Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Columbia, South Carolina
Friday, September 21, 2001
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, September 21, 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., and Malloy McEachin. Dr. Douglas Rucker was absent from the meeting. Cary Chamblee 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 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne informed the group that he received a call from Dr. Sandifer yesterday telling him that his mother fell and broke her hip. Chairman Lesesne also informed the Board that Dr. Sandifers brother-in-law, Betty Sandifers Brother, Mr. Thomas Watkins, of Seneca, passed away unexpectedly after routine surgery Thursday night, so he would not be present at todays meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation.
- Constituency Comments
Mr. Chamblee introduced Mr. Michael Bowden of Woodruff, South Carolina, and asked him to address the Board. Mr. Bowdens comments were directed toward a law enforcement issue. Mr. Bowden distributed copies of information outlining his concern to the Board and asked to be allowed to make a presentation at the October meeting.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman Lesesne asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the August 17, 2001, and/or September 11, 2001, meetings. Ms. Holliday made a motion that the minutes of the August 17, 2001, and September 11, 2001, meetings be approved as submitted. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Chamblee informed the Board that the SC Association of 4-H Extension Agents gave the Friends of 4-H award to the Department. This award was given because of the many programs offered by the Department, which support 4-H and also for staff who assist 4-H.
Chairman Lesesne introduced Nancy Vinson, Coastal Conservation League. Ms. Vinson made a presentation to the Board concerning the proposed DHEC regulations on docks and bridges to small islands. Ms. Vinson stated that DHECs OCRM proposed amended regulations in April, 2001, for access to islands to read that bridging will only be allowed if there is a public need for the project. Ms. Vinson noted that the Coastal Conservation League strongly supports this regulation and are pleased with the amendment. Ms. Vinson acknowledged that there will likely be some opposition by development interests that want to maximize use of their property on islands in the marsh. This amendment has to be approved by the General Assembly. Ms. Vinson stated that she was pleased that the Marine Advisory Committee passed a resolution to require compelling public need for all bridge access to islands. Ms. Vinson encouraged the Board to consider adopting a similar resolution.
Mr. Gregg reiterated to the Board that the Marine Advisory Committee was very concerned about the issue and supported the regulations. Mr. Gregg then distributed copies of the resolution passed by the MAC. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board urge the General Assembly approve the DHEC regulation to require a compelling public need for all bridge access to islands. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Col. Alvin Wright recognized Officers Gene Morris and Earl Tairney who were involved in the May 14, 2001, shooting incident in Berkeley County and praised them for their bravery and service to the state.
Mr. Gregg introduced Bill Dukes, member of MAC. Mr. Gregg reported that Mr. Dukes has been recently appointed by the legislature to serve on the ASMFC.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Governors Cup Billfishing Advisory Board
Dr. John Miglarese reported that the Governors Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board held a called meeting to discuss budget issues. The Governors Cup Advisory Board made a
motion to fund one-half of one Marine Division employees position to coordinate the Governors Cup program. Dr. Miglarese noted that there has been a downsizing of staff
involved in this program and he has asked the Advisory Board to take on the role of data gathering associated with the tournament. It was also recommended to have part of
the registration fee to be used for the program. Dr. Miglarese reported that the Governors Cup Advisory Board adopted the following motion: The Governors Cup Billfishing
Series Advisory Board endorses Dr. Miglareses proposal as presented including DNR must reduce state side staff costs associated with the program; Wayne Waltz will reduce
his time commitment to one month; increase the donation per boat from $40 to 50; and sponsorships and donations must be increased. The savings to DNR-MRD will be approximately $16,000 while maintaining the integrity of the program. At this time Dr. Miglarese asked for the Boards endorsement of this motion. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board endorse the motion by the Governors Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board to fund one-half of one Marine Division employees position to coordinate the Governors Cup program; take on the role of data gathering associated with the tournament and to have part of the registration fee to be used for the program. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and motion carried.
- Law Enforcement
Dr. Leary reported that the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee met September 12, at the National Wild Turkey Federations Headquarters in Edgefield. Dr. Leary stated that items for discussion were the incentive program for employees, the budget situation, and legislative activities.
Dr. Leary announced the winners of the 2001 Officer of the Year awards: District 1, Cpl. Joe L. Cartee II; District 2, Pfc. Kristie D. Fisher; District 3, Pfc. Benjamin F. Thomas IV; District 4, Buck Sgt. Robert N. Crosby Jr.; District 5, Sgt. J. Leo Carmichael; District 6, Buck Sgt. William "Glenn" Davis, who is also the state winner; District 7, Cpl. Joseph A. Cobb; District 8, Buck Sgt. Charles M. Caldwell; District 9, Pfc. Steven C. Pop; and Marine Law Enforcement Investigations and Education: Sgt. H. Lynwood Kearse III.
