Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina
Friday, June 15, 2001
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 am, on Friday, June 15, 2001, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, 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.
- Call to Order
Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
- Introduction of Guests
Chairman Lesesne asked Cary Chamblee to introduce guests present at the meeting. Mr. Chamblee introduced Joy Bowen, MODUS; Marge Davenport, USGS; Pat Robertson, The State newspaper; Rachel Stern and Rebecca Parke.
- Constituency Comments
Mr. Chamblee informed the Board that Mr. Bud Starnes, representing the Jocassee Gorges Coalition, made a request for constituency comment this morning and asked the Board their pleasure on hearing the comments. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board receive Mr. Starnes comments. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. Mr. Starnes comments were directed toward the overall focus on ecological sensitivity and unique biodiversity when developing a management plan, especially for Jocassee Gorge.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the May 18, 2001, meeting. Dr. Leary made a motion that the minutes of the May 18, 2001, meeting be approved with the following amendment. The motion was seconded with the following correction and the motion carried unanimously.
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, May 18, 2001, at the Hubbard Hall Gallery at USC Lancaster, Lancaster, 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.
Absent from the meeting were M. Russell Holliday, Jr. and Malloy McEachin. Dr. Paul A. Sandifer and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that Judy Barnes, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, will graduate from the Governors EXCEL Program on June 29.
Dr. Sandifer reported that Breck Carmichael has been accepted to attend the Executive Institute leadership training for 2001-2002.
Dr. Sandifer commended Derrick Meggie for his efforts during this years legislative session. Dr. Sandifer asked that the Board allow Mr. Meggie to give his report at this time. Dr. Sandifer also announced that Mr. Meggie will be wed on June 16. Mr. Meggie noted that the General Assembly will return on Wednesday. Mr. Meggie reported on the bills that passed this year: the regulatory authority bill for DNR owned lands, the agencys top priority; the road hunting bill; the renewal of the existing moratorium on striped bass in the Savannah River; the designation of a portion of the Black River as a Scenic River; and the deer parts legislation; prohibition of the use of bream as bait; and no wake zones. Mr. Meggie reviewed the Departments pending legislation: striped bass limits on Lake Murray; Chapter 5 clean up; and Saltwater License. Mr. Meggie then reviewed legislation that DNR endorses: conservation bank act and the red drum bill.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
John Miglarese reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Board performed their annual review and discussion of projects to be funded in the next year.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Ms. Holliday reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received comments from Jim Methe regarding depredation permits for certain predators. Ms. Holliday stated that the Advisory Committee received a CARA update. The Advisory Committee approved the deer tag budget for 2001-2002 and the 2001-2002 duck stamp budget was discussed and approved. The Advisory Committee then received a legislative report (copies attached to original minutes).
- Items for Board Information
- Climate Update
Hope Mizzell gave the Board an update on the drought status and the benefits of the rains received from Allison. Mrs. Mizzell also reported on current stream flows and water tables. Mrs. Mizzell then asked Milt Brown, Acting State Climatologist, to update the Board on the climate outlook for this year with regard to El Nino and La Nina and rainfall. Mr. Brown then discussed the hurricane season forecast with the Board.
- Items for Board Action
- Proposed Amendments to Policy 701.05 Reduction in Force, Proposed Amendments to Policy 702.01 Leave and Proposed Telecommuting Policy
Jean Cowell informed the Board that included in their meeting package were the proposed amendments to the RIF policy and the Leave policy. Also included was a proposed Telecommuting policy. Ms. Cowell and Dr. Sandifer addressed questions posed by the Board. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the amendments to the RIF policy, the Leave policy and the proposed Telecommuting policy as submitted. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Proposed Deer Tag Budget for 2001-2002
Charles Ruth reviewed the proposed deer tag budgets (individual and quota) for 2001-2002. Mr. Ruth addressed questions posed by the Board. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board accept the Deer Tag Budget as proposed. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously (copies attached to original minutes).
- Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve Placement of Monument
Chris Judge informed the Board that the Washington Light Infantry has requested that a monument be placed at the Fort Lamar Heritage Preserve. Mr. Judge reviewed the criteria for this monument and the selected site for the monument. Mr. Judge addressed questions posed by the Board. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the monument, including inscription and size, as proposed. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Regulation to Close Dargans Pond for Repairs, Darlington County
Dan Crochet informed the Board of the problems found in the discharge pipe at Dargans Pond. Mr. Crochet stated that the proposal is to close the lake for approximately two years for these repairs and restocking. Dr. Leary asked if there is a way to use a bottom siphon system over the dam and seal the present system. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the regulation to close Dargans Pond for Repairs with the understanding that the siphon system be investigated. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Directors Briefings
- Executive Office
Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that Cary Chamblee attended the 2001 Agencys Directors Organization Spring Form held on May 21.
