SCDNR Board Meeting Minutes
1000 Assembly Street
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 am, January 19, 2017, in room 335 of the Rembert C. Dennis Building, 1000 Assembly Street, Columbia, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Cary Chastain presided at the meeting. Board members present included Keith Hinson, Michael Hutchins, Glenn McFadden, Norman Pulliam, Elizabeth Willis and Larry Yonce. Director Alvin Taylor and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
Chairman Cary Chastain called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Rev. Eric Skidmore, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program, offered the invocation.
Norman Pulliam led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Breck Carmichael, Special Assistant to the Director, introduced Mike Ruhe, Duke Energy; Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy; Steve Jester, Duke Energy; Mark Oakley, Duke Energy; Chip Sharpe, retired DNR employee; Frank Roberts, Lady's Island Oyster Company; John Harleston, SC DHEC; and Catherine Templeton.
Mr. Carmichael reported that Mr. Sharpe, Mr. Roberts and Ms. Templeton have requested to address the Board.
Mr. Sharpe asked the Board for their support with H 3517 - allowing the DNR Director special authorization to waive fees for hunting and fishing for someone under the age of 21 diagnosed with a terminal or life threatening illness or injury being sponsored by certain nonprofit charitable organizations. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board support H 3517. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Roberts' comments were concerning the summer harvest of oysters. Mr. Roberts stated that the Industry supports the summer harvest of oysters but feels it must be done safely. Their biggest concern is that wild oysters will get in the system and they know that there needs to be a method of testing/tracing. Mr. Roberts explained the difference in diploid and triploid.
Ms. Templeton's comments followed along Mr. Roberts' comments with the addition of the potential for economic increase for the industry. Ms. Templeton noted that the DHEC's proposed regulations, for the summer harvest of oysters, are the most stringent in the United States.
Chairman Chastain asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the November 4, 2016, meeting minutes. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the November 4, 2016 meeting as submitted. Glenn McFadden seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Pulliam informed the Board that Director Taylor recently received the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Haley.
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, introduced Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, new President of Duke Energy for South Carolina. Mr. Ghartey-Tago presented a ceremonial check for $984,800 for fisheries habitat enhancement associated with the Catawba-Wateree Hydro Project.
Director Taylor commended Ross Self and staff for their work in coordinating the Second Annual Sport Fishing and Industry Summit at the Webb Center.
Director Taylor commended members of the Governor's security detail – Sidney Rainwater, Jamie Maxwell, Brian Welch, Charlotte Mayhugh and Brian Corbin on their receipt of the Order of the Palmetto from Governor Haley.
- Migratory Waterfowl
Chairman Chastain reported that the Advisory Committee met November 9, 2016 in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received the 2017 duck stamp print from Scott Storm. The Advisory Committee selected Mr. Storm as the artist for the 2018 duck stamp print.
- Governor's Cup Billfishing Series
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Committee met November 17, 2016 in Charleston. The Advisory Committee reviewed the 2016 season. The Advisory Committee elected Stevie Leisure to serve as Vice Chair. The Advisory Board approved payment to the Harry Hampton Scholarship Fund, Assessment Fee, and Sponsorship totaling $4500. The Advisory Committee passed a motion to move the Carolina Billfish Classic to the Charleston Harbor Marina.
Mrs. Willis reported that the Marine Advisory committee met December 2, 2016 in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received presentations on the interstate management of cobia and the shellfish recycling program. The Advisory Committee received reports on the status of regional stocking of red drum, summer harvest of oysters and Hurricane Matthew.
- Summer Harvest of Oysters
Mel Bell, Director, Office of Fisheries Management, Marine Resources Division, gave the Board a brief presentation on the summer harvest of maricultured oysters. Mr. Bell reviewed oyster resources, explained the fishery, landings, concerns with summer harvest and DNR's recommendations for the regulation.
- Climate Update
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, gave the Board a brief report on drought status. Dr. Mizzell reported on rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
Director Taylor reported that a significant amount of time has been spent at legislative meetings. Director Taylor noted that one legislative matter of interest has been deer hunting with dogs.
CPT Mike Sabaka reported that, other than deer hunting with dogs, there has been no substantial activity.
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, briefly reviewed the I-73 project, the Inland Port at Dillon, SCE&G Congaree River cleanup and the Jasper Ocean Terminal in Jasper County.
- Law Enforcement
COL Chisolm Frampton, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, reported that 16 officers worked the King Day March. COL Frampton reported that there have been 15 officers hired which brings the number of officers to 256. COL Frampton recognized Gary Sullivan who was recently promoted to MAJ of Region 4 and Marine Investigations.
Mr. Boyles gave the Board an update on the commercial shrimp season, reporting that it remains open and this is later than usual.
- Outreach and Support Services
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Nothing further to report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, gave the Board an update on Carolina Heelsplitter propagation, the Pinnacle Mountain wildfire and the coyote harvest incentive program.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board give a vote of confidence to Director Taylor for what he has done and is continuing to do. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Heritage Land Trust Fund Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reminded the Board that they approved the early redemption of the Heritage Trust Revenue Bond, Series 2006 at their November meeting. Staff are now asking for authorization of the transfer and realignment of Heritage Trust funds into the Heritage Land Trust Fund. Mr. McFadden made a motion that the DNR Board, acting in its own capacity and as the Trustees for the South Carolina Heritage Trust, acknowledge the defeasement of the Heritage Trust Revenue Bond, Series 2006 on December 29, 2016 as previously authorized and now authorize the transfer and realignment of Heritage Trust funds into the Heritage Land Trust Fund as presented by DNR staff and set out in the proposed resolution. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board go into executive session pursuant to S.C. Code Section 30-4-70(A): (1) to discuss negotiations incident to proposed contractual arrangements, proposed exchange or acquisition of real property interests, and receipt of legal advice related to claims or settlement related to agenda items 12 B, C, and D, and (2) to discuss a personnel matter related to agenda item 13. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Yonce made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Jocassee Gorges WMA – Resolution of Real Property Matter
Mr. McFadden made a motion that DNR transfer the approximately 17 acres claimed by Rocky Bottom Retreat and Conference Center of the Blind at Jocassee Gorges to the Conference Center in exchange for the release of claims and rights against DNR. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously
- Property Acquisition at Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve/WMA in Greenville County
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval to investigate a potential land acquisition adjoining Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve/WMA in Greenville County. Mr. McFadden seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Property Acquisition at Palachucola WMA in Hampton County
Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board give preliminary approval to investigate a potential land acquisition adjoining Palachucola WMA in Hampton County. Mr. McFadden seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The next meeting of the Board will be February 16 in Charleston.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for January 19, 2017 (PDF) have been provided in the Adobe PDF file format. Adobe® Reader® is required to open the above file and is available as a free download from the Adobe® Web site.