- Items for Board Information
- Aquaculture Policy
Dr. Miglarese reported that the Aquaculture Task Force was charged with reviewing the DNRs approach to aquaculture management, drafting a policy statement, and developing a vision for future action. The committee reviewed the Departments approach to aquaculture from the standpoint of biological issues and legislative issues, and compared that approach to selected other states. The Task Force also drafted a policy statement for the Department regarding Aquaculture and drafted proposed aquaculture administrative requirements. It has also been recommended that a placeholder be set in the 2002 Legislative Package for proposed aquaculture legislation. Dr. Miglarese noted that no action is requested from the Board at this time; however, action should be required at the November meeting. Dr. Miglarese stated that this allows time for comments and input from the public and stakeholders.
Dr. Miglarese then gave the Board an update on recent shark attacks. Dr. Miglarese reported that recommendations should be ready in approximately 30 days.
- Items for Board Action
- Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Tom Kohlsaat introduced Mary Bunch, Preserve Manager for the Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve. Ms. Bunch reviewed the proposed management plan. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board approve the Laurel Fork Heritage Preserve Management Plan as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Gregg asked if the Department is on track for the development of long-term management of Jocassee. Billy McTeer stated that he has given Dr. Sandifer his recommendation for the development of a committee to assist with the development of this long-term management.
- Permanent Regulations for DNR Owned Lands
Mr. McTeer asked Paul League to review the proposed permanent regulations for DNR owned lands. After much discussion regarding alcohol, noise levels and radio-controlled devices, Dr. Leary made a motion that the regulations be amended to allow the use of radio-controlled devices by permit only. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion for amendment carried unanimously. Mr. McEachin made a motion that the proposed permanent regulations for DNR owned lands be approved including the amendment. Dr. Leary seconded the motion and motion carried unanimously.
- Fish Kill Reports Steele Creek, York County and Peoples Creek, Cherokee County
Dick Christie reviewed the reports of the fish kills on Steele Creek, in York County, which requests $1,560.25 for the cost of the investigation and the replacement of fish and Peoples Creek, in Cherokee County, which requests $2,453.28 for the cost of the investigation and the replacement of fish. Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board approve the fish kill reports and the recommendations submitted as presented. Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Executive Session
At this time Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss personnel, legal, and contractual matters.
- Return to Regular Session
The Board returned to regular session and invited staff and guests to join the meeting.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Conservation Education and Communications
Mike Willis reported that in the January/February edition of the Wildlife Magazine there will be an article entitled Working for You, Locally. This article will describe programs and services offered on a local level.
David Busby informed the Board that Anterless Deer Tags can be purchased through the toll-free telephone number and the internet service. Mr. Busby reported that license sales through the toll-free telephone number and the internet service comprise approximately 12% of the expected revenue through the month on September. Mr. Busby stated that currently boat registration have increased for the month of August by approximately 21%. A VPN (Virtual Private Network) connection to the internet has been installed for local governments. Ten county governments are online and those county auditor and tax collector records are entering directly into the watercraft database for information. A committee of DNR employees have been reviewing the boat titling and registration procedures. This committee is drafting a summary report, which should be ready for Dr. Sandifers review by December.
Mr. Gregg requested that a presentation on the webpage be included on the October Agenda.
- Required Action from Executive Session
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the acquisition of a coastal barrier island complex utilizing Federal Department of Commerce funding under the National Estuarine Research Resource Program. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Plan, the Retirement and Separation Incentive Plan, and the Voluntary Furlough procedure, the Voluntary Furlough shall be implemented at the option of the Director. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve a Meritorious Service Award to Mr. Charles Blaine and Mr. Harold Alexander for their outstanding service to the DNR and resources of the State. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Leary made a motion that the Board approve the Performance Planning Document for the Agency Head Objectives for FY 2001-2002. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Ms. Holliday asked Mr. Busby about license renewals by mail. Mr. Busby replied that a pilot project has been conducted but has not been implemented. Chairman Lesesne asked that a presentation be made on this issue at a later meeting.
Derrick Meggie reported that legislative items, from the divisions, have been received in his office. These items will go to the Deputy Directors for review and discussion at their October meeting, then be forwarded to the Board for approval. Mr. Meggie informed the Board that on October 24-25, the Department will be hosting the House Ag Committee at the Marine Center and at the ACE Basin. The Department will then host the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee at the ACE Basin on October 26. The SC Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will be underwriting this event.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne informed the Board that he has received a complaint, that he will pass along to the Legal Office for review, that the tour of Jocassee arranged for the Board in August, may have been in violation of the FOIA. Chairman Lesesne stated that he has received a copy of the Attorney Generals ruling but the Departments attorneys have not reviewed the ruling. Chairman Lesesne asked that the legal staff review and respond.
Chairman Lesesne stated that the Board will experiment with beginning meetings on late Thursday, have public presentations and executive session, and then hold the regular business session on Friday morning. The October meeting will be held Thursday, October 18, 2001, at 6:30 pm, in room 149 of the Dennis Building and Friday, October 19, 2001, in room 335 of the Dennis Building.
The November meeting will be held Thursday, November 15, 2001, at 6:30 pm, in room 149 of the Dennis Building and Friday, November 16, 2001, in room 335 of the Dennis Building.
The January meeting will be held Thursday, January 24, 2002, and Friday, January 25, 2002, in Georgetown.
The February meeting will be held Friday, February 22, 2002, at the Ann Close Springs Greenway, in Fort Mill.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.