Current Status Bill Number:
920Type of Legislation: General Bill GBIntroducing Body: SenateIntroduced Date: 19960109Primary Sponsor: BryanAll Sponsors: Bryan, Elliott, WashingtonDrafted Document Number: RES9769.JEBResiding Body: SenateCurrent Committee: Fish, Game and Forestry Committee 07 SFGFSubject: Natural Resources Department, provisions
Body Date Action Description Com Leg Involved ______ ________ _______________________________________ _______ ____________ Senate 19960109 Introduced, read first time, 07 SFGF referred to Committee Senate 19950926 Prefiled, referred to Committee 07 SFGFView additional legislative information at the LPITS web site.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 4, TITLE 48, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES, SO AS TO ABOLISH THE GOVERNING BOARD OF THE DEPARTMENT AND TO DEVOLVE THE DUTIES UPON A DIRECTOR TO BE APPOINTED BY THE GOVERNOR WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE; TO AMEND VARIOUS PROVISIONS OF TITLE 50, RELATING TO FISH, GAME, AND WATERCRAFT, TO DELETE REFERENCES TO THE BOARD AND REPLACE THEM WITH REFERENCES TO THE DIRECTOR; AND TO REPEAL SECTIONS 48-4-30, 48-4-40, AND 50-3-10.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 48-4-20 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 48-4-20. For the purposes of this chapter:
(1) `Board' means the governing body of the department.
(2) (1) `Department' means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(3) (2) `Director' or `Executive Director' means the administrative head of the department, appointed by the board Governor."
SECTION 2. Sections 48-4-50, 48-4-60, 48-4-70, and 48-4-80 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 48-4-50. The board director, appointed pursuant to Section 48-4-60, shall be vested with the duty and authority to oversee, manage, and control the operation, administration, and organization of the department subject only to the laws of this State and the United States.
Section 48-4-60. The board Governor shall appoint a director, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to serve at its his pleasure who shall be the administrative head of the department. The director must carry out the policies of the board and administer the affairs of the department. The director may exercise all powers belonging to the board within the guidelines and policies established by the board. The director must possess sound moral character, superior knowledge in the fields of wildlife, marine, and natural resource management, and proven administrative ability. The Governor may remove the director pursuant to the provisions of Section 1-3-240. The director shall manage the administration and organization of the department and may appoint such assistants or deputies as the director considers necessary. The director may hire such employees as the director considers necessary for the proper administration of the affairs of the department. The director must prescribe the duties, powers, and functions of all assistants, deputies, and employees of the department.
Section 48-4-70. The board director shall:
(1) hold meetings, as considered necessary by the chairman, with a majority of the board members constituting a quorum. The board may hold meetings, transact business, or conduct investigations at any place necessary; however, its primary office is in Columbia;
(2) (1) formulate and recommend legislation to enhance uniformity, enforcement, and administration of the wildlife, marine, and natural resource laws;
(3) (2) make an annual report to the General Assembly on all matters relating to its his action;
(4) (3) require those of its the officers, agents, and employees it he designates to give bond for the faithful performance of their duties in the sum and with the sureties it he determines, and all premiums on the bonds must be paid by the board department;
(5) (4) pay travel expenses; and purchase or lease all necessary facilities, equipment, books, periodicals, and supplies for the performance of its his duties; and
(6) (5) exercise and perform other powers and duties as granted to it him or imposed upon it him by law.
Section 48-4-80. The board director may:
(1) make rules and promulgate regulations, not inconsistent with law, to aid in the performance of its his duties. The board director may prescribe the extent, if any, to which these rules and regulations must be applied without retroactive effect. ;
(2) exercise all authority granted to it him under the laws and regulations relating to wildlife, marine and natural resources. ;
(3) conduct such hearings as may be required by law."
SECTION 3. Section 50-1-5 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-1-5. For the purposes of Title 50, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise,:
(1) `Board' means the governing body of the department.
(2) (1) `Department' means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(3) (2) `Director' means the administrative head of the department, appointed by the board Governor.
(4) (3) `Enforcement officer' means an enforcement officer of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the department."