Dr. Sandifer met with Freddy Vang and several staff members in May to review in detail the drought situation and water flows.
Dr. Sandifer, Cary Chamblee, Billy McTeer, Alvin Wright and Stanley Smith met with the Board of Directors of the SC Sportsmens Coalition at Millaree on May 22.
Dr. Sandifer noted that Cary Chamblee and others attended a meeting on May 23 to discuss the review of the DNRs web site.
Dr. Sandifer, Alvin Wright, Fritz Jolly, Milt Brown and Hope Mizzell participated in the Governors Tabletop Hurricane Exercise held on May 31 at the State EPD office to prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.
Dr. Sandifer and Freddy Vang attended the Governors signing ceremony at which time he signed into law Senate bill 356 designating the Black River as a Scenic River.
Dr. Sandifer participated in a joint meeting of the DNR W.I.L.D. mentees and DOT STTARS mentees held on June 6 at Styx. Betty Mabry from DOT attended the meeting also and gave an overview of the DOT mentee plan.
- Habitat Protection Activities
John Frampton stated that the Land Bank bill had some difficulties during the end of the session. Mr. Frampton noted that there were 70 amendments for this bill and the bill was tabled until next session. Mr. Frampton also reported that the internal habitat committee is continuing to work. There is a subgroup working to develop a strategy to forward on to the Deputy Directors, Dr. Sandifer and the Board. Mr. Frampton then reported on the federal budget.
Dr. Lesesne thanked Mr. Gregg and Barry Beasley for their work on the conservation bill.
- Deputy Directors Reports
- Marine Resources
John Miglarese reported that the Marine Division works very closely with OCRM in Charleston. Dr. Miglarese stated that there is mitigation money made available from the State of Georgia to the State of South Carolina in OCRMs budget. They have agreed, because of the Boards priority on habitat activity, to transfer the funds to DNR for non-federal match and acquisition of properties on the coast. Dr. Miglarese gave the Board an update on the shrimp situation and season.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Freddy Vang reported to the Board that he received a fax from FEMA stating that they would issue the final determination for the Congaree floodplain on Wednesday, June 20. Mr. Vang stated that the Governors Institute for Natural Resources will be held next week at Lander. Mr. Vang also reminded the Board that the public hearing regarding the drought regulations will be held Monday, June 25.
- Administrative Services
Benny Reeves gave the Board an overview of the budget. Mr. Reeves reported that the Department took a $4 million plus cut in the base budget and revenue dollars of the Department may be cut by $3 million for a total of $7 million.
Dr. Lesesne thanked Mr. Reeves for his years of service to the Department. Dr. Sandifer informed the Board that there will be a retirement event for Mr. Reeves on August 7. Dr. Sandifer also thanked Mr. Reeves for his service and advice over the years.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer reviewed the two types of regulations required this year for DNR owned lands: emergency and permanent. Mr. McTeer stated that emergency regulations are required in order to operate while the General Assembly is not in session until January. The emergency regulations will be in place until the General Assembly convenes in January at which time they will act on permanent regulations. Mr. McTeer reported that at the August Board meeting the emergency regulations will be provided to manage public use on DNR owned lands, on an emergency basis, and also in August the filing process for permanent regulations will be started. Mr. McTeer distributed copies of the CARA proposals, which are out for public review. There has been an extension for receiving comments.
- Law Enforcement
- Conservation Education and Communications
Carole Collins informed the Board that Governor Hodges has declared June 1-10 as boating and fishing days in South Carolina. Ms. Collins played videotapes of media coverage received for the aquatic education outreach event and the ladies on the lake workshop. Ms. Collins also played videotapes of PSAs for boating safety.
- Executive Session
At this time Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal, contractual and personnel matters.
- Return to Regular Session
The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne stated that no action is required from any items discussed in executive session.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the Board will be holding a public hearing on the proposed drought regulations and brief meeting on Monday, June 25, at 4:00 p.m., in room 335 of the Dennis Building in Columbia.
The next scheduled meeting for the Board is Friday, August 17, 2001, in Greenville.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.