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, November 21, 2019, 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 Keith Hinson, Mike Hutchins, Dr. Mark Hartley, Carlisle Oxner, Jake Rasor, Jr. and Duane Swygert. Interim 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.
Rev. Eric Skidmore, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program, offered the invocation.
Mike Hutchins led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
CPT Robert McCullough, Director, Office of Media and Outreach, introduced Clay Duffie, General Manager of Mt. Pleasant Waterworks; Scott Whitaker, CCA; Austin Smallwood, SC Realtors; and Sammy Fretwell, The State.
CPT McCullough stated that Mr. Duffie has requested to make comments. Mr. Duffie’s comments were directed toward water planning and funding.
Chairman Pulliam asked if there were any additions, deletions or corrections to the September 20, 2019 meeting minutes. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the September 20, 2019 meeting as presented. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board go into executive session pursuant to SC Code Section 30-4-70(A)(1) to discuss a personnel matter related to Item 8. Dr. Hartley seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board return to open session. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Appointment of Agency Head
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board appoint Robert H. Boyles, Jr. as agency Director and to submit this appointment to the Senate for advice and consent. Dr. Hartley seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Interim Director Boyles commended the 2019 Officer of the Year and all the regional Law Enforcement Officers of the Year: L/CPL Stephen Bryant was recognized for Region 3 and as the 2019 Statewide Officer of the year. Regional recipients were: LCPL Michael Davis, Region 1; PFC Brian Urquhart, Region 2; SGT Freddie Earhart, Region 4; SSGT Tony Spires, Investigations Section Officer of the Year; and SSGT Ray Lewis, NASBLA (National Association of State Boating Law Administrators) Officer of the Year.
Interim Director Boyles commended staff across the agency who hosted the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) 73rd Annual Fall Meeting on October 27-30 held at the Marriott Resort in Hilton Head and had over 700 attendees at this very successful meeting.
Interim Director Boyles congratulated retired Director Alvin Taylor on his receipt of the C.W. Watson Award from the SEAFWA which was presented to him during the SEAFWA meeting at Hilton Head. The C.W. Watson Award is the most prestigious award given in the Southeast and is presented to the career individual who has made the greatest contribution to wildlife or fish conservation during the previous year or years.
Interim Director Boyles congratulated Land, Water and Conservation Division's Tyler Brown who was recognized by the Clemson Young Alumni Council and presented with their Roaring 10 young alumni award recognizing 10 outstanding young alumni for their influence in business, leadership, community, education and philanthropic endeavors.
Interim Director Boyles congratulated Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division’s Pamela Corwin who was recognized by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) as one of five writers who were selected to receive the inaugural ASA Angling Awareness Award.
Interim Director Boyles commended Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division staff Joseph Woods and Michael Blanton who were recognized for their assistance with a stranded boat on South Island beach during very rough ocean and high tides. The boat had lost an engine and was forced into shallow water and stuck on the bottom. Joseph and Michael waded out to chest deep water and were able to get the two elderly people off the boat and ashore safely.
Interim Director Boyles commended Law Enforcement Officers Tommy Buckhannon and Hunter Burton who were commended in a letter from Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Solicitor Jimmy A. Richardson, II for their assistance in the search for the remains of a victim in the Fifteenth Circuit. Solicitor Richardson noted that "These two agents worked tirelessly throughout the search with the same vigor and resolve that I’ve come to expect from DNR."
Interim Director Boyles commended Law Enforcement Officers Jason Davis, Anthony Bowen, David Gaskins, Brian Urquhart and Rick Stevens who were commended in a letter from Darlington County Sheriff Tony Chavis for their assistance in the arrest of two individuals that had been vandalizing and robbing parked vehicles at river landings in Darlington and Florence counties. Sheriff Chavis said, "Thank you for allowing your personnel to work so closely with their law enforcement partners; instilling a culture of courtesy and professionalism to other agencies when in need."
Mr. Swygert reported that the Marine Advisory Committee met September 27 in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received presentations on southern flounder and the Sea Turtle program.
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
Phil Maier, Acting Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met October 15 in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received updates on license sales and flounder. The Advisory Committee received a report on the 5-year review of the Marine Resources Division’s Outreach Program.
- Migratory Waterfowl
Angie Cassella, Deputy Director for Support Services, reported that the Migratory Waterfowl Committee met November 5 in Columbia. Mrs. Cassella noted that there was not a quorum so no official business was conducted. The Committee received a status report and discussed sunsetting of the program.
- Heritage Trust
Mr. Rasor reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Board met August 8 at Parker Annex Archaeology Center in Columbia. The Advisory Board received a presentation on the Cultural Connections: ACE Basin and Lower Wateree. The Advisory Board received a report on a utility easement request on Lewis Ocean Bay Heritage Preserve. The Advisory Board approved a property acquisition project in Pickens County.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Hutchins reported that the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee met November 19 in Columbia. The Advisory Committee received an overview of SC DNR Policy regarding Advisory Committees. The Advisory Committee received a report on deer season dates. The Advisory Committee received updates on blue catfish and striped bass, mottled duck research and legislation.
- Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Mr. Maier reported that the SC Governor's Cup Billfishing Series Advisory Board met November 15 in Charleston. The Advisory Board received a report on the 2019 final revenue and expenditures. The Advisory Board was informed that the Awards Reception date for the 2020 Series is Friday, October 9 at Founder’s Hall. The Advisory Board received an overview of SC DNR Policy regarding Advisory Committees. The Advisory Board passed motions to recommend a reappointment and new appointments; and two rule changes.
Hope Mizzell, Land, Water and Conservation Division, reported on the drought conditions, rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels, ground-water monitoring wells around the state, precipitation forecast and temperature forecast.
Interim Director Boyles, Deputy Director Cassella, Kevin Ryan and Scott Speares met with Sims Floyd, Executive Vice President of the SC Auto Dealers Association and staff at Mr. Floyd’s request in Columbia on October 3 to discuss electronic boat titling.
Interim Director Boyles met with Clay Duffie, General Manager of Mt. Pleasant Waterworks, at his request on October 8 in Charleston to discuss water issues.
Interim Director Boyles met with Jimmy Huggins, President and CEO, and John Powell, Executive Director, of the Southeastern Wildlife Expo on October 8 in Charleston to discuss SEWE future plans.
Interim Director Boyles participated in the FY2020-21 DNR Budget Meeting with Governor’s Office staff on November 5 with Board Chairman Norman Pulliam in attendance.
Interim Director Boyles attended the Governor’s Cabinet Meeting on November 13.
Interim Director Boyles informed the Board of the Edisto Basin Public Hearing on Thursday, November 21, at 6:00-8:00 p.m. at Lovely Hill Convention Center, 5905 W. Jim Bilton Road in St. George, SC, to provide citizens with an overview of a new water planning framework that will guide surface and groundwater management in the Palmetto State over the next 50 years.
Kevin Ryan, Director of Government Relations, reported that the House and Senate are currently prefiling bills. The next prefile date is December 11.
Lorianne Riggin, Director of Office of Environmental Programs, reported on the McClellanville Transmission Line, the New Savannah Bluff Lock and Dam and the Santee Cooper Hydroelectric Project.
- Law Enforcement
COL Chisolm Frampton, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, gave the Board a brief hiring update.
- Marine Resources
Mr. Maier reported on the shrimp disaster declaration and the progress on flounder.
- Division of Administration
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, gave the Board a brief update on water planning.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, gave the Board an update on bear harvest.
- Approval of Resolution to Support the Recovering America's Wildlife Act
Mrs. Cope reviewed the highlights of the current version of the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act and what its benefits will be to South Carolina. Dr. Hartley made a motion that the Board approve the Resolution to Support the Recovering America's Wildlife as presented. Mr. Oxner seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Oxner made a motion that the Board go into Executive Session pursuant to S.C. Code Section 30-4-70(A)(1) and (A)(2) to discuss appointments to advisory boards related to items 12 (B, C, and E) and to discuss contractual matters and receive legal advice related to items 9 (B) and 12 (D). Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Dr. Hartley made a motion that the Board return to open session, noting that no action was taken during executive session. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Law Enforcement Advisory Committee Appointment
Mr. Oxner made a motion that the SC DNR Board upon the recommendation of the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee approve the appointment of Mr. Robert C. "Chuck" Taylor, Jr., 315 Deep River Road, Summerville, SC 29486 to the Law Enforcement Advisory Committee with a term of 11-21-19 to 11-21-22. Mr. Hinson seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Advisory Committee Appointment
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the SC DNR Board approve the following appointment and reappointments as recommended and presented by staff.
New Appointment: Mr. Eddie Kinsey of Anderson, SC - Term limit: 11-21-19 to 11-21- 23
Two Reappointments: Mr. Jonathan Rabon of Galivants Ferry, SC - Term Limit: 11-21- 19 to 11-21-23; Mr. Titus Duren of Eastover, SC – Term Limit: 11-30-19 to 11-30-23
Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Potential Property Acquisition in Oconee County
Mr. Rasor made a motion that the SC DNR Board accept the recommendation as approved by the Heritage Trust Advisory Board to grant preliminary approval to evaluate a potential property acquisition of approximately 793 acres adjoining Stumphouse Mountain Heritage Preserve/WMA in Oconee County. Dr. Hartley seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Conservation District Commissioner Appointment
Mr. Hinson made a motion that the SC DNR Board accept the resignation of Heath Hill, as conservation district commissioner of Richland County Soil and Water Conservation District, effective November 19, 2019. Mr. Swygert seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The next meeting will be held Thursday, January 16, 2020, in Columbia, SC.
Mr. Hinson made a motion that the meeting be adjourned. Mr. Rasor seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for November 21, 2019 (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.