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., June 16, 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. (via telephone), 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 Dave Tafaoa, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program (SC LEAP), offered the invocation.
Mr. Hutchins led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Angie Cassella, Deputy Director for Administration, introduced Bill Craver, General Counsel, Patriots Point Development Authority and Wayne Adams, Vice Chair, Patriots Point Development Authority.
Mrs. Cassella informed the Board that Mr. Craver requested to make comments to the Board. Mr. Craver’s comments were pertaining to the conservation easement at Patriots Point.
Chairman Pulliam asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the minutes of the May 19, 2022 Board meeting. Dr. Hartley made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the May 19, 2022 Board meeting as presented. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Director Boyles commended Alix Pedraza, Diversity Outreach Manager of the Division of Administration, for her recognition by Upstate Forever’s Upstate Advocate publication as one of Six Extraordinary Women Leading the Upstate to a Green, Vibrant, and Prosperous Future.
Director Boyles commended Lara Backman of Titling and Registration of the Division of Administration who was recognized by a constituent in an email to the Director as an “Exceptional DNR Employee” and commended for her assistance in registering his boat.
Director Boyles commended Ross Self and Freshwater Fisheries staff for showing Governor Henry Dargan McMaster around Dargan Pond named for his family.
Director Boyles commended LCPL Zach Tatum of Law Enforcement who was recognized for his actions on Lake Robinson of Greenville County over Memorial Day weekend when he while on patrol spotted what appeared to be a person bobbing in the middle of the lake and came to their aid and prevented what could have been a potential drowning.
Director Boyles commended LCPL Shawn Hanna of Law Enforcement who was recognized for his professionalism and thoroughness over the years along 18 Mile Creek (Lake Hartwell) by a constituent who contacted LCPL Hanna for an explanation of the new wake laws.
Director Boyles commended the DNR Law Enforcement Honor Guard members who were recognized and commended by State Forester Scott Phillips of the SC Forestry Commission for their participation in kicking off the Southern Group of State Foresters Annual Meeting in Greenville.
Director Boyles gave the Board a brief budget update. Director Boyles reviewed the updated spreadsheet, as provided to the Board.
Director Boyles commended staff of Yawkey Center for preparing and accommodating the recent visits by the Yawkey Foundation.
Director Boyles commended Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, for her testimony before the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on S 2194, Coastal Habitat Conservation Act of 2021.
Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Hutchins reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met May 24, 2022 at Wateree Range. The Committee received reports and presentations on the 2022 Turkey Season Results and Harvest Reporting Summary, Robust Redhorse and 2021-2022 Category 1 Waterfowl Hunter Survey results. The Advisory Committee passed a motion to recommend keeping deer season dates in their current form.
Hope Mizzell, Land, Water and Conservation Division, reported on 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.
Botany and Plant Conservation Program
Keith Bradley, Land, Water and Conservation Division, gave the Board a brief presentation on the Botany and Plant Conservation Program. The presentation included information on the preservation of rare plants and that some only grow in South Carolina. Mr. Bradley reviewed DNR’s efforts on plant conservation and the program’s focus on Heritage Preserves. Mr. Bradley shared that data revision has added newly tracked species and how the data is working for conservation, by plant reintroductions and plant management. Mr. Bradley also reviewed future goals of the Botany and Plant Conservation Program.
Personnel Item – Director Annual Review
This item will be deferred until executive session.
Kevin Ryan, Director of Government Affairs, reported that the budget reports of the Conference Committee have been adopted and the budget has gone to the Governor. The General Assembly will be back on June 28 to take up Governor’s vetoes on the budget.
Nothing further to report.
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Nothing further to report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mrs. Cope shared photos of the recent Cat Island dedication to SCDNR from the Yawkey Foundation.
- Law Enforcement
Nothing further to report.
- Marine Resources
Blaik Keppler, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported on the closing of shellfish season (May 31) and the opening of shrimp season (June 1).
Contribution to Ducks Unlimited Canada
Mrs. Cope reviewed the proposed contribution to Ducks Unlimited Canada, as included in the meeting packet. Dr. Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board approve the $46,356.68 requested contribution to Ducks Unlimited Canada as required by S.C. Code Section 50-9-920(B). Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Approval of FY 23 Duck Stamp Budget
Mrs. Cope reviewed the proposed FY 2023 Duck Stamp Budget as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the DNR Board approve the FY 2023 Duck Stamp Budget, in the amount of $400,763.00, as requested by staff. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Use of Wildlife Endowment Fund
Mrs. Cassella reviewed the proposed request for use of Wildlife Endowment Fund, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Lee made a motion that upon the recommendation of DNR Staff, the DNR Board approve the Use of Wildlife Endowment Fund, not to exceed $305,000.00, to fund personal services, employer contributions and other operating expenditures of the Hunting and Fishing License Section and other operating expenditures of the Marine Resources Operations Office, as presented. Dr. Hartley seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the DNR Board go into executive session pursuant to SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(1) to discuss personnel issues related to Item(s) for Board Information C - Personnel Item – Director Annual Review, and appointments related to Item(s) for Board Action E - Marine Advisory Committee Appointments and SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(2) to discuss contractual matters and legal advice related to Item(s) for Board Action D – Patriots Point Conservation Easement Proposal. Dr. Hartley seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the DNR Board return to open session, noting that no action was taken during executive session. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Patriots Point Conservation Easement Proposal
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the DNR Board, upon the recommendation of SCDNR staff, approve the extension of the existing Patriots Point Conservation Easement in Charleston County for an additional 25-year term beginning January 21, 2023, and ending January 20, 2048, and allow SCDNR staff to continue conversations with Patriots Point Development Authority on proposed amendments that may be considered at a later date. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Marine Advisory Committee Appointments
Mr. Swygert made a motion that the DNR Board approve the following appointments to the Marine Advisory Committee: Mary Paige Adams, to a four-year term beginning on July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2026 and John Paul Cribb, to a four-year term beginning on July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2026 as recommended by staff. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for June 16, 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.