MINUTES

BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES

Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335

Columbia, South Carolina

Friday, December 17, 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, December 17, 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. Chairman 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

Cary Chamblee introduced Lisa Sox, Research Director for Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; Boo Lachicotte, retired DNR employee and former member of Marine Advisory Committee; and Jimmy Leland, member of Marine Advisory Committee.

IV. Constituency Comments

The following persons had requested time to address the Board.

Mr. Gene Johnston, SC High Fence Association, spoke in support of high fencing.

Mr. David Crockett asked the Board to allow him to give his allotted time to Moffatt Burris. Mr. Moffatt Burris spoke in support of high fencing.

Mr. Kirkman Finlay, Sporting Protection League, spoke in opposition to high fencing.

Mr. Larry Huckabee, Sporting Protection League, spoke in opposition to high fencing.

Mr. Carl Jordan, SC Ethics and Image Association, spoke in support of the road hunting bill, H 3344 and asked the Board to endorse the bill.

Board Member Gen Gregg asked about the Department's history on this bill and the Department's position on this bill. Mr. McTeer stated that this has been an agenda item for the Board for several years and the Department supports this bill, but have been unsuccessful. Dr. Sandifer suggested that a letter be drafted for Dr. Lesesne's signature to be sent to Chairman Sharpe stating the DNR's continued support for the regulation or outlawing of road hunting and asking that the changes deemed necessary by Law Enforcement be made to the current version of the bill.

Mr. Gary Beatty, Concerned Citizens for Lake Hartwell, addressed the Board in opposition to the proposed Apple Island site for a significant boating access facility on Lake Hartwell.

Mr. Dave Loudin, Chair of the Apple Island Event Site Steering Committee, spoke in favor of the current proposed site for the Apple Island Event Facility.

Chairman Lesesne stated that the Apple Island Event Facility topic would be taken into consideration at a future meeting.

 

V. Approval of Minutes

Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the November 19, 1999, meeting. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the minutes of the November 19, 1999, meeting be approved as presented. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.


VI. Presentations Commendations

Dr. Sandifer commended Barry Beasley for "The Rivers of South Carolina" book. Mr. Beasley wrote the text and received no fee for his involvement. A $2000 donation has been made by Westcliffe Publishers to DNR which has been deposited in the Scenic Rivers Project account.

Dr. Sandifer announced that Dr. Richard Porcher from the Biology Department at The Citadel has been appointed by Governor Hodges to serve on the Heritage Trust Advisory Board for the First Congressional District.

Dr. Sandifer commended Investigator Allen Trapp, DNR's Officer of the Year, for his selection as Regional Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the Pee Dee through the Attorney General's Office.

 

VII. Advisory Committee Reports

A. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries

Ms. Holliday asked Billy McTeer to give the report for the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee.

Mr. McTeer reported that the Advisory Committee was able to see stocking of trout behind the dam. Mr. McTeer stated that there were only two agenda items for this meeting: a briefing on the high fence issue by Paul League and the buffer policy.

Dr. Sandifer noted that one issue requiring attention of the Board is a position on high fencing. The previous Board developed and supported a statement, dated July 18, 1997, regarding high fencing. Dr. Sandifer asked that if there were no objections from this Board for staff to use this statement as the Department's basis for seeking public input on the high fencing issue. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board allow the Department to use the statement of the former Board to seek public input on the high fencing issue. Mr. Gregg seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Mr. Gregg asked about the status of the Committee for the public hearings. Mr. McTeer stated that the members of the committee have been named. Mr. McTeer suggested that staff conduct the meetings, four to five across the state, to include a briefing by Charles Ruth and Paul League. The advisory committee members role will be to ask questions of the speakers, validate the results of the meetings as summarized later and present to the Board the results of the meetings any recommendations. Mr. Gregg and Dr. Lesesne suggested that the use of an outside facilitator to conduct the meetings be considered.

B. Conservation Education and Communications

Mr. Ford reported that the Conservation Education and Communications Advisory Committee elected a vice chairman, Mr. Pinckney Skinner. Mr. Ford stated that Cary Chamblee distributed the Education Council report and noted that Dr. Sandifer requested $60,000 in state funding for the CEC Division. Mr. Ford noted that CEC staff also worked on other sources of funding such as grants, partnerships with other agency's such as working with the SC Department of Education for funds for the SC MAPS program. Reports were given on the Jocassee Gorges Educational Outreach and the partnership with PRT. Mr. Ford introduced Mr. Skinner, Mr. Charles Harrison, Dr. Carolyn Randolph, Mr. Peter Wyrick and Mr. Richard Peterson.

Mr. Ford asked Mr. Peterson to present the Education Subcommittee Report. Mr. Peterson reviewed the history of the Education Subcommittee and noted that the Education Subcommittee was charged by the previous CEC Advisory Committee Chairman to review all education programs offered by all divisions of DNR. The Subcommittee divided the programs into several different categories. Mr. Skinner reviewed the outreach programs, Ms. Randolph reviewed the teacher education programs, Mr. Wyrick reviewed the student and adult education programs, and Mr. Harrison reviewed the education camps. Mr. Peterson then reviewed the recommendations made by the Education Subcommittee (copy of report attached to original minutes).

