Board of the Department of Natural Resources
Marine Resources Division
217 Ft. Johnson Road
February 18, 2011, 9:00 am
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:00 a.m. on Friday, February 18, 2011, in the Marine Resources Division classroom, Charleston, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Mike McShane presided at the meeting. Board members present in Charleston included John Evans, Norman Pulliam and Caroline Rhodes. Board members Michael Campbell and Frank Murray participated by videoconference from Columbia. Board member Stephen Davis’ absence was excused. Director John Frampton and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
- Call to Order
Chairman Mike McShane called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Rev. Rob Dewey, Coastal Crisis Chaplaincy, offered the invocation.
- Pledge of Allegiance
Vice Chairman Michael Campbell led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
- Introduction of Guests
Don Winslow, Chief of Staff, introduced Jim Goller, Executive Director, Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund; Ben Turetzky, Friends of Lake Keowee Society (FOLKS); Representative Peter McCoy; Representative Ted Vick; Douglas Ford, Research Director, Senate Fish, Game and Forestry Committee; and Senator Mike Rose.
Jim Goller, representing the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, presented the Department with a symbolic check in the amount of $71, 900 for 2011 projects.
- Constituent Comments
Representative Peter McCoy informed the group that he is new to the General Assembly and offered his assistance in any way possible.
Representative Ted Vick, Chairman of the House Wildlife subcommittee, complimented Chairman McShane and Director Frampton for their efforts with the subcommittee.
Mr. Ben Turetzky, Friends of Lake Keowee Society, made a brief presentation to the Board about the proposed Palmetto Pointe Commercial Marina on Lake Keowee and their concern about boating safety issues. The Society would like DNR to review transcripts of the Public Hearing, conducted by DHEC, and make an onsite visit to assess the safety issues. Director Frampton instructed staff to conduct an onsite visit and report back to the Board at the March meeting.
- Approval of Minutes
Chairman McShane asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the January 12, 2011, meeting minutes. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the January 12, 2011, meeting as submitted. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Advisory Committee Reports
- Heritage Trust Advisory Committee
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met February 3, 2011. The Advisory Committee received updates on the deer management issue and the two most recent property acquisitions.
- Waterfowl Advisory Committee
Breck Carmichael, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported that the Waterfowl Advisory Committee met February 8, 2011, at Bennett’s Point. The Advisory Committee received results from the 2010 waterfowl harvest on WMA’s and the midwinter survey. The Advisory Committee received a report on aquatic plant management activities and Mr. Carmichael noted that the draft plan is now in the comment period. The Advisory Committee received an update on the 2011 legislative initiatives and a report on waterfowl hunting as related to enforcement. The Advisory Committee suggested that a river hunter stakeholder group be established and use the same process as the striped bass group.
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met on February 10, 2011, in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received updates on the budget and license sales. The Advisory Committee discussed fees and recommended to the Board and others to consider the possibility of raising nonresident fees by $5.00. The Advisory Committee passed a motion to approve the $100,000 shore-based angler grant proposal for a fishing access area in Jasper County. Mr. Boyles noted that an MOU will have to be developed for this project. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board approve the $100,000 shore-based angler grant proposal for a fishing access area in Jasper County and directed staff to develop the required legal documents. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Items for Board Information
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, reviewed rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
- Constituent Comment
Senator Mike Rose informed the Board that he has authored two bills to reallocate certain funds. S538 would transfer the Water Recreational Resource funds to the school districts of the counties; and S407 would transfer 10% of other funds to the General Fund and funds be appropriated to Medicaid, K-12 education, disabled children, criminal and civil justice systems, and law enforcement and public safety.
- Executive Session
At this time, At the request of Director Frampton, to review a legal and potential contractual matter, Mr. Pulliam made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session to discuss legal and personnel matters. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Open Session
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board return to regular session and noted that no actions were taken in Executive Session. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion to authorize staff to utilize up to $20,000 from the Reedy River Mitigation Trust Fund to conduct due diligence activities for a potential acquisition in Laurens County along the Reedy River. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Rhodes made a motion that the Board approve the sale of 13.71 acres of SC DNR land in Colleton County to SC DOT for the widening of US Highway 17. Mr. Evans seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Item for Board Information
Shellfish Mapping Update
Ms. Kris Schulte gave the Board a brief presentation on the recent Oyster Reassessment. Ms. Shulte explained that this project was undertaken to create an accurate map of the oyster resources, noting that oyster acreages have been calculated from 1980’s data. The updated information leads to more effective management decisions and ensures accurate fees are charged to commercial harvesters. Ms. Shulte described the methods used to update the data and noted that the transition from the old survey data to the new data is underway. This transition will take approximately one year to implement and will allow permit holders to ask questions about new acreages, fees and requirements; change boundaries to reduce fees; and potentially acquire new areas. Mr. Evans made a motion that the Board's position is that any revenue from Culture Permit Areas is considered license revenue. Mrs. Rhodes seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Director's Briefings
Mr. Frampton gave the Board a brief budget update.
Mr. Frampton reminded the Board that the Statement of Economic Interests forms are due by April 15.
Derrick Meggie, Director of Legislative Services, reviewed legislation introduced during the past week.
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, distributed copies of a letter regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the Savannah Harbor Expansion Project. Mr. Perry distributed and briefly reviewed copies of the public notice for I-73. Mr. Perry also distributed and reviewed copies of a summary for the proposed Haile Gold Mine Project
- Deputy Directors’ Reports
- Outreach and Support Services
Carole Collins, Deputy Director for Outreach and Support Services, reminded the Board that the date for the Palmetto Sportsmen’s Classic is March 25-27, 2011.
- Marine Resources
Mr. Boyles gave the Board a brief report on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s Snapper Grouper Amendment 17A & B and the effects on the black sea bass fishery. Mr. Boyles gave the Board an update on the status of the cold water temperatures offshore.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, gave the Board an update on the status of the State Water Plan and the Corps of Engineers Savannah River Comprehensive Study.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Mr. Carmichael distributed and reviewed the results of the 2008 – 2010 public alligator hunting seasons. Mr. Carmichael informed the Board that there have been discussions on holding public alligator harvests on WMA's and shared some of the preliminary options.
- Law Enforcement
Capt. Chisolm Frampton gave the Board an update on the waterfowl season and the status of hiring the new class of officers.
- Time and Location of the Next Meetings
The March Board meeting will be held Friday, March 25, 2011, in Columbia.
The April Board meeting will be held Thursday, April 14, 2011, in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.