Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
1000 Assembly Street
December 12, 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 Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335, Columbia, SC. 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, Norman Pulliam, and Caroline Rhodes. Board member Frank Murray’s absence was excused. 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 Rev. Eric Skidmore to offer the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Buford Mabry led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Hank Stallworth introduced Heather Smith, SC Realtors Association; and Joey Holleman, The State.
- Constituent Comments
Mr. Stallworth noted that there were no requests for constituent comment.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any additions, deletions, or corrections to the minutes of the November 16, 2007, meeting. There being none, Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the November 16, 2007, meeting as presented. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Frampton commended Scott Howard, Land, Water and Conservation Division, on his election to the Board of the Carolina Geological Society.
Bob Martore, Manager of the Artificial Reef Program, gave the Board a presentation on the Department’s Artificial Reef Program. Mr. Martore provided a brief history of the program and described its cooperative efforts with the Army National Guard and the demilitarizing of tanks used for artificial reefs. There are 45 public fishing reefs along the coast. The most recent study indicates that the Artificial Reef Program represents an economic impact of approximately $83 million in total sales that generated approximately 1,000 jobs.
- Advisory Committee Reports
Evans reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met on November 29 in Charleston. New member Tommy Grier was welcomed to the Committee. The Advisory Committee received several presentations that included NOAA’s Aquaculture Legislation; SAFMC’s Deepwater Coral Initiative “Revealing the Deep” video; Shark Monitoring and Management efforts; DNR’s marketing initiative; and a legislative update.
- Items for Board Information
- Drought Update
Hope Mizzell reported that the rainfall deficit continues to rise. Mrs. Mizzell reviewed streamflows, lake levels, and groundwater monitoring wells around the State. Mrs. Mizzell also informed the Board of water conservation actions by water systems.
- Mercury-Related Fisheries Issue Review
Ross Self reviewed the streams and waterbodies sampled by DHEC in the past year. Mr. Self noted that DHEC will test additional waterbodies. DNR has given DHEC suggestions for species to test and DHEC will attend the next Fisheries Biologists meeting to discuss their mercury monitoring program.
- Lifetime Licenses
Carole Collins distributed a sheet outlining saltwater license revenue for the last three fiscal years and described the impact of including the saltwater license with the lifetime license.
- Dove Issues
Mr. Frampton informed the Board that he met with Law Enforcement and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries staff to discuss other states’ guidelines for baiting. Mr. Frampton stated that while DNR enforces baiting, Clemson University is responsible for setting the guidelines for normal agricultural practices. Mr. Frampton is attempting to meet with Dr. John Kelly, Vice President for Public Service and Agriculture at Clemson, to emphasize that the DNR has no position on what is considered as a normal agricultural practice for top sowing wheat.
- Aiken Gopher Tortoise Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Breck Carmichael informed the Board that this is an update of the previously adopted plan. Mr. Pulliam made a motion affirming that staff brought the updated plan forward to the Board. Mr. Campbell seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Items for Board Action
- Beaverdam Creek Fish Kill Report
Mr. Self reviewed the Beaverdam Creek Fish Kill Report as proposed by staff. The cost of the investigation and the loss of the fishery totaled $1,096.50. Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board approve the report as presented and instructed the Department to seek reimbursement. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Wateree River Fish Kill Report
Mr. Self reviewed the Wateree River Fish Kill Report as proposed by staff. The cost of the investigation and the loss of the fishery totaled $9,363.63. It was determined that the cause of the fish kill was an operator error at the Wateree Hydro Facility station. Mr. Self noted that Duke Energy has taken steps to ensure this type of error is prevented in the future. Mr. Frampton suggested that the Department inform Duke Energy of the impact of this fish kill but not seek reimbursement. Mr. Campbell made a motion to this effect. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Mr. Carmichael reviewed the proposed Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Management Plan. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Management Plan as proposed. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Ditch Pond Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Mr. Carmichael reviewed the proposed Ditch Pond Heritage Preserve Management Plan. Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the Peachtree Rock Heritage Preserve Management Plan as proposed. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Mr. Carmichael reviewed the proposed Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve Management Plan. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve Management Plan as proposed. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director’s Briefing
Mr. Frampton distributed copies and reviewed the 2008-2009 budget request.
Mr. Frampton informed the Board of security measures being proposed for the parking garage.
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Land, Water and Conservation
Steve de Kozlowski distributed copies of a bill titled the “SC Comprehensive Statewide Water Management Act of 2008” and stated that staff are currently reviewing and considering its implications.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Carmichael showed the Board a brief video of the recent trout stocking in the Lower Saluda River. Mr. Carmichael also informed the Board that there will be another Santee Cooper Striped Bass Stakeholders Group meeting this evening in Orangeburg.
- Law Enforcement
Col. Taylor gave the Board a summary of the first waterfowl season and an update on new officer training.
- Outreach and Support Services
Nothing further to report.
Robert Boyles reported on the commercial shrimp season and asked for approval to close the commercial shrimp trawl season, at the appropriate time, which may occur prior to the January Board meeting. Mr. Boyles stated that the closing would be considered after review of biological sampling, discussions with members of the industry, and notification of DNR Board Members. Mr. Davis made a motion that the Board give the Director the authority, in conjunction with the Marine Resources Division, to close the commercial shrimp trawl season. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Executive Session
At this time Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal, and personnel matters. Mr. Davis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Return to Regular Session
Mr. Campbell made a motion that the Board return to regular session. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Chairman McShane stated that no items discussed in executive session require action.
- Time and Location of the Next Meeting
The January Board meeting will be held on Thursday, January 17, 2008, in Myrtle Beach.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.