Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Edisto Beach Interpretive Center
8377 State Cabin Road
Edisto Island, SC
February 12, 2010 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, February 12, 2010, at the Edisto Interpretive Center, Edisto Island, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present included Stephen Davis, John Evans, Norman Pulliam and Caroline Rhodes. Board members Michael Campbell and Frank Murray’s absences were excused. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Mike McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Rev. Rob Dewey to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Buford Mabry, Chief Counsel, led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Emily Cope, Assistant Director for Special Projects and National Affairs, introduced Gretchen Smith, Edisto Island Historic Preservation Society; Rob Dewey, Chaplain; Sam Hiott, Chairman, Waterfowl Advisory Committee; Bud Skidmore, Linda Manus and Jim Brailsford, Edisto Island Preservation Alliance; Jenks Mikell, Marine Advisory Committee; Sidney Gauthreaux, Edisto Island Open Land Trust; Carroll Belser, Gailya and George Walter, Edisto Island Historic Preservation Scenic Byway; Senator Ronnie Cromer; and Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee.
- Constituent Comments
Chairman McShane invited Bud Skidmore to address the group. Mr. Skidmore welcomed everyone to Edisto Island and invited the group to tour Botany Bay. Mr. Skidmore spoke about Scenic Byway SC 174.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the January 28, 2010, meeting minutes. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the January 28, 2010, meeting, as submitted. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton and Chairman McShane presented the Meritorious Service Award to Dr. Robert Van Dolah for his work in supervising the planning, development, engineer/contractor selection and construction of major structural repairs and renovations to the Marine Resources Research Institute building.
Mr. Frampton and Chairman McShane presented the Meritorious Service Award to Robert Meyer for his work in overseeing the planning, development, architect/engineer/contractor selection and construction for several major capital projects at the Marine Resources Center.
- Advisory Committee Reports
Sam Hiott, Chairman, Waterfowl Advisory Committee, reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met February 9. Mr. Hiott commended the Advisory Committee’s efforts to solve some of our waterfowl problems and he expressed appreciation for staff support and scientific advice given to the committee. Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, distributed a draft summary report of the Waterfowl Advisory Committee Listening Sessions. Mr. Hiott explained some key points of the report, noting that the Committee realizes that some areas are part of the legislative process. He offered the Committee’s support during this process.
- Heritage Trust
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met February 4. Mr. Rentiers distributed copies of the budget statement to the Board. The Advisory Committee received updates and presentations on the budget, the Belfast Project and An Investigation of the Effects of Timber Harvest on Artifact Locations. The Advisory Committee approved continuing legal fees for Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve and appraisal for land lost to International Boulevard expansion at Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. Mr. Rentiers noted that there has been a slight increase in document stamp revenue.
- Items for Board Information
- Climate Update
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, reviewed rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
- Comments on Chapter 13 Fisheries Rewrite
Mr. Mabry reported on the process used for the Chapter 13 Fisheries Rewrite. Four groups were invited to participate in the review and provide comments. Mr. Mabry informed the Board that the working draft has been received from Legislative Council and will be placed on the Department’s website for comment.
- Progress on Comprehensive Deer Management Legislative Proposal
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, distributed and reviewed the second draft of the new Deer Harvest Management Program for South Carolina. The second draft contains statistics on deer harvest, deer population, the proposal to double the non-resident fee and the increase in fees for ADQP. Mr. Carmichael stated that he would like more input on options for residents. The Board asked staff to develop a strategy and timetable for an independent survey before fall.
