The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 20, 1998, at the Madren Center, Clemson, South Carolina. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Dr. George Graham presided at the meeting. Board Members present included Tommy Miller, Marion Burnside, Campbell Coxe, Edwin Oxner, Mary Pope Waring and Edward Lee. Dr. Paul A. Sandifer and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting as were various guests.
I. Call to Order
Chairman Graham called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Graham asked for a moment of silent meditation.
III. Introduction of Guests
Dr. Graham introduced Senator Thomas Alexander, Representative Bud Webb, Mr. Larry Owen, Dr. Constantine Curris, Dr. John Kelley, Dr. John Rodgers, Dean Bill Wehrenberg and Dean James Fischer.
IV. Constituency Comments
Dr. Constantine Curris, President, Clemson University, and Dr. John Kelley welcomed the group to Clemson.
V. Approval of Minutes
Chairman Graham asked if there were any corrections or additions to the minutes of the October 16, 1998 meeting. There being no corrections or additions, Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the October 16, 1998, as mailed. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
VI. Advisory Committee Reports
Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Coxe stated that he attended the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee on October 28. Mr. Coxe reported that the advisory committee reviewed the division's five year plan, discussed the effects of the La Nina drought conditions and their legislative initiatives for 1999. Mr. Coxe mentioned that the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts will hold their annual meeting January 14-16, 1999, at Myrtle Beach.
Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
John Miglarese reported that the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Awards Ceremony was held this year in Charleston. Dr. Miglarese stated that North Carolina was the winner of this year's shootout.
Corky Lee reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board approved the forest management section of the Hitchcock Woods Management Plan with the understanding that an archaeological section will be developed later. Mr. Lee stated that the advisory board also approved the following additions: Woods Bay Heritage Preserve, Big Pine Tree Creek and Mitchelville.
Mary Pope Waring reported that Steve Hopkins stated that NOAA will be issuing a grant through the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Mississippi which will, in turn, subcontract to various groups throughout the country to address the issue of shrimp viruses in shrimp farming and DNR will act as the procurement agent for the funds.
Mrs. Waring stated that the Marine Advisory Committee recommended that the DNR Board send a letter to the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council expressing concern over the harvest of Sargassum. Mrs. Waring then made a motion that the Board send a letter of opposition to the harvest or possession of Sargassum. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously. (Copy of letter attached to the original minutes)
Marine Recreational Fisheries
Dr. Miglarese reported that the Marine Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee discussed the expansion of the Saltwater Stamp Program.
Conservation Education and Communications
Sonny Baines stated that the Conservation Education and Communications Advisory Committee held their meeting on November 12, 1998. A presentation was made on the following programs: Take One Make One, Jocassee Gorges Education and Becoming an Outdoors Woman. Mr. Baines reported that the Committee received an update on the magazine business plan, the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic and the new catalog for the Wildlife Shop.
VII. Items for Board Information
A. Proposed Coastal Monitoring Program
Bob Van Dolah and Fred Holland gave a detailed and informative presentation on the proposed Coastal Monitoring Program outlining the benefits of this program.
B. Results of the SC Fishing License Holders Opinions and Attitudes Toward Fisheries Management and the SC DNR
Gene Hayes and David Allen presented the background information about the survey and Val Nash presented the summary of the survey.
C. Property Watch Program
Sgt. Steve Walters reported that 20% of the Operation Game Thief calls in the last month were related to trespassing. A brochure has been developed describing the program and providing guidelines and information on details such as posting property. Sgt. Walters thanked personnel in Conservation Education and Communications for their assistance with the layout of the brochure and signs.
D. Becoming an Outdoors Woman
Cindy Thompson gave an overview of the program and Judy Barnes reviewed the mission, goals and objectives of the program.
E. Responsive Management Survey
Cary Chamblee reviewed the results of the Responsive Management Survey.
VIII. Items for Board Action
A. Dolphin Recommendation from Marine Advisory Committee
Mrs. Waring made a motion that the Board accept the dolphin recommendation from the Marine Advisory Committee. The MAC recommendation is as follows: (1) a recreational creel limit of 7 fish/person/trip or a maximum of 25 fish/boat/day except to headboats which could possess up to 50 fish/boat/day; (2) a commercial trip limit of 4,500 pounds net; (3) a commercial quota of 150,000 pounds; and (4) the provision for the prohibition of harvesting or possessing sargassum weed. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. 1999 Legislative Package
Billy McTeer reviewed the proposal from the License Ad Hoc Committee, that was previously mailed. The proposal is to create a Conservation Partner License, a Habitat Passport and a change in the Sportsman's and Combination license fees. Mrs. Waring made a motion to adjust the Sportsman's License and Combination License and the proposed increase in the Marine Recreational Fish Stamp as proposed. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Waring made a motion to propose a separate legislative effort to establish a Habitat Passport as proposed, volunteer purchase however may be required under certain conditions. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board approve the proposed Conservation Partner License as submitted. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried.
Mr. McTeer reviewed the proposed 1999 Legislative Package as previously mailed. Mr. Lee made a motion that the Board approve, in concept, the 1999 Legislative Package. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried.
