SCDNR Board Meeting Minutes
Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Rembert C. Dennis Building, RM 335
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 10:00 a.m., March 25, 2022, 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 Norman Pulliam presided at the meeting. Board members present included Dr. Mark Hartley, Mike Hutchins, Jerry Lee, Carlisle Oxner, Jake Rasor, Jr., and Duane Swygert. Director Boyles and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting
Chairman Norman Pulliam called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chaplain Eric Skidmore, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SC LEAP), offered the invocation.
Mr. Hutchins led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
COL Chisolm Frampton, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, introduced Bill Craver, Patriot’s Point; and Austin Smallwood, Association of Realtors.
COL Frampton reported that there were no requests for comment.
Chairman Pulliam asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the minutes of the February 17, 2022 meeting. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the February 17, 2022 meeting as presented. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Director Boyles commended SSGT Scott Stephens of Law Enforcement Education for his work with the Scholastic Clay Shooting Sports and all the officers who worked to ensure safety at the SCDNR Youth Sporting Clay Open held at the NWTF in Edgefield on March 11-12th.
Director Boyles commended the following Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries staff who assisted when a neighbor’s prescribed burn on their property (with low humidity and high winds) jumped Dupree Road and started a fire on Santee Coastal. The fire burned approximately 374 acres on DNR as well as on the TNC Washoo Reserve property. The conditions made stopping the fire difficult as the high winds were blowing embers across DNR disked firelines and igniting fires in the next block. Once this was realized Biologist Achi Treptow sent out a text to staff for anyone available to come in to assist. Staff began rolling in immediately around 5:00 p.m. and the below staff came back to work (none had even eaten supper) to fight the fire. Word had gotten to Yawkey staff as well as some staff from Bonneau Ferry. Three pumper units rolled in, and staff was dressed in firefighting attire and ready to go. Everyone gathered around a large map and Achi laid out a game plan to each team and it was executed to perfection. Some staff mopped up fire with pumper units, some staff disked fire lines, some staff lit backfires to contain the head fire, some blacked out areas so they would not reignite, some cut down trees on fire that could not be put out with the pumper unit, and a heavy equipment operator had the bulldozer on the trailer and on site poised to offload at a moment’s notice. At about 10:00 PM the task had been completed and the headfire successfully stopped (thanks in part to the Washoo Reserve also). This was truly a team effort executed like professionals with no outside assistance from other agencies.
Sam Chappelear, Assistant Chief of Wildlife (Regions 2&4)
Santee Coastal Staff
Achi Treptow, Zoey Thomas, Vincent Knowlton, Gunnar Kloth, Alex Marshall, Tanner Adair, Ovi Caradinta, Ashley Nelson
Ricky Deavers and Roger Adams
Caroline Guerry, Joseph Woods and Jackson Bogardus
Bonneau Ferry Staff
Director Boyles commended Joey Frazier, Cindy Thompson and Kathy Diaz of the Office of Media and Outreach on the South Carolina Wildlife magazine being selected by the South Carolina State Library as one of the 2021 South Carolina Notable State Documents.
Director Boyles commended Dr. Denise Sanger and staff of the Marine Resources Division for their work in the Port Royal Sound Foundation’s inaugural research symposium. They were commended and recognized by Dean Moss, Chairman of the Port Royal Sound Foundation.
Land, Water and Conservation
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee met March 2, 2022 at Geological Survey. The Advisory Committee received program updates, a presentation on recent earthquake activity in Kershaw County, acknowledged Tom Garrison for 40 years of service, and approved conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments for recommendation to the Board.
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Hutchins reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee held a teleconference meeting on March 15. The Advisory Committee approved the migratory bird season recommendations, as presented and recommended by staff.
Hope Mizzell, Land, Water and Conservation Division, gave a summary of winter weather. Dr. Mizzell provided an update of drought conditions in the state. Dr. Mizzell provided rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflow, lake levels, groundwater monitoring wells around the state, precipitation forecast and temperature forecast.
Director Boyles reminded the Board that their Statement of Economic Interest Forms are due to the State Ethics Commission by March 30, 2022.
Director Boyles reviewed the list of the FY 2023 budget request. This included a list (behind the Item(s) for Board Information tab of the packet) of requests for non-recurring funds in case the agency can request additional items.
Director Boyles shared statistics with the Board from the Go Outdoors South Carolina app included with the new license system.
Kevin Ryan, Director of Government Affairs, reported on Act 124 – Idle Speed and S 2 DHEC Restructuring.
Lorianne Riggin, Director, Office of Environmental Programs, informed the Board of the April 5, 2022 Welcome Back the Birds Celebration at Crab Bank. Mrs. Riggin briefed the Board on the Edge Road Mine proposed project near Lewis Ocean Bay; and the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project.
