SCDNR Board Meeting Minutes
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held in-person and by videoconference at 10:00 am, September 24, 2020. 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 Dave Tafaoa, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program offered the invocation.
Mr. Hutchins led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Chairman Pulliam welcomed newly appointed Board member, Jerry Lee, to his first meeting. Chairman Pulliam thanked Mr. Hinson for his service on the Board.
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, introduced Scott Whitaker, Coastal Conservation Association.
Mrs. Cope informed the Board that Mr. Whitaker has requested to comment to the Board. Mr. Whitaker’s comments were directed toward the flounder management recommendations.
Chairman Pulliam asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the August 20 meeting minutes. Mr. Swygert made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the August 20, 2020 meeting with the following amendment.
Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve – Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority Contract for Waterline Easement
Van Whitehead, Assistant General Counsel, reviewed the Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve – Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority Contract for Waterline Easement, as included in the meeting packet. Mr. Rasor made a motion that the DNR Board accept the recommendation of the Heritage Trust Advisory Board and approve the proposed Contract for Sale of Waterline Easement with Grand Strand Water and Sewer Authority at Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Michael Hook and Breck Carmichael, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division, presented The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative’s National Fire Bird Conservation Award to Billy Dukes.
Director Boyles congratulated CPT Robert McCullough on his recent retirement.
Director Boyles commended staff as follows for 2020 Association of Conservation
Information (ACI) Winners:
First Place – Website
Hurricane Hugo’s 30 Anniversary – Kaley Nevin, Melissa Griffin, Tanner Arrington and Megan James
First Place – Magazine
For the second year in a row!
South Carolina Wildlife – Joey Frazier, Kathy Diaz and Cindy Thompson
Second Place – Best Social Presence
SCDNR Social Media – Kaley Nevin, Erin Weeks, David Lucas and Greg Lucas
Second Place – Conservation Post of the Year
Flip a Crab, Save a Life! – Erin Weeks and Kaitlyn Huckathorn
The Wildlife Society - Wildlife Society Diversity Award
SCDNR Diversity Outreach – Alix Pedraza and Keya Jackson
Director Boyles commended Amanda Stroud and Kristen Coulter of the Office of Media and Outreach for their assistance with the new DNR internal online event titled “Coffee and Conversation with Director Boyles” during which staff were invited to reserve time to talk with the Director about anything.
Director Boyles commended Law Enforcement Officers Dale Tanner and Thomas Buckhannon who were recognized by the US Coast Guard at a ceremony on September 4 when they were presented with the US Coast Guard Certificate of Merit. This presentation was for their life-saving efforts upon discovering an operator of a personal watercraft unconscious in the water with a significant brain injury.
Director Boyles commended Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Law Enforcement staff for their efforts in a successful opening day of dove season.
Director Boyles commended Marine Resources staff for their partnership with DHEC on a proposed regulation regarding living shorelines. Acting Director Marshall Taylor stated that DNR has been a great partner on that effort and that was clear from OCRMs presentation.
- Climate Update
Dr. Hope Mizzell, Land, Water and Conservation Division, reported on Hurricane Sally. Dr. Mizzell reported on the drought conditions, rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflow, lake levels, ground-water monitoring wells around the state, precipitation forecast and temperature forecast.
- Mitigation Banking Overview
Lorianne Riggin, Director, Office of Environmental Programs, gave the Board a brief presentation on the overview on mitigation banks. The overview included the definition, steps for development, construction, monitoring and several examples.
Mr. Swygert made a motion that the DNR Board go into executive session pursuant to SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(1) and (A)(2) to discuss personnel issues related to Items for Board Information F and to discuss contractual matters related to Items for Board Information E. Mr. Lee seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Oxner made a motion that the DNR Board return to open session, noting that no action was taken during executive session. Mr. Hutchins seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Flounder Management Recommendations
Phil Maier, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, gave a brief presentation entitled "A Path to Recovery for Southern Flounder". The presentation showed that the population is at an historic low; the methods used to reach constituents; possible paths to recover and recommendations from the Marine Advisory Committee. Mr. Oxner made a motion that the DNR Board endorse the recommendations from the Marine Advisory Committee which recommend reducing the bag limit to two fish, reduce the boat limit to six fish, maintain the 15-inch minimum size and implement a July 1 through October 31 season. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Santee River Basin Flooding Concerns
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation gave the Board a brief presentation on the Santee River Basin flooding concerns. Mr. Rentiers’ presentation included a basin overview, drainage areas, general high inflow event reservoir operations, historic annual rainfall in the basin, streamflow levels for January – August 2020 in the Basin.
- Dewees Island Update
This item was deferred until executive session.
- Personnel Issues
This item was deferred until executive session
Director Boyles distributed and reviewed the FY 2021-2022 budget request.
Director Boyles reported that, to date, 26 employees have reported testing positive with Covid-19. Director Boyles informed the Board that 60% of employees are reporting to their work site.
Director Boyles participated, virtually, on a Congressional Great American Outdoors Act panel.
Kevin Ryan, Director of Government Affairs, reported that the Native Reptiles and Amphibians bill, the Apprentice Hunting License bill and the Duck Stamp Print Program bill are all on the Governor’s desk awaiting signature.
Nothing further to report.
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Nothing further to report.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mrs. Cope distributed and reviewed the public dove field opening day results.
- Law Enforcement
COL Chisolm Frampton, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, gave a brief Law Enforcement Division update.
Mr. Maier reported that they are currently looking for areas to consider regulations as opposed to developing legislation. Mr. Maier gave the Board an update on CARES grants.
Eva Smith, Director of Human Resources, briefly reviewed the proposed updated policies. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the DNR Board approve the update to policies 701.03, 701.04, 702.03, 703.01, 703.03, 704.06, 704.07, 704.08, 704.09,705.02 and 705.03, as recommended by staff. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The Board will be holding a workshop on October 22, 2020. The next meeting will be held on November 19, 2020.
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 September 24, 2020 (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.