Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Friday, June 20, 2003
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, June 20, 2003, at 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 M. Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board members present included Vice Chairman Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, M. Russell Holliday, Jr., and Malloy McEachin and Dr. Douglas Rucker. Mr. John Frampton 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.
Cary Chamblee introduced Bob Bailey, Sporting Protection League; Patten Watson, SC Wildlife Federation; Dan Rodgerson, Executive Director of the Greenville County Recreation District; Kathy Varadi, Public Information Officer for Greenville County Recreation District; and Joey Holleman, The State newspaper.
Mr. Frampton announced that Carole Collins gave birth to a baby boy, Connor Stephen, on June 11. Mother, baby and father are doing well.
Mr. Frampton commended Derrick Meggie and Robert Boyles on their selection to attend the 2003-04 class of the Executive Institute.
Mr. Frampton took the opportunity, since it is the last meeting for some Board members, to commend the Board and reviewed several major accomplishments of the last four years.
Mr. Frampton updated the Board on the budget situation.
VI. Advisory Committee Reports
A. Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
John Miglarese reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met and discussed budgets at its recent meeting. The advisory committee remains very supportive of the continued effort of program modification while maintaining the integrity of the program. Dr. Miglarese stated that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee made the following motion, “A motion is made to approve the budget as presented with the condition that the coordination administration project will be spent as a last resort and with notification to the advisory committee.”
B. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee received a presentation by the Fisheries Section, a brief legislative update, and had discussion on the pintail tracking study. Mr. McTeer stated that the advisory committee reviewed the proposed duck stamp budget and the antlerless deer tag budget.
C. Heritage Trust
Mr. McEachin had no report from the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee.
A. 2003-2004 Duck Stamp Budget
Derrell Shipes reviewed the proposed 2003-2004 Duck Stamp Budget. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the Board approve the budget as proposed. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. Craigs Pond Management Plan
Johnny Stowe reviewed the proposed management plan for Craigs Pond and addressed questions posed by Board members. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the Craigs Pond Management Plan as proposed. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
C. Lighthouse Inlet Management Plan
Chris Judge reviewed the proposed management plan for Lighthouse Inlet and answered questions posed by Board members. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the Lighthouse Inlet Management Plan as proposed. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
D. Proposed Emergency Regulations for Freshwater Turtles
Steve Bennett reviewed the proposed emergency regulations for freshwater turtles and answered questions posed by Board members. Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the Emergency Regulations for Freshwater Turtles as proposed.
E. Resolution for Natural Resources Funding
Mr. Gregg read, reviewed and introduced the following resolution for Board consideration:
R E S O L U T I O N
WHEREAS, South Carolina is rich in natural resources and ecological diversity, including abundant wildlife; rich plant diversity; rivers, lakes, streams, wetlands, marshes and oceans, and
WHEREAS, the public has historically enjoyed relatively unrestricted use of large areas of public and private lands for hunting, hiking, camping, fishing, wildlife watching and general appreciation of nature, and
WHEREAS, DNR is responsible for the protection, management and care of these state’s resources in partnership with numerous public agencies and private organizations, and
WHEREAS, approximately 200,000 acres of publicly owned land is managed by DNR, and
WHEREAS, DNR is responsible for the enforcement of laws that protect our resources and insure public safety while engaged in the enjoyment of these resources, and
WHEREAS, South Carolinians enjoy a quality of life based largely on the enjoyment and use of these abundant resources, and
WHEREAS, DNR has always and will continue to seek and develop partnerships with other public agencies and private groups to further its mission of resource protection and management, and
WHEREAS, there is an urgent need to continue protection of our state’s resources due to the ever increasing population, demand for services, and the changing land ownership and land use patterns that are developing, and
WHEREAS, the assets of this state that are managed and protected by the DNR are a vital tool in the state’s continued growth by offering potential industry and their employees a quality of life rarely available in other states.
WHEREAS, outdoor opportunities in South Carolina attract tens of thousands of visitors to this state each year, providing jobs and added revenue to the economy, and
WHEREAS, lands available for outdoor recreation are rapidly diminishing, and
WHEREAS, the Department’s State Budget has been reduced by 36% in the past three years, license revenues are declining and DNR staff has been reduced by 215 (projected 8/1/03) employees in the past three years, and
WHEREAS, the Governor and the South Carolina State Legislature is responsible for setting priority needs and providing funding to meet those needs.
THERFORE BE IT RESOLVED by the DNR Board on this Twentieth Day of June 2003, that DNR will cooperate in a broad effort to develop and mobilize a large and diverse coalition of conservation and natural resource advocates to:
· Develop a blueprint and strategy for support of funding and insuring a secure future for our public trust resources for generations to come.
· Seek adequate funding from the legislature for protection and enhancement of the state’s natural resources.
