Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Yawkey Wildlife Center
One Yawkey Way South
April 20, 2007 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, April 20, 2007, at the Yawkey Wildlife Center, Georgetown, South Carolina. 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 Michael Campbell, Stephen Davis, John Evans, Frank Murray, Norman Pulliam, and Caroline Rhodes. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
- Call to Order
Chairman McShane called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman McShane asked Col. Alvin Taylor to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Chairman McShane introduced Jim Healy, President of both Yawkey Foundations and presented him with a pewter platter and Mr. Frampton presented Mr. Healy with a tie to show appreciation for the effort put forth by the Foundation in working with the Department.
Hank Stallworth introduced Mitchell Metts, SC DOT; Shawn Pinckney; David Farren, Southern Environmental Law Center; Wayne and Janice Avant, Georgetown Conservation District; Mickey Lankford, Chairman, Georgetown Conservation District; Nat Ruth, Georgetown Conservation District; Zane Wilson, Sun News; and Representative Nelson Hardwick.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Stallworth introduced Shawn Pinckney and asked him to share his comments with the Board. Mr. Pinckney’s comments concerned dog deer hunting at Francis Marion National Forest. Mr. Pinckney recommended that changes be made to the regulations proposed for action today. Mr. Pinckney recommended that the Wednesday and Thursday hunts be changed to accommodate those working individuals.
Mr. Stallworth introduced David Farren, Southern Environmental Law Center, and asked him to share his comments with the Board. Mr. Farren’s commented on the proposed routing of I-73 through Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve. Mr. Farren noted that several conservation groups have recommended alternative routes.
Mr. Frampton passed a thank you note from Vanetta and Joe Kline for the Board Resolution honoring their son Father Francis Kline.
Mr. Frampton commended staff on receipt of the “Wings Across the Americas” 2007 Bird Conservation Award recognizing outstanding work and habitat conservation efforts on the Cooper River Corridor.
Mr. Frampton commended Donna Swygert and staff across the agency for their efforts in making the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic such a success.
Mr. Frampton congratulated APM graduates Sherry Brown and Antonio Bates.
Mr. Frampton referred to an article in April 2007 issue of Greater Columbia Business Monthly and stated he believed this is one of the best articles about DNR.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions, or corrections to the minutes of the March 16, 2007, meeting. There being no changes, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the March 16, 2007, meeting as presented. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Migratory Waterfowl
Chairman McShane reported that there was discussion about proposed legislation and he will defer this report until legislation is discussed later in the meeting.
- Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
Robert Boyles reported that the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board met March 22, in Charleston. The Advisory Board received an update on a request for exempted fishing permit to allow fishing, using longline gear, out of season on the Charleston Bump. The Advisory Board elected to send a letter opposing the request. The Advisory Board also had discussion regarding circle hook requirements for tournaments. The Advisory Board discussed “Passing the Rod” and voted to allow only points for those under 13 years of age. The Advisory Board received recommendations and approved appointments to the Tournament Committee. The Advisory Board also recommended nominees for new Governor’s Cup Advisory Board members, which will be taken into consideration during executive session.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Stephen Davis reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received comments from Hunter Suggs regarding the challenges to dog deer hunting around the state. The Advisory Committee received a report on possible changes for dog deer hunting and also the Deer Management Program. The Advisory Board was briefed on the history of Dog Deer Hunting at Francis Marion and then presented the proposal as sent in the Board’s package. The Advisory Board received recommendations on striped bass at Santee Cooper. The Advisory Committee received a presentation on the Cormorant Management Plan.
- Items for Board Information
- Audit Reports (Legislative Audit Council and Federal Aid Audit)
Mr. Frampton distributed copies of a news article from the Charleston Post and Courier regarding the recent Legislative Audit Council report. Mr. Frampton distributed the Federal Aid Audit, noting that this audit occurs every five years and takes two years to conduct. Mr. Frampton reviewed the findings and solutions/answers to this audit.
