Marine Resources Division Auditorium
217 Ft. Johnson Road
Friday, February 13, 2004
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, February 13, 2004, at the Marine Resources Division Auditorium, Charleston, 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, John Evans, and Smith Ragsdale. 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 offered the invocation.
Mr. Chamblee introduced Barkley McFaddin, Chairman of the Carolina Quail Society; Elizabeth Hagood, Chairman of the DHEC Board; and Bill Simpson, Chairman of the Charleston Conservation District and Co-Chairman of the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
IV. Constituent Comment
Mr. Chamblee informed the Board that Charles Broadwell, President of the SC Association of Conservation Districts, requested to speak to the Board. Mr. Broadwell’s remarks to the Board included the Conservation District Capacity Survey, the establishment of a Committee to study, evaluate and make appropriate recommendations regarding amendments to the Conservation Districts Law; and cooperative efforts of the Association and the Department. Mr. Broadwell then invited the Board to attend the Association’s Legislative Appreciation Reception and Dinner on February 24.
Mr. McShane asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the January 16, 2004, meeting. There being no corrections or additions, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the January 16, 2004, meeting as submitted. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton thanked the partners and staff involved with the DNR Legislative Reception held on January 20. Mr. Frampton stated that there were 42 House Members and 19 Senators present.
VII. Advisory Committee Reports
Mr. Ragsdale reported that the newly formed Water Advisory Committee met February 4, in Columbia. The Advisory Committee Members are private landowners, public duck hunters, biologists, a federal refuge manager, representatives of the SC Waterfowl Association and Ducks Unlimited, and the Five Rivers Coalition.
The Advisory Committee received a report from Tommy Strange on the pintail project. Mr. Strange mentioned in his report that bird harvest numbers in South Carolina have increased while the number migrating to South Carolina is decreasing. The Committee received a Law Enforcement waterfowl season activity report from Col. Wright. The Advisory Committee will begin a study of feeding areas. Mr. Ragsdale noted that the Advisory Committee received a history of waterfowl regulations report from Bob Perry. Mr. Ragsdale designated a committee to review the management of DNR waterfowl properties and make recommendations for changes. Bob Perry and Tommy Strange will serve on a committee charged with finding ways to provide additional public waterfowl hunting opportunity on DNR lands. Mr. Ragsdale also stated that he informed the Advisory Committee that the Board had asked him to implement and initiate the wood duck box construction and distribution program, on which he will report at the next meeting. Mr. Ragsdale stated that the Advisory Committee also had a discussion on the aquatic weed situation on state lakes. Mr. Ragsdale formed a committee, requesting that David Weilicki of the SC Waterfowl Association take the lead, to look into the management of aquatic weeds in the Santee Cooper Lakes.
B. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Davis reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received a report on black bear and this year’s harvest. The Advisory Committee received a pintail tracking update. Jason Bedinger gave the Advisory Committee a report on the Broad River Aquatic Study. Mr. Davis stated that the Advisory Committee received a report on the nuisance alligator program. Tom Murphy gave the Advisory Committee a report on bald eagles and the AVM issues involved with that population. Billy McTeer gave the Advisory Committee an update on game zone restructuring. Mr. Davis reported that the House Ag Committee has asked for input relative to buck limits and buck tags.
C. Heritage Trust
Mr. McTeer stated that staff reported that four properties have been purchased and were dedicated in 2003 from the Heritage Land Trust Fund. Mr. McTeer reported that the Heritage Land Trust Fund revenues total just over $4 million while expenditures total just over $1 million.
D. Conservation, Education and Communications
Chairman McShane stated that the Conservation, Education and Communications Advisory Committee can be very helpful to Ms. Collins and her section in terms of outreach and education, particularly when it involves the magazine and other resources. Chairman McShane informed the Board that an upcoming event is the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic, March 26-28. Chairman McShane asked Board Members to make themselves available that weekend.
Mr. Ragsdale reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met on February 6, in Charleston. David Whitaker gave the Advisory Committee a presentation on the Limited Crab Entry Program. Al Stokes gave the Advisory Committee a presentation on the Waddell Center. Mr. Ragsdale stated that the Advisory Committee had a presentation from Mr. Clay Cable, Vice President of the SC Shrimpers’ Association. The Advisory Committee received a report on the legislative package and Robert Boyles spoke to the Advisory Committee about the Dolphin Plan.