- Items for Board Action
- Agreed Upon Procedures Audit
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board acknowledges receipt of the State Audit, management’s response and affirms that the recommended changes are in place. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- 2010 Legislative Package
Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, gave the Board an update on the status of current legislation. There was brief discussion regarding the proposed access fee for Botany Bay. Ms. Gretchen Smith, asked it if has been determined how the access fee will be applied, by person, car, or resident? Mr. Frampton stated that is may be a $5 daily fee or a $25 annual fee with some type of vehicle permit, but this is all still in discussion. Ms. Smith asked if there has been any consideration of an exemption for residents and noted that she is concerned that a fee may deter residents from visiting Botany Bay. Ms. Smith also stated the need to keep the revenue from this fee to be used for Botany Bay. Chairman McShane stated that the Board’s position is that whatever the structure, the revenue will be used for the management of Botany Bay. Mr. Frampton thanked Ms. Smith and the other volunteers for their support and dedication to Botany Bay. Senator Cromer stated that he would be interested in receiving input/comments about the proposed Botany Bay access fee. Senator Cromer noted he was the initial roadblock for this proposal and he wants to be sure the fees are fair. Senator Cromer also stated that he wasn’t in agreement, in the beginning, with closing Botany Bay one day a week but he now understands the need. Senator Cromer also thanked the volunteers for their efforts. Mr. Jenks Mikell asked the Board to give special recognition to Bruce and Beth for the job they do a Botany Bay. Chairman McShane stated that the Board recognizes the work of Bruce, Bess, Phil Maier, Sam Chappelear and Robert Boyles and his staff.
- Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund - Funding Approval Request
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, reviewed the request for expending funds from the Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund for the study entitled: Amphibians and reptiles as integrative ecological indicators of anthropogenic disturbance in riparian wetland habitats of the Broad River, South Carolina, as included in the Board meeting package. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the release of $149,091 from the Broad River Mitigation Trust Fund for this study. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton distributed and reviewed a letter to the Council on Environmental Quality commenting on the Interim Framework for Effective Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that the Department was contacted by the House Ways and Means Committee and asked to project a 20% cut. This information is due to them tomorrow morning, February 13. Mr. Frampton stated that if this cut goes through the Department will have a $4.5 million deficit on July 1. Mr. Frampton noted that the Department will need to reduce staff by 50 between now and July 1 and up to 100 if the 20% cut is implemented. As of today, there are 26 people participating in the incentive programs.
Chairman McShane reminded the Board that their Statement of Economic Interest forms are due by April 15.
- Environmental Report
Mr. Perry distributed and reviewed a one page summary of issues on the Woodruff Roebuck Water District, Ferguson Creek Reservoir proposal. The Board wants to be clear that the Department is not holding up the permit. DNR is but one of the resource agencies that provide comment to the permitting agencies on environmental matters.
Mr. Perry updated the Board on the Saltwater Mitigation Bank (Clydesdale Club Mitigation Bank) proposal. DNR has taken the position of opposing the breaching of a current managed wetland, not opposing the need for mitigation. Chairman McShane wants to be sure that it is understood that this type of mitigation is not in line with the conservation mission of DNR.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Marine Resources
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported on efforts to monitor for any cold kills due to the recent cold water temperatures. Mr. Boyles also briefed the Board on ASMFC passing amendment 3 to the Shad Plan. This changes the burden of proof on managing shad. The states will now have to prove that shad fisheries are sustainable to keep them open or they will be closed by January 1, 2013. Mr. Boyles also gave the Board an update on snapper. The General Assembly has proposed a Concurrent Resolution opposing any fishing area closures off the coast of South Carolina associated with the SAFMC’s proposed Amendment 17A to the Fishery Management Plan for the snapper grouper fishery of the South Atlantic region. Senator Cromer suggested offering a class on how to help save the fisheries population.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Rentiers reported that he and Chairman McShane participated in the first DNR/DHEC regional water forum in North Augusta on January 21. Mr. Rentiers informed the Board that the SC Association of Conservation Districts held their annual Partnership Conference January 19-21. Mr. Rentiers noted that 2010 marks the 185th anniversary of the SC Geological Survey.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, distributed and reviewed a summary of the 2009 alligator hunting season. Mr. Carmichael also distributed the results of the 2009-2010 WMA Waterfowl Hunts.
- Law Enforcement
Col. Alvin Taylor, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, reported that several conference calls occurred that morning concerning staff needs for the upcoming snow event.
- Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Davis made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The March Board meeting will be held Thursday, March 18, 2010, in Columbia.
The April Board meeting will be held Friday, April 16, 2010, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.