Rembert C. Dennis Building, Room 335
Friday, April 25, 2003
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:30 am, on Friday, April 25, 2003, at 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 M. Lesesne presided at the meeting. Board members present included Dr. Julius Leary, Danny Ford, Ben Gregg, M. Russell Holliday, Jr., Malloy McEachin, and Dr. Douglas Rucker. Mr. John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting, as were various guests.
Chairman Lesesne called the meeting to order at 9:30 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Chairman Lesesne asked for a moment of silent meditation. Chairman Lesesne asked that the group remember Randy Geddings, John Madden and Doug Mellichamp.
Cary Chamblee introduced Angela Viney, Executive Director of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation.
Mr. Frampton commended John Madden on his skills as a pilot to land the disabled Aero Commander with pilot and passenger, Marine Center biologist Doug Mellichamp, surviving.
Mr. Frampton commended Cary Chamblee, Sandy Rucker, Emily Schroeder and all others involved in Paul Sandifer’s retirement party on April 11.
Mr. Frampton congratulated Jim Scurry on receipt of his Ph.D.
Mr. Frampton congratulated the Law Enforcement Division for receiving the 2002 State Litter Campaign Award from the SC Law Enforcement Litter Association.
Mr. Frampton referred to a letter of commendation from the Friends of Congaree Swamp for John Cely and Corp. Stephanie Brown’s assistance in a search and rescue.
Mr. Frampton thanked the Deputy Directors, Cary Chamblee and staff for their support and efforts in briefing him on programs over the past month.
VI. Advisory Committee Reports
A. Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series
Dr. Miglarese reported that the Governor’s Cup Bill Fishing Series Advisory Board had a very good meeting and asked Board Members to please put the joint banquet of the Governor’s Cup and Harry Hampton on their calendar for August 16, 2003.
B. Land, Water and Conservation
Dr. Rucker reported that the Land, Water and Conservation Division’s Advisory Committee met April 16 in Columbia. The chair of the Darlington Conservation District discussed the new Coker Farms Interpretive Center that recently opened in Hartsville. An update on the Pee Dee Land Trust which works with landowners in that region to protect natural areas, preserve important agricultural lands and sustain our longstanding outdoor traditions was also received. Barry Beasley reviewed the State Scenic Rivers Program’s activities. A management plan is under development for our newest State Scenic River, the Great Pee Dee. The Ashley River’s management plan has just been published with non-agency funds and the Broad River’s plan is out for public review. Dr. Madilyn Fletcher, Director of USC’s Baruch Institute, reviewed the Carolina’s Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System. This federally funded project will develop reliable forecasting tools to predict storm surge and coastal flooding models before and during coastal storms. Milt Brown, our State Climatologist, told us to expect a dry May, with above normal temperatures this summer and average rainfall. Dr. Gray has predicted 12 named storms. Conservation District Area Meetings were started this week and will continue next week to establish priorities for the conservation districts and their partners during these lean budget times. Danny Johnson reviewed the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s process to relicense non-federal hydropower facilities along our major rivers. The committee also discussed recent legislation in Georgia to privatize the ownership of water. The Advisory Committee is very concerned that this will affect South Carolina waters – both groundwater and surface in the Savannah basin. So, following a lively discussion of inter and intrastate water issues, the Advisory Board unanimously voted to ask the DNR Board to recommend to Governor Sanford that he reconstitute a Governor's Water Law Review Committee. A similar committee was created by Governor Riley 20 years ago and made its report in 1982. The report was well received by the General Assembly and many of the laws we operate under today were a product of the report. Dr. Rucker then made the a motion that the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Board respectfully requests that Governor Mark Sanford appoint a Water Law Review Committee to assess the current situation with respect to the state’s water law. Mr. Gregg seconded the motion. Mr. Vang provided further explanation to the Board. After some discussion, the Board decided to delay the vote until after some of the legal issues are discussed in Executive Session.