Mr. Chamblee thanked the Subcommittee for the support and their recommendations. Mr. Chamblee then distributed the "Director's Vision" for DNR education programs, which was prepared by Dr. Sandifer last year. In response to previous recommendations of the Subcommittee and Dr. Sandifer's education vision statement, Mr. Chamblee has revitalized the Department's Education Council and is working closely with education outreach programs throughout the agency.


VIII. Items for Board Action

A. Heritage Trust Property Acquisition

This item was deferred to Executive Session.

B. Take One Make One Youth Hunting Day

Bob Redfern reviewed the proposed legislative statute for the Take One Make One Youth Hunting Day. The day must be held outside any regular season on a weekend, holiday, or other non-school day when youth hunters would have the maximum opportunity to participate. The day may be held up to 14 days before or after any regular season frameworks or within any split of a regular season, or within any other open season.

Mr. Redfern also reviewed the participation restrictions. Youth hunters must be 10 years of age through 17 years of age. In addition, a licensed adult at least 21 years of age must accompany the youth hunter into the field and may not harvest or attempt to harvest game during this special hunting event. License requirements will be waived for this one day for all youth hunters. Daily harvest limits remain the same as are allowed during the regular seasons for each species of game.

After discussion, Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board move forward with this legislation as proposed, with the understanding that there may be some fine tuning with regard to hunter ed certification for younger ages. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.


IX. Director's Briefings

A. Executive Office

1. Director

Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the Department has appealed FEMA's preliminary flood insurance study for the Congaree Flood Plain maps.

Dr. Sandifer asked John Frampton to report on the completion of the Jocassee Gorges acquisitions. Mr. Frampton stated that Phase II was completed on November 9,1999. Mr. Frampton then reviewed the history of the acquisition.

Dr. Sandifer asked Mr. Chamblee to report on the Harry Hampton Funding Awards to SCDNR and the regional staff meetings. Mr. Chamblee stated that the Harry Hampton Board met December 9, 1999, and approved a total of $88,350.00 in grant funding for the Department for calendar year 2000.

Mr. Chamblee reported that there were approximately 70 participants at the first regional staff meeting held in Pendleton. Comments/suggestions were openly given and received at this meeting and some have already been acted upon. Mr. Chamblee informed the Board that the next regional staff meeting will be held January 31, 2000, at the Clinton House in Laurens County, beginning at 3:00 p.m.

Dr. Sandifer asked Mr. McTeer to report on the nuisance alligator program. Mr. McTeer asked Derrell Shipes to make this report. Mr. McTeer distributed a proposed solution as Mr. Shipes presented his comments. Mr. Shipes reviewed the history of the nuisance alligator program and the proposed solution. The concensus of the Board was to proceed with requesting State appropriated funds for this program.

Dr. Sandifer reported that he met with Chief Robert Stewart, SLED, and Boykin Rose, Department of Public Safety, along with Col. Wright and Lt. Col. Smith, to discuss legislative and budget agendas for the upcoming legislative session.

B. Deputy Directors' Reports

1. Marine - Dr. John Miglarese reported that the longlining case has been settled. Dr. Miglarese also referred to the shrimp baiting recommendation which will be presented to the Board.

2. Land, Water and Conservation - Mr. Freddy Vang introduced Marge Davenport, USGS Regional Geologist. Mr. Vang mentioned the Agricultural Forum which will be held January 18, 2000, it will be a 90 minute TV show on the future of agriculture in South Carolina. On February 18, 2000, there will be an agricultural summit hosted by the Governor and on March 14, 2000, the SC Association of Conservation Districts will host a legislative reception.

3. Natural Resources Enforcement - Col. Wright distributed a handout outlining Law Enforcement's recommendation for changes to the road hunting bill.


X. Board Member Comments

Mr. Gregg distributed a news article from the Post and Courier regarding loss of habitat and reiterated that the Board has set habitat protection as its priority and they must move forward with that issue.

 

XI. Executive Session

At this time, Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss advisory committee appointments, legal, personnel, and contractual matters. Ms. Holliday 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 that the Board approve the following land acquisition: 1,000 acres in Greenville County (Chestnut Ridge). Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the following land acquisition: 140 acres beside Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the reappointment of Dr. Tom Eleazer to the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee with his term expiring September 30, 2003. Mr. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the following reappointments to the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee: Larry E. Nates, with his term expiring October 21, 2003; Charles R. "Randy" Snow, with his term expiring October 21, 2003; Robert H. Rainey, with his term expiring October 21, 2003; and Steve Kinard, with his term expiring October 21, 2003; and the following appointments: Marvin N. Davant, replacing Nick Odom, with his term expiring October 21, 2000; and Oscar Stevens, replacing Ben Gramling, with his term expiring October 21, 2000. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously.

Dr. Leary made a motion to approve the amendment of Policy 100.02 as presented. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously (copy of proposed amendment attached to the original minutes).


XII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting

Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, January 14, 2000, at 9:00 a.m., at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center, Myrtle Beach, SC.

The February DNR Board meeting will be held Friday, February 18, 2000, at the Marine Resources Division Auditorium, Charleston, SC.

The March DNR Board meeting will be held Friday, March 24, 2000, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335, Columbia, SC.

The April DNR Board meeting will be held Friday, April 21, 2000, at the SC Aquarium, Charleston, SC.


XIII. Adjournment

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