- Law Enforcement
No further report.
- Marine Resources
No further report.
No further report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
No further report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reviewed the latest turkey harvest report
Approval of Expenditure from Mitigation Trust Fund – St. Stephen’s Fish Lift Operations
Ross Self, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, reviewed the request for approval of expenditure from Mitigation Trust Fund – St. Stephen’s Fish Lift Operations, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Oxner made a motion that the DNR Board approve the expenditure of $710,000 from the St. Stephen’s Fish Lift Mitigation account to support operation of the fish lift at St. Stephens. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Migratory Bird Season Recommendations
Billy Dukes, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, reviewed the 2022-2023 Migratory Bird Season Recommendations, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the DNR Board approve the Migratory Bird Season Recommendations, as approved and recommended by the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Increase of Funds for Stabilization of Poinsett Bridge Project
Sean Taylor, Land, Water and Conservation Division, reviewed the request for Increase of Fund for Stabilization of Poinsett Bridge Project, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Rasor made a motion that the SCDNR Board upon the recommendation of the Heritage Trust Advisory Board approve an additional $549,970 from the Heritage Trust Fund for the Poinsett Bridge Stabilization and Improvement Project. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Charles Ruth, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Dvision, reviewed the history of deer seasons, the deer restoration program, the differences in upstate and lowcountry seasons. Mr. Ruth informed the Board on the public meetings in 1997 and the 2007 and 2013 reduction of game zones. Mr. Ruth noted that some issues with extending the season later into January are antler shedding, fetus start growing rapidly during that time, and the potential loss of small game hunting opportunities. After some discussion, Mr. Hutchins requested that this item be discussed at the May 24, 2022 Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee meeting.
Urban/Suburban Deer Management
Mr. Ruth provided the Board with a history of the Sea Pines urban/suburban deer management and referred to the 300-page report to CSA, the property management for Sea Pines. This report recommended removal of deer, which requires the community to pay for the removal and the processing of the deer for donation. This item will be discussed further at the May 19, 2022 DNR Board meeting.
Property Acquisition Lancaster County – Acceptance of Donation
Mrs. Riggin reviewed the proposed property acquisition in Lancaster County via donation, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Oxner made a motion that the DNR Board, upon the recommendation of SCDNR staff, approve the acquisition, by donation from Haile Gold Mine, of the Sediment Tract, a 57-acre tract in Lancaster County to be established as the Flat Creek Public Dove Field, subject to standard due diligence and external approvals, and authorize expenditure of up to $20,000 in Wildlife Coordination Conservation Bank funds to conduct due diligence if needed. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board go into executive session pursuant to SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(2) to discuss contractual matters and legal advice related to Item(s) for Board Action G, H, I, and J and SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(1) to discuss appointments related to item K.
Mr. Swygert made a motion that the DNR Board return to open session, noting that no action was taken during executive session. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Patriot’s Point Conservation Easement
No action was taken on this item.
Potential Property Acquisition in Greenville County
Mr. Rasor made a motion that the SCDNR Board accept the recommendation as approved by the Heritage Trust Advisory Board and grant preliminary approval to investigate the potential purchase of approximately 294.65 acres in Greenville County that would be dedicated as a heritage preserve and placed into the corpus of the SC Heritage Trust, and the expenditure of up to $20,000 of Heritage Trust funds for associated due diligence activities. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Property Acquisition in Georgetown County
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the SCDNR Board, upon the recommendation of SCDNR staff and subject to standard due diligence, grant final approval to purchase approximately 1,861 acres in Georgetown County known as Santee Island. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Potential Property Acquisition in Lee/Sumter Counties
Mr. Lee made a motion that the SCDNR Board, upon the recommendation of SCDNR staff, grant preliminary approval to evaluate a potential property acquisition of approximately 790 acres in Lee and Sumter Counties. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Conservation District Commissioner Appointments/Reappointments
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board approve the following conservation district commissioner appointments, as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
Steven Chassereau, Bamberg – 3/25/22 – 3/25/26
James Blackwell, Greenville – 3/25/22 – 1/31/25
Hugh Caldwell, Lexington – 3/25/22 – 1/31/23
Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board approve the following conservation district commissioner reappointments, as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
Margaret Harrison, Greenville – 3/25/22 – 3/25/26
Barbara Padget, Lexington – 9/27/21 – 9/27/25
Lee Keese, Oconee – 3/25/22 – 3/5/26
B. Louise Hughes, Orangeburg – 1/4/22 – 1/4/26
Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board approve the following Commissioner Emeritus, as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
Dwight E. Davis, Lexington
Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The Board will be holding a workshop April 21, 2022 at Belfast WMA.
The Board will be holding a workshop April 21, 2022 at Belfast WMA.
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for March 25, 2022 (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.