VIII. Item for Board Information
A. South Carolina Wildlife Magazine
Carole Collins informed the Board that the magazine has not had a price increase since January 1989. Ms. Collins stated that there are two objectives to increasing the price of the magazine, the first is to increase the revenue. They also want to be sure that they retain a high number of readers by offering them a chance to renew at the current price.
Linda Renshaw reviewed the current price structure and the price increase proposal summary timeline. The staff recommendations a subscription price increase effective January 2005, and an associated “Beat The Price Increase” promotion plan beginning July 2004.
After Ms. Renshaw addressed questions posed by Board Members, Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board accept the price increase proposal as presented. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. Progress Report on Blue Crab Limited Entry Plan Development Study
David Whitaker informed the Board that at approximately this time last year, the Board instructed the Marine Division to form a committee of recreational fishermen, commercial fishermen, and crabbers to explore a limited entry plan. Mr. Whitaker gave the Board a brief background of limited entry and the process used to develop this plan. Mr. Whitaker then explained the different components/concepts/and proposals of this plan. Mr. Whitaker then introduced some members of the panel. After some discussion the Board instructed the Director to work with Marine Resources staff and report back to them next month.
C. Morgan Island Report
Mr. Boyles gave the Board an overview and update of Morgan Island. Mr. Boyles informed the Board that he had distributed copies of an earlier document, which highlighted the pros and cons of maintaining the Rhesus colony on Morgan Island and the report from Dr. Gibson and his staff, of DHEC, for the Board’s review. Chairman McShane asked that the Board study the information and expect to have some further discussions as more information is received.
IX. Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton asked Jean Cowell to bring the Board up-to-date on the State Human Affairs Commission Affirmative Action Report. Ms. Cowell reported that the agency has reach 81% of its goal.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that a Habitat Protection Program has been formed and how it will operate.
Mr. Frampton reminded the Board that the Department has a challenging legislative session this year and it will require a lot of staff time. Mr. Frampton noted that the Department is trying to build a better relationship with the General Assembly. Mr. Frampton expressed his appreciation to members of the Board for their involvement in some of these issues.
A. Legislative Report
Derrick Meggie updated the Board on the status of restructuring. Mr. Meggie also reminded the Board that Mr. Ragsdale and Mr. Davis’ confirmation hearing, with the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee, will be held at 10:00 a.m., February 18.
X. Deputy Directors’ Reports
1. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer suggested that the Nuisance Alligator Protocol be an item for information at the next Board meeting. Derrell Shipes gave the Board an update on Avian Influenza. Mr. Shipes informed the Board that the Migratory Waterfowl Advisory Committee recommended designating $20,000 of print revenue and $23,952.50 from the FY03 non-resident license sales to a specific habitat enhancement project in Canada. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the designation of these funds. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
2. Law Enforcement
Col. Wright introduced the new Lt. Col. Van McCarty. Col. Wright reviewed the Waterfowl Season violations. Col. Wright updated the Board on the monthly activities of the Law Enforcement Division.
3. Conservation Education and Communications and Administrative Services
Carole Collins informed the Board that the next South Carolina Wildlife television show will air February 14, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. Ms. Collins reminded the Board that the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic will be held at the State Fairgrounds on March 26-28.
4. Marine Resources
Robert Boyles informed the Board on the recent actions by the Federal government on the dolphin fishery. Mr. Boyles distributed copies of Dr. Vic Burrell’s History of the SC Oyster Industry.
5. Land, Water and Conservation
Freddy Vang informed the Board that that there had been recent questions regarding the relationship between hydrilla and AVM and he will meet with CDC, the State Veterinarian, and DNR’s veterinarian about AVM and will report back to the Board.
Mr. Vang distributed copies of the February through April 2004 weather outlook from the State Climate office.
XI. 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. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XII. Return to Regular Session
Mr. Evans made a motion to allow Director Frampton to develop and implement a Separation Incentive and Retirement Incentive Programs. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Davis made a motion to approve the recommendations of the Land and Water Advisory Committee to appoint individuals on List A and B as conservation district commissioners, while at the same time reserving the Board’s right to review those individual cases as they come before the Board. Mr. Ragsdale seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XIII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The March meeting of the DNR Board will be held Friday, March 26, 2004, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Columbia, SC.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.