SCDNR Board Meeting Minutes
230 Madren Center Drive
Clemson, SC 29634
The regular meeting of the Board of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources was held at 9:00 am, November 4, 2016, at Madren Conference Center, Clemson, SC. Notice of the date, time and place of the meeting was posted and mailed to the news media. Chairman Cary Chastain presided at the meeting. Board members present included Michael Hutchins, Glenn McFadden, Norman Pulliam and Elizabeth Willis. Board members Keith Hinson and Larry Yonce's absences were excused. Director Alvin Taylor and staff members of the Department of Natural Resources were present at the meeting.
Chairman Cary Chastain called the meeting to order and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Rev. Steve Shugart, SC Law Enforcement Assistance Program, offered the invocation.
Norman Pulliam led the group in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Breck Carmichael, Special Assistant to the Director, introduced Doug Young, Lake Hartwell Association and Roddey Gettys, Pickens Soil and Water Conservation District Commissioner.
Mr. Carmichael reported that Mr. Gettys and Mr. Young have requested to address the Board.
Mr. Gettys welcomed the Board to Clemson. Mr. Gettys thanked the Board and Department staff for their work. Mr. Gettys spoke about watershed dams and reported that the Southeast Conference of Conservation Districts will be held in Greenville in 2017.
Mr. Young spoke of the Department's budget problems. Mr. Young touched on road conditions and road closures in Jocassee Gorges. Mr. Young suggested a "fee for use" system for some of the roads in Jocassee Gorges which would offset some expenses for keeping the roads open longer. Mr. Young suggested putting a kayak launching area on Musterground Road in the Thompson River Branch. Mr. Young recommended that DNR be established as the State Water Authority, including the issuance of water withdrawal permits, and have DHEC dealing only with water pollution and public health issues.
Chairman Chastain asked if there were any amendments, additions, deletions or corrections to the September 23, 2016, meeting minutes. Elizabeth Willis made a motion that the Board approve the minutes of the September 23, 2016 meeting as submitted. Glenn McFadden seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Director Taylor commended CPT Robert McCullough and staff of the Media and Outreach Office for receipt of the 2016 SEAFWA Diversity and Inclusion Award for Workforce Diversity & Inclusion.
Director Taylor commended Alix Pedraza of the Media and Outreach Office on her selection by The Wildlife Society as the 2016 recipient of their Diversity Award.
Director Taylor commended PFC Wes Stewart for his selection as the 2016 Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) Wildlife Officer of the Year.
Director Taylor commended all of the regional Law Enforcement Officers of the Year: Region 1 - PFC Ryan Abernathy, Region 2 - PFC Wes Stewart of Lancaster (also named overall Law Enforcement Officer of the Year), Region 3 – PFC Ed Laney Region 4 - LCPL Michael Brock, Law Enforcement Investigations and Education - SSGT J.B. Kinsey and NASBLA Boating Officer of the Year - PFC Jordan Douglas.
- Saltwater Recreational Fisheries
Robert Boyles, Deputy Director for Marine Resources, reported that the Saltwater Recreational Fisheries Advisory Committee met November 1 in Charleston. The Advisory Committee received an update on license revenue; a status report on red drum; and a presentation on the five year Marine Education Outreach.
- Heritage Trust
Ken Rentiers, Deputy Director for Land, Water and Conservation, reported that the Heritage Trust Advisory Committee met by conference call on November 3. The Advisory Committee approved a DOT mitigation project in Aiken County and the early retirement of the bond debt.
Hurricane Matthew Briefing
Director Taylor gave the Board a briefing on agency activities related to Hurricane Matthew. Director Taylor commended all staff involved with rescue and recovery efforts.
Hope Mizzell, State Climatologist, reported that while much of the state is recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew Oconee, Pickens and Anderson counties have reached severe drought stage. Dr. Mizzell reported on rainfall totals, precipitation percentiles, streamflows, lake levels and ground-water monitoring wells around the state.
Summer Harvest of Oysters
Mr. Boyles gave the Board a briefing on the proposed summer harvest of oysters. Mr. Boyles informed the Board that the Department has recommended, to DHEC, that harvested oysters during summer months be restricted to triploids only. This will protect the existing industry from possible summer Vibrio outbreaks and will ensure that only maricultured oysters are marketed in the summer, since triploids do not occur naturally. Mr. Boyles noted that DHEC will review the proposed regulations in December, then the regulations will go to the General Assembly and may likely be in place by summer 2017. Mr. Boyles noted that DHEC's current amendment to the regulation provides for mariculture only, but the potential problem with that is a diploid can be grown mariculturally.
Director Taylor informed the Board that more activities are listed on the detailed agenda.
CPT Mike Sabaka reported that there has been no substantial activity.