A. Lake Ashwood Regulation Change
Val Nash reviewed the proposed change in regulation for Lake Ashwood in Lee County. Mr. Nash explained that the change would be to allow the use of minnows. Mr. Ford made a motion that the Board approve the proposed regulation change for Lake Ashwood. Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
B. Belvue Springs Heritage Preserve Management Plan
Stuart Greeter reviewed the proposed management plan for Belvue Springs Heritage Preserve in northern Greenville County. Mr. Ford made a motion that the Board approve the proposed Belvue Springs Heritage Preserve management plan as presented. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
VIII. Director’s Briefings
Derrick Meggie reported on the budget as proposed by the House of Representatives. Mr. Meggie then reviewed several provisos that were recommended by the Senate Finance Committee and will be considered by the full Senate in its budget debate.
IX. Deputy Directors’ Reports
1. Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Billy McTeer reported that staff have sampled approximately 100 brain stems from white-tailed deer for CWD. All samples were negative. Mr. McTeer referred to a news release concerning the sale of freshwater turtles in North Carolina. North Carolina is in the process of passing a law to prohibit the capture/commercialization of this species. Mr. McTeer stated that they feel a regulation can be passed in South Carolina to prohibit the commercialization of this species. Mr. McTeer noted that the Wildlife Section is working with Cornell University on a research project regarding northern pintail.
2. Law Enforcement
Col. Wright reviewed the various activities of the Law Enforcement Division for the past month.
3. Conservation Education and Communications
Carole Collins reported that the Garden Clubs of South Carolina presented their Presidential Service Award to Steve Bates, Dan DuPre and BeBe Harrison for their work with Camp Wildwood.
4. Marine Resources
John Miglarese stated that he had one contractual item of Executive Session.
5. Land, Water and Conservation
Freddy Vang announced that the Drought Advisory Committee met this week and determined that the drought is over.
X. Director’s Briefings
Mr. Frampton represented the Department before the Senate Finance Committee on April 2.
Mr. Frampton met with Senator John Kuhn on April 3, to discuss his bill to increase fees.
Mr. Frampton attended the Law Enforcement Captains’ meeting on April 4. He has also attended two other Law Enforcement District meetings.
Mr. Frampton attended the Counter Terrorism Coordinating Council meeting on April 4, along with Col. Wright. He participated in the Counter Terrorism Coordinating Council conference call to discuss the 2003 Budget for Homeland Security.
Mr. Frampton went to the Marine Center on April 9, to meet with John Miglarese and attend the Marine Division’s general staff meeting.
Mr. Frampton met with Earl Hunter, DHEC Commissioner, on April 14 to discuss issues of mutual interest.
Mr. Frampton attended the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee meeting on April 16.
Mr. Frampton met with Robert Barber and Ken Driggers of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation on April 17 to discuss the Jocassee Gorges Palmetto Trail project.
Mr. Frampton met with Senator Land on April 23 to discuss issues of interest to the Department.
XI. Executive Session
At this time Mr. Gregg made a motion that the Board hold an Executive Session to discuss contractual, legal and personnel matters.
XII. Return to Regular Session
Dr. Rucker made a motion that the Board approve the conservation district commissioner appointments/reappointments as presented. (copy attached to original minutes) Mr. McEachin seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McEachin made a motion that it be the policy of Department of Natural Resources Board that any “appointed position” vacancy on any Soil and Water Conservation District Commission Board be filled before any “elected position” vacancy is filled. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. McEachin made a motion that the Board reconsider the adoption of the minutes of the March 28, 2003 minutes as presented in the Board Package and adopt the minutes with the inclusion of the completed page 2, which was distributed during the meeting (copy attached to original minutes). Dr. Rucker seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Rucker then made the a motion that the S.C. Department of Natural Resources Board respectfully requests that Governor Mark Sanford appoint a Water Law Review Committee to assess the current situation with respect to the state’s water law. Ms. Holliday seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
XIII. Time and Location of the Next Meeting
Chairman Lesesne stated that the next meeting of the DNR Board will be held on Friday, May 16, 2003, at the Rembert C. Dennis Building in Columbia, beginning at 9:30 a.m.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.