday.A person may use an all terrain vehicle while actually engaged in hunting at any time hunting is allowed; provided, however, the operation of an all terrain vehicle is restricted to one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset with the exception of game retrieval, and an all terrain vehicle may be used only on open roads.

 

(g)   All terrain vehicles having three (3) wheels and motorcycles constructed or intended primarily for off road use, such as dirt bikes and motocross bikes, are prohibited within the Jim Timmerman Natural Resources Area at all times.

 

††††††††††† Chairman Lesesne suggested that the last sentence in 204.N(1) (a) be moved to the beginning.After much discussion regarding trail access by the lake, it was decided to strike the last sentence of 204.N(1) (b).

 

††††††††††† Dr. Leary made a motion to amend 204.N(1) (a) and (b).Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

††††† (a) Backcountry camping by permit will be allowed at any time during the year that the main roads allowing access to the Jocassee Gorges are not opened in connection with big game hunting.Backcountry camping is allowed by permit only at any location within the Jocassee Gorges, except for any area closed for camping by the Department. Backcountry camping is defined as minimal impact camping.No fires are allowed and each permitted camper is responsible for camping in a manner that results in no trace of the camping activity being left after breaking camp.The Department may condition permits to protect, preserve, or maintain the property.Backcountry campers must apply for camping permits over the Department internet site.No camping is permitted within fifty (50í) feet of a stream, lake or as posted by the Department. Backcountry camping by permit will be allowed at any time during the year that the main roads allowing access to the Jocassee Gorges are not opened in connection with big game hunting.

 

(a)   The Foothills Trail passes through portions of the Jocassee Gorges.Use of the Foothills Trail shall be limited to hiking and primitive camping.Camping is allowed at any point along the trail and within one hundred feet of either side of the trail.Camping along the Foothills Trail is restricted to hikers while engaged in backpacking.Camping is not allowed for any person obtaining access to the Foothills Trail by boat from Lake Jocassee.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Gregg made a motion to instruct staff to review including access by name in 204.N (1) (a).Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

††††††††††† Mr. Gregg made a motion to adopt the full regulation as amended above.Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

C.        Aquaculture Legislation

Derrick Meggie asked Billy McTeer to comment on feedback received on this proposed legislation.Mr. McTeer stated that this legislation has been reviewed by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee and several interested organizations.Mr. McTeer noted that the groups who commented on this proposed legislation support it as long as DNR feels the administration and enforcement are in place.Mr. McTeer reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee has recommended that this proposed legislation be included in the Departmentís legislative package.Mr. Gregg stated that he felt it is important to work with industry to devise financing strategies for administration and enforcement.After a brief discussion concerning financing, Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board approve including the proposed Aquaculture legislation in the package with the caveat that if the legislature passes this proposed legislation they will have to develop a funding mechanism for its enforcement.Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

 

†† V. Adjournment

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