Bob Perry, Director of Environmental Programs, briefly reviewed the I-73 project and the Horry County Public Works (International Drive) project.
- Marine Resources
Nothing further to report.
- Outreach and Support Services
Nothing further to report.
- Land, Water and Conservation
Mr. Rentiers gave the Board a brief update on the Surface Water Assessment Project and Flood Mitigation activities. Mr. Rentiers commended Dr. Mizzell, Maria Cox Lamm and staff on their efforts after Hurricane Matthew.
- Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries
Emily Cope, Deputy Director for Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, reported on the coyote incentive program. Mrs. Cope also informed the Board that 47 bears were taken during the upstate season.
- Law Enforcement
COL Chisolm Frampton, Deputy Director for Law Enforcement, gave the Board an update on the hiring process.
- Request for Funds for Pickens County Access Project from Lake Hartwell PCB Settlement Account
Ross Self, Chief of Fisheries, reviewed the proposed project on Twelvemile Creek in Pickens County. Mr. Pulliam made a motion that the Board, as Trustee of the Mitigation Trust Fund, approve the expenditure of $1,495,000 from the Mitigation Trust Fund of South Carolina, South Carolina Recreational Fishing Compensation Plan Funds, Lake Hartwell PCB Settlement, Lake Hartwell Fish Habitat Account. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Turkey Creek Fish Kill Report
Mr. Self reviewed the Turkey Creek Fish Kill report. Mr. McFadden made a motion that the Board accept the Turkey Creek Fish Kill Report as presented. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Gopher Tortoise Relocation in Jasper County
Derrell Shipes, Chief of Wildlife Statewide Projects, Research and Survey, informed the Board that staff are anticipating a request for a permit to relocate gopher tortoises from a site which is being developed as a solar farm in Jasper County to an adjacent property. Mr. Shipes also reviewed the proposed restrictive covenants for the sending and receiving sites. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Department accept the two restrictive covenants in Jasper County associated with the gopher tortoise relocation permit issued as Permit #01-2016 by the Department. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- Heritage Trust Revenue Bond Fund
Derrick Meggie, Deputy Director for Office of Support Services, informed the Board that based on recent Heritage Trust revenue and reasonably anticipated revenue, there will be sufficient funds in the Heritage Trust to cover the early redemption of the Heritage Trust Revenue Bond, Series 2006 and other outstanding obligations and foreseeable anticipated capital or operating needs. Mr. McFadden read the proposed resolution and noted that it would be the foundation of his motion.
Mr. McFadden made a motion that the Department of Natural Resources Board, acting in its own capacity and as the Trustees for the South Carolina Heritage Trust, pursue early resolution of the Heritage Trust Revenue Bond, Series 2006 as described in the resolution and authorize the Chairman to execute the resolution as presented. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
- SCDOT Mitigation Project in Aiken County at Henderson Heritage Preserve
Lorriane Riggin, Office of Environmental Programs, reviewed the proposed project. Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board approve the acquisition, by donation from the Department of Transportation, of the Jackson Tract, a 118.54-acre property in Aiken County to be protected under the Heritage Trust Act and incorporated into the Heritage Trust Program as part of the adjacent Henderson Heritage Preserve, conditional upon the successful completion of all due diligence and approval by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Mr. McFadden seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion for the Board to hold an Executive Session pursuant to SC Code Section 30-4-70 (a)(1) for discussion of Conservation District Commissioner Appointments/Reappointments. Mrs. Willis seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Mr. Hutchins made a motion that the Board return to regular session, noting that no actions were taken during Executive Session. Mr. Pulliam seconded the motion and the motion carried unanimously.
Conservation District Commissioner Appointments/ Reappointments
Mrs. Willis made a motion that the Board approve the conservation district commissioner appointments and reappointments as recommended by the Land, Water and Conservation Advisory Committee.
Appointments: Donald K. Allen, Dillon; and Mendel Smith, Dillon
Reappointments: Stanley Keaton, Abbeville; Diane O. Bosler, Allendale; Landis A. Hiers, Bamberg; Dwight R. Johnson, Chesterfield; Vicky A. Howell, Clarendon; Alton B. Jeffords, Darlington; W. Tolman Salisbury, Dorchester; Malcolm J. O'Neal, Edgefield; English W. Dixon, Horry; Calvin Robertson, Laurens; Don Grant, Lee; Larry Nates, Lexington; Bobby F. Edmonds, McCormick; Alexander P. Ramsay, Oconee; Roddey E. Gettys, Pickens; and Frances McClary, Williamsburg.
The next meeting of the Board will be January 19 in Columbia.
There being no further business to be brought before the DNR Board at this time, the meeting was adjourned.
The SCDNR Board Minutes for November 4, 2016 (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.