SECTION 4. Section 50-3-90 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-90. The authorized agents of the department may conduct game and fish cultural operations and scientific investigations in such manner, places and at such times as are considered necessary and may use whatever methods are deemed advisable for sampling fish populations. Such operations and investigations shall be conducted only at the request of and with the permission from the board director, and no such operations and investigations shall be made upon private lands and waters except at the request of the owner or owners of such lands and waters."
SECTION 5. Section 50-3-130 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-130. The board director shall prescribe a unique and distinctive official uniform, with appropriate insignia to be worn by all uniformed enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division of the department when on duty and at such other times as the board director shall order, and a distinctive color or colors and appropriate emblems for all motor vehicles used by such officers. No other law enforcement agency, private security agency or any person shall wear a similar uniform and insignia which may be confused with the uniform and insignia of the enforcement officers nor shall any emblem be used on a motor vehicle nor shall it be painted in a color or in any manner which would cause the vehicle to be similar to an enforcement officer's vehicle or readily confused therewith."
SECTION 6. Section 50-3-150 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-150. In order to carry out the provisions of Sections 50-3-120 to 50-3-160 in an orderly and economical manner it is intended that all serviceable uniforms be continued in use until such time as the board director deems it necessary for them to be replaced. These provisions shall also apply to the emblems for motor vehicles."
SECTION 7. Section 50-3-170 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-170. The board director shall file a quarterly report to each member of the General Assembly explaining the status of each county fish and game fund and watercraft fund, to include total funds for each county and an itemized list of expenditures for the past quarter."
SECTION 8. Section 50-3-310 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-310. The director shall appoint the enforcement officers of the Natural Resources Enforcement Division, subject to their receiving a commission from the Governor. An enforcement officer shall be issued a commission by the Governor upon the recommendation of the director. An enforcement officer may be removed by the board director upon proof satisfactory to it that he is not fit for the position."
SECTION 9. Sections 50-3-320 and 50-3-330 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 50-3-320 The Secretary of State shall transmit to the board director the commissions of all enforcement officers and the director shall deliver such commissions to the enforcement officers only after the enforcement officers have filed oaths and bonds as required by Section 50-3-330.
Section 50-3-330. Every enforcement officer appointed to protect the property of the State shall, before entering upon the duties of his office, take and subscribe before a notary public, or other officer authorized to administer an oath, an oath to perform the duties of his office and shall execute a bond with some reliable surety company approved by the board director in the sum of one thousand dollars for the faithful discharge of his duties. Such bond and oath shall be transmitted to the board director, which shall properly record them and keep them on file in the office of the board director."
SECTION 10. Sections 50-3-510, 50-3-520, and 50-3-530 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 50-3-510. The department may, subject to the provisions of this article contract for the selective cutting and sale of timber on any lands held by the department on behalf of its Wildlife and Freshwater Fish Division. No contract for such cutting and sale shall be entered into and no timber shall be cut or sold unless the board director decides that the cutting and sale of such timber is for the best interests of the department and the improvement of its lands, by reason of thinning the timber, harvesting the over-age trees and improving general forestry conditions. Prior to selling or cutting any such timber the matter shall be submitted to the State Forester, who shall investigate the propriety of making such cutting and shall have the timber cruised and an estimate of the value made. If the State Forester finds that the sale is not in keeping with good forestry practices or will adversely affect the remainder of the timber, the sale shall not be made.
Section 50-3-520. If the sale is approved by the State Forester, the department shall publicly advertise for bids for such timber in at least two newspapers of general circulation in the area in which the timber is located, such advertisements to be published at least once a week for three weeks prior to the closing of the bidding. The board director shall have the right to reject any and all bids, either on account of the amounts of the bids or the lack of experience and responsibility of the bidder. Any sale agreed upon shall be for cash.
Section 50-3-530. Any deeds or contracts required in carrying out the provisions of this article may, by resolution of the board, be executed and delivered on its behalf by its chairman and by the director."
