Rosewood’s - State Fair Grounds
Columbia, South Carolina
Friday, March 22, 2002
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, March 22, 2002, at Rosewood’s on the State Fair Grounds, Columbia, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Dr. Joab Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, M. Russell Holliday, Jr., 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.
Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
Chairman Lesesne asked Cary Chamblee to introduce guests present at the meeting. Mr. Chamblee introduced Angela Viney, Executive Director, SC Wildlife Federation; and Joey Holleman, The State newspaper.
Mr. Chamblee introduced Tim Moore, an attorney from Barnwell, and asked him to address the Board. Mr. Moore’s comments were directed toward a personnel policy regarding grievance procedures. Mr. Moore asked the Board to review the policy which allowed the Human Resources Director to deny a hearing to an employee who filed a grievance for certain purposes.
Mr. Chamblee asked Chip Sharpe to address the Board. Mr. Sharpe’s comments were directed toward commending staff in the furbearer program and lack of responsiveness of the Agency. Mr. Sharpe specifically spoke of the Law Enforcement Division, FOIA and the lack of a response from the Board regarding their activities at Jocassee in August 2001. Mr. Sharpe also criticized the language of an email sent from a Marine Center employee to constituents et. al. asking for support on the Saltwater Stamp and asking that revenues be limited to habitat improvement and research. Dr. Sandifer, John Miglarese and Dr. Leary addressed the concerns with Law Enforcement and the saltwater stamp legislation.
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the February 15, 2002, meeting. There being no corrections or additions Ms. Holliday made a motion that the minutes of the February 15, 2002, meeting be approved as submitted. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Sandifer also commended staff in the furbearer program.
Dr. Sandifer commended Buck Sergeant Glenn Davis on his selection to receive the Strom Thurmond Award for Excellence in Law Enforcement as the outstanding state law enforcement officer for 2001. This follows Sgt. Davis’ selection as DNR’s 2001 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year.
Dr. Sandifer noted that a commendation was received from Nick Nichols, Laurens County Coroner, regarding the cooperation and assistance received from DNR with the recent plane crash in Laurens County.
Dr. Sandifer commended Freddy Vang, Jim Scurry and Danny Johnson for their assistance in coordinating Land, Water and Conservation Division’s office moves and consolidation.
Dr. Sandifer commended Buford Mabry for a Concurrent Resolution passed by the General Assembly commending him on his more than 33 years of outstanding service in the SC Army National Guard and congratulating him on his promotion to rank of Brigadier General.
Dr. Sandifer reported that the Conservation Bank Act passed and is awaiting ratification and signature. Dr. Sandifer then noted and commended the many organizations and individuals involved with this bill. Dr. Sandifer recognized Department staff, Barry Beasley, Marvin Davant and Derrick Meggie involved with this effort.
Dr. Sandifer announced that the Department received an award from the State Library for having two of ten outstanding publications by state agencies for 2001.
Chairman Lesesne thanked Hugh Lane and the executive committee for their efforts with passage of the Conservation Bank. It was suggested that Mr. Lane and the members of the executive committee be thanked by letter or other means. Mr. Gregg asked that staff develop a strategy for fuller funding of the Conservation Bank Act over the next month.
John Miglarese reported that the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series discussed rule changes for tournaments and finalized the tournament schedule.
Dr. Rucker reported that Dr. Sandifer briefed the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee on the budget and current activities. Dr. Rucker noted that the activities of the Kershaw Conservation District were highlighted. Larry Nates, President of the SC Association of Conservation Districts briefed the committee on the mission, goals and roles as an advocate for the districts. The committee was briefed on the status of the Federal Farm Bill. The committee received a climate update. Bud Badr briefed the committee on the status of the Savannah Basin Study.
C. Law Enforcement
Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee received a presentation on the nuisance alligator program. The Law Enforcement Advisory Committee was informed that three employees were promoted to Captain – District 1, Larry Holbrook; District 2, Buddy English; and District 3, Mark Carey. The Law Enforcement Division has increased monthly mileage to 2000 miles. Dr. Leary congratulated Maj. Alvin Taylor on securing an approximately $1 million grant from NOAA for marine patrol.
Dr. Miglarese reported that the Marine Advisory Committee held a joint meeting with OCRM. Topics of discussion were abandoned vessels, shellfish restoration program and docks. Dr. Miglarese requested that the shellfish restoration program be presented to the Board.
VIII. Items for Board Information
A. Take One Make One
Bob Redfern distributed and quickly reviewed a briefing packet provided to the Board (copy attached to original minutes). Mr. Redfern then showed a video of excerpts from the Outdoor Channel regarding the Take One Make One program.
Julie Taylor briefly reviewed the comparison information regarding license fees in South Carolina and other southeastern states, as previously provided to the Board. Ms. Taylor answered questions posed by Board members.
C. Background on Fox Pens in South Carolina
Approval of Regulations
Tim Ivey reviewed the proposed regulations and additions since being provided to the Board (copy attached to original minutes). Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the proposed regulations and approve filing as final regulations if there are no additional changes. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Sandifer distributed copies of the Proposed 2002-03 Migratory Game Bird Hunting Regulations that was published in the Federal Register on March 19. This proposal reflects the commitment of the USFWS to propose an early and late extension to the duck hunting seasons, with no offsets in days or bag limits.
Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that the House of Representatives passed their version of the budget. The Department would take a base budget cut of just over 2% under the House plan. Dr. Sandifer also reported that the Department is facing another mid-year cut next week.
Mr. Chamblee introduced three members of the Tri-State Bass.
A. Habitat Protection
John Frampton updated the Board on recent and upcoming land transactions. Mr. Frampton noted that they have closed on the Edisto River property and held a dedication ceremony. Mr. Frampton also congratulated Barry Beasley and Marvin Davant for their work on the Conservation Bank Act. Mr. Frampton sated that FDA and NIH would like to make a presentation to the Board on the need and handling of the monkey operation at Morgan Island.
Derrick Meggie distributed copies of a status sheet on DNR bills and other bills concerning DNR to the Board. Mr. Meggie then reviewed several bills and answered questions posed by Board members.
XI. Deputy Directors’ Reports
No further report.
No further report.
No further report.
No further report.
Billy McTeer informed the Board that the recommendation for dove season will probably be to have opening day on Labor Day and have half days through September 7.
At this time, 3:20 p.m., Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.
The Board returned to regular session, at 4:35 p.m., and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
In Executive Session, Dr. Sandifer explained the compensation policy of the Commission on Ocean Policy, of which he is a member. Dr. Sandifer proposed to the Board that he be approved to receive appropriate compensation from the Ocean Commission with the stipulation that he would donate to the DNR the residual proceeds from such payments after deducting estimated taxes and expenses incurred in his service as a Commissioner. This proposal has been reviewed and approved in a written informal opinion from the State Ethics Commission. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board allow Dr. Sandifer to accept compensation from the US Commission of Ocean Policy as related to the opinion of the SC Ethics Commission on March 15, 2002. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the appointments and reappointments of conservation district commissioners as provided previously to the Board (copy attached to original minutes). Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XV. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, April 26, 2002, at the Webb Center in Garnett, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
The May meeting will be held On Friday, May 17, 2002, in Columbia, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.