C. Proposed Amendments to Board Policy 100.01 (Board Member Attendance Requirements)
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board adopt the following language as an amendment to Board Policy 100.01. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
VII. A member of the DNR Board who has three consecutive unexcused absences from regularly scheduled meetings is removed from the Board.
Any absence due to a serious illness, family emergency, or accident will be automatically excused. One absence per calendar year for business or personal reasons will be excused upon notification to the Board Chairman prior to the meeting date.
D. Proposed Amendments to Board Policy 500.01 (Freedom of Information Act Requests)
Paul League reviewed the proposed amendments to Board Policy 500.01 (Freedom of Information Act Requests) that were previously mailed. Mr. Burnside made a motion that the Board adopt the amendment to Board Policy 500.01 as submitted by staff. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
E. Right of Way Easement Agreement
This item will be taken up in Executive Session
IX. Director's Briefings
A. Executive Office
Dr. Sandifer stated that the Governor's Office requires that we submit the budget on November 2, and that requests be submitted in priority order. Dr. Sandifer reviewed the priorities that have been submitted.
Dr. Sandifer noted that two items on Teaming with Wildlife were included in the Board member packages. The first item being a resolution of the Southern Governor's Association supporting the Teaming with Wildlife legislation and the second item being a memorandum from the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies regarding the initial introduction of the legislation. The bills will have to be reintroduced next session.
Dr. Sandifer asked Board members for input on how much information they would like to have included on the monthly itinerary.
Dr. Sandifer noted that within the past month Billy McTeer lost his father, Brock Conrad lost his mother, Bethany Narboni lost her grandfather and former Board Member Knox Haynsworth lost a son.
Dr. Sandifer reported that he and John Frampton met with Jimmy Huggins, Southeastern Wildlife Expo Director, regarding the continued and expanded relationship with the Southeastern Wildlife Expo. They will be meeting with Jim Goller to reestablish and rebuild relationships between SEWE and the Palmetto Sportsmen's Classic.
Dr. Sandifer participated in Panel Discussion at the SC Environmental Symposium held at Litchfield Beach.
Dr. Sandifer noted that he, Cary Chamblee, Ed Duncan, Gerrit Jobsis and Breck Carmichael met with Betty Mabry and the Chief Engineer of DOT, regarding mitigation banking.
Dr. Sandifer distributed copies, as information, of a list of the Transition Team Committees.
Dr. Sandifer mentioned that he had recently asked for statistics on the number of women in different level positions within the Department. The results show that approximately 26.5% of full time permanent employees are female, but very few of the upper level positions, Band 7-10, are occupied by women. Dr. Sandifer stated that he believes that there needs to be planning for a more deliberate and aggressive recruiting, retention and promotion policies. Dr. Sandifer will be forming a steering committee selected from women in the agency to work on this effort.
2. Human Resources
Jean Cowell reported that conditional letters of employment have been sent to 10 Conservation Officer candidates and 30% of those offers were to either female or minority capacities
Ms. Cowell stated that we have approval to establish an computerized safety training program.
3. Audit Services
Bethany Narboni reported that the special request regarding equipment inventory has been completed and her office has started a review of construction contracts.
B. Deputy Directors
Benny Reeves reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Committee judged the annual Migratory Waterfowl Art competition on November 17.
2. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Brock Conrad distributed, as information, a copy of this summer's turkey brood survey and noted that this is the best hatch since 1985.
3. Natural Resource Enforcement
Col. Wright stated that the Division has been dealing with issues relating to strict liability, duck hunting, an airplane crash, and coyote cases. Col. Wright reported that two pilots have been hired. Col. Wright noted that the final interviews have been held for their grant positions. Col. Wright reported that covert responsibility has been placed back under the district captains.
4. Conservation Education and Communications
Nothing further to report.
Nothing further to report.
6. Land, Water and Conservation
Freddy Vang reported that South Carolina Geology publication has been reproduced.
Dr. Graham reported that he had received a letter from Lisa Sox, Director of Research for the Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee, thanking DNR for coordinating the Jocassee Gorges tour for Senate members and staff. Dr. Graham also received a card from Michael Thompson thanking the Board for his Honorary Lieutenant Colonel and Aide-de-Camp.
XI. Executive Session
At this time, Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss legal matters, proposed land acquisition for the Heritage Trust Program, personnel matters, conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments and advisory committee appointments. Mrs. Waring seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
RETURN TO REGULAR SESSION
Following the Executive Session, the regular meeting was resumed and participants were invited into the meeting.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board follow staff recommendation in appointing Jim McLeod as a member of the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board follow staff recommendations in appointing John W. Carter, Jr., Charles T. Rexrode, Zenith M. Ingram, John W. Kelly, Jr., and Betty L. (Louise) Hughes as conservation district commissioners and to reappoint William H. Griggs and John Wiggins as conservation district commissioners. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board accept staff recommendation that the Department grant a right-of-way easement on the Peters Creek Heritage Preserve to William M. Crane, Jr., the grantee will be responsible for preparing and filing a plat delineating this easement. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board follow staff recommendation concerning the purchase of 11 acres in Greenville County and 33 acres in Spartanburg County. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Miller made a motion that the Board follow staff recommendation to purchase the Blackwell Heritage Preserve addition in Greenville County. Mr. Burnside seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Graham stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, January 15, 1999, at 10:00 a.m, at Myrtle Beach.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.