· Generate public support for funding natural resource protection and enhancement.
· Generate a proposal to produce substantial revenue from the non-consumptive users of our public resources.
· Work to reform the current fishing and hunting license system to make it simpler, produce more revenue, be increasingly automated and user friendly and provide much needed data to help guide in resource decisions.
Mr. Gregg then made a motion that the Board adopt this resolution as proposed. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
VIII. Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton discussed the column on Hunting and Fishing License Sales Revenue Decline recently published in the Greenville News.
Mr. Frampton discussed a recent article from The State on budget passed by legislature. Governor Sanford has set DNR’s budget hearing for July 30.
Mr. Frampton mentioned information received from the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study on Monkeypox.
Mr. Frampton met with CEC and Administrative Services staff on May 27 to discuss the budget and answer questions. Mr. Frampton met with Wildlife Biologists the afternoon of May 27 and met with Land, Water and Conservation staff on June 10. Mr. Frampton has met with Law Enforcement Districts 6, 10, 2, 7 and 8 and will meet with Districts 3, 4 and 5 next week.
Mr. Frampton made a presentation on June 1 to the Board of the SC Chapter of the NWTF on DNR activities, then met with NWTF staff on June 2 to discuss land acquisition activities.
Mr. Frampton met with Speaker Wilkins to discuss the department budget on June 3. Mr. Frampton also met with Governor Sanford on department programs and budget issues on June 3.
Mr. Frampton attended the Forest Legacy meeting in Helen, GA, on June 4-5.
Mr. Frampton attended a press conference at SLEC on Homeland Security Grant Funding on June 12.
Mr. Frampton met with Walter Douglas, State Conservationists with US NRCS, on June 10 to discuss partnership opportunities and issues of mutual interest.
Mr. Frampton participated in the Heritage Trust Advisory Board meeting on June 11.
Mr. Frampton attended the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund Board meeting on June 11.
Mr. Frampton met with Chief Stewart, of SLED, on June 17 to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Mr. Frampton taped Newswatch television program with David Stanton of WIS-TV on June 18. This will air on Sunday, June 22, at 10:30 a.m.
Mr. Frampton has been asked to attend SLED’s Public Safety Directors monthly meetings with Chad Walldorf of the Governor’s Office.
Mr. Frampton will be attending a meeting of the USFWS Refuge Policy Task Force on July 20-23. Mr. Frampton will then travel to the Atlantic Flyway Council meeting in Allenberry, PA, on July 24-25.
Derrick Meggie reviewed the legislation for 2003 that was and was not adopted during the session.
Habitat Task Force
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that Barry Beasley’s Habitat Task Force report has been distributed.
IX. Deputy Directors’ Reports
Dr. Miglarese stated that he had a personnel issue for executive session. Dr. Miglarese then informed the Board that Dr. Bob Van Dolah received an invitation from the White House regarding the Council of Environmental Quality. Dr. Van Dolah has been asked to review environmental monitoring and key indicators of what the nation should be viewing the health of its estuarine systems, wetlands system and natural resources.
2. Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Vang stated that he had no further report but wanted to thank the Board for their service.
3. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. McTeer informed the Board that Randy Geddings is very ill and then thanked the Board for their service.
4. Law Enforcement
Col. Wright reviewed the activities of the Law Enforcement Division for the month of May.
5. CEC and Administrative Services
David Bruner reported that staff have been working on the license express mailer and that Camp Wildwood will finish tomorrow.
X. Executive Session
At this time Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters.
XI. Return to Regular Session
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the transfer of the Berry Mill Pond to the Greenville County Recreation District provided that the intent of the original deed is followed. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve acquisition of the Toumey Tract, adjacent to Manchester State Forest, through the Forest Legacy Program. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Department of Natural Resources’ Meritorious Service Award be awarded to an employee of the Marine Resources Division. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve to spend from the Reedy River Mitigation Trust Fund an amount of $100,000 per year for a period of five years for cooperative effort with Clemson University to hire a Reedy River Watershed Education Coordinator. These funds will be appropriated on an annual basis after review by Board. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board instruct the Director of the Department of Natural Resources to be consistent in the Department of not making payments of utilities of occupied DNR owned properties beginning September 1, 2003 and that he appoint a committee to study all other issues related to these properties. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the renaming of the Walhalla Fish Hatchery Education Building to the W. R. (Randy) Geddings Fish Culture Facility. Mr. Ford seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve, in principal, the merger of the Administrative Services and CEC Divisions. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve in principal for the Department to begin implementing the redefining and consolidating of districts within the State of South Carolina and to seek public input on the details of implementation. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board commend the Department, it’s staff and leadership in its efforts and jobs and all the appreciation that the Board has for the staff of the Department. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, July 18, 2003, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building 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.