- Information on I-73 Project and Impacts to the Little Pee Dee River Heritage Preserve
Mr. Mitchell Metts, SC DOT, introduced Mr. Skip Johnson, LPA, Inc., and Mr. Patrick Tyndall, Federal Highways Administration. Mr. Metts gave the background of the I-73 project. Mr. Metts then reviewed the purpose and need of I-73. Mr. Metts noted the public and agency coordination and members of the coordination team. The coordination team reviewed all routes and corridors prior to stating the preferred route, which is adjacent to existing Highway 917. This proposed route takes up 40 less acres of wetland and the bridges on Highway 917 in the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve will be replaced. Mr. Metts stated that they hope to have a proposal to the Heritage Trust Advisory Board at their meeting on May 3. Mr. Metts also informed the Board that no offer has been made for mitigation.
- Items for Board Action
- Conservation Easement Policy
Barry Beasley gave the Board a brief background of the proposed Conservation Easement Policy. Dr. Beasley did have one amendment to the proposed policy sent with the Board package. Item 5. If the owner of the land proposed for a conservation easement desires to retain the beneficial use of the land, no SCDNR funds may be utilized in the administration or maintenance of the property except where the owner permits regular public usage of the area, which is compatible and consistent with the natural character of the property. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board adopt the Draft Conservation Easement Policy as amended. Mr. Evans seconded the motion. Mr. Frampton asked if it would be possible to bring this back to the Board at the May meeting. Mr. Pulliam withdrew his motion.
- Proposed Emergency Regulations for 2007-2008 Dog Deer Hunts on Francis Marion National Forest
Tim Ivey reviewed the Proposed Emergency Regulations for 2007-2008 Dog Deer Hunts on Francis Marion National Forest. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board adopt the emergency regulations as proposed. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Chairman McShane noted that staff should take Mr. Pinckney’s recommendations under consideration when setting days for 2008-2009.
- Director's Briefing
Mr. Frampton gave the Board an update on the budget and distributed Senate Budget Sheets.
Mr. Frampton distributed a letter from the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies inviting Commission/Board members to attend the Association’s annual meeting on September 16-21 in Louisville, Kentucky.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that the first meeting of the Governor’s Climate, energy and Commerce Advisory Committee is on April 27.
Mr. Frampton will participate in the NMFS/State Directors meeting in San Diego, California, on April 30-May 2.
Mr. Frampton will attend the Harry Hampton Spartanburg Banquet on May 11.
Mr. Frampton discussed the need for public meetings and stakeholders groups to make recommendations regarding striped bass in Santee Cooper. After much discussion, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board direct staff to identify a key stakeholders group, engage an outside facilitator, to identify solutions to issues surrounding striped bass in the Santee Cooper Lake System to draft legislation. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Legislative Report
Mr. Frampton reported on the progress of WMA, ATV, alligator control, finfish, river shacks, Ports Authority, and Migratory Waterfowl legislation.
Chairman McShane received a letter from the Mayor of the Isle of Palms about changing the No Wake Zone in the ICW. After the discussion of possible actions, Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the extension of the season no wake zone at Isle of Palms to April 15 to September 15. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
Robert Boyles reported that the Marine Resources Division staff are currently performing several "self evaluation" efforts in programs ranging from fisheries statistics to education to deepwater reef research and monitoring. Mr. Boyles requested permission to open the provisional trawling areas within state waters for the shrimp trawl fishery, based on analysis of data from trawls conducted by DNR Crustacean Management and Research staff, consultation with numerous members of the commercial shrimp fishery, and consideration of other pertinent factors after consulting with the Board. Mr. Boyles also requested permission to close the State’s shellfish industry after communication with members of the State’s shellfish industry and consulting with the Board. The Board agreed to the two requests.
- Executive Session
At this time Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal, and personnel matters. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board return to regular session. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Murray made a motion that the Board approve the purchase from Crescent Resources, 1,540 acres along the Catawba River. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion to approve Phase II of Woodbury to acquire the remaining 44% of the property. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the slate of Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board nominees Stephen L. Chryst, Edward P. Holder, Dixon L. Pearce II as presented. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The May Board meeting will be held on Friday, May 18, at the Webb Wildlife Center in Garnett.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.