SECTION 11. Section 50-3-720 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-720. There is created the Board of Trustees of the Wildlife Endowment Fund of the Department of Natural Resources, with The director has full authority over the administration of the fund, whose chairman and members are the chairman and members of the board of the Department of Natural Resources. The State Treasurer is the custodian of the fund and shall invest its assets in accordance with the provisions of Title 11."
SECTION 12. Sections 50-3-750 and 50-3-760 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 50-3-750. The board director may accumulate the investment income of the fund and may direct expenditures from the income of the fund for the purposes set out in Section 50-3-740(3).
Section 50-3-760. Expenditure of the income derived from the fund must be made through the board director in accordance with the provisions of the general appropriations act. The fund is subject to the oversight of the State Auditor."
SECTION 13. Section 50-3-780 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-780. If the board governing authority of the Department of Natural Resources is dissolved changed, the succeeding agency governing authority shall assume the trusteeship of the fund and is bound by all the limitations and restrictions placed by this article on expenditures from the fund. No repeal or modification of this article or title alters the fundamental purposes to which the fund is applied. No future dissolution of the board governing authority of the Department of Natural Resources or substitute agency governing authority invalidates any lifetime license issued in accordance with Chapter 9 of this title."
SECTION 14. Section 50-9-12 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-9-12. (A) The board director is authorized to designate not more than two days, which need not be consecutive, in each calendar year as free fishing days. During these designated days residents of this State, without obtaining a fishing license, may exercise the privileges of a holder of a fishing license, subject to all limitations, restrictions, conditions, and regulations applicable to the holder of a fishing license.
(B) The provisions of this section do not affect commercial fishing licenses."
SECTION 15. Section 50-9-155 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-9-155. For purposes of this section:
(1) `Migratory waterfowl' means members of the family Anatidae, including brants, ducks, geese, and swans.
(2) `Hunt' means the act of taking, obtaining, pursuing, trying to find, or diligently seeking for migratory waterfowl.
It is unlawful for a person, other than one exempt from the requirement of purchasing hunting licenses by Article 9, Chapter 9 of this title, to hunt any migratory waterfowl within this State without first procuring a state migratory waterfowl stamp and having a valid stamp for the year in his possession while hunting or transporting any migratory waterfowl. A person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not less than fifty dollars nor more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days.
Each stamp must be validated by the signature of the licensee written across the face of the stamp. The board director shall furnish the stamps to its authorized agents for issuance or sale in the same manner as other types of licenses.
The fee for each stamp is five dollars and fifty cents. Fifty cents of the stamp cost may be retained by the issuing agent and the balance must be paid to the department. Each stamp expires on the last day of June following issuance.
The department may produce additional stamps as commemorative or collector's items which must be sold at a price of not less than five dollars and fifty cents with all of the proceeds being retained by the department.
All revenue derived from the sale of the stamp may be used only for the cost of printing, promotion, and production of the stamp and for those migratory waterfowl projects specified by the board director for the development, protection, and propagation of waterfowl in the State. None of the funds may be expended for administrative salaries."
SECTION 16. Section 50-9-1060(a) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-9-1060. (a) Any person whose privileges have been suspended under the provisions of this article may, within ten days after notice of the result of the review, apply to the resident or presiding circuit judge of the circuit in which the applicant resides for a review upon the record certified to by the board director to determine if the action taken by the department is lawful and in accordance with the provisions of this article. Such person shall have the right to have his counsel present with him if he so desires."
SECTION 17. Section 50-11-10 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-10. (A) The Federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act and its implementing regulations are the law of this State. However, the board director annually may set special seasons, bag limits, and methods for hunting and taking waterfowl consistent with the regulations. A violation of the regulations or related state law is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than fifty nor more than one hundred dollars or thirty days' imprisonment.
(B) If a person is convicted of one or more of the following offenses, he must be fined not less than two hundred nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than ninety days:
(1) trespassing to hunt waterfowl;
(2) hunting waterfowl over bait;
(3) shooting waterfowl over bait;
(4) hunting waterfowl more than fifteen minutes before or after regularly designated hunting hours;
(5) possessing more than one waterfowl over the legal limit;
(6) hunting waterfowl out of season."
SECTION 18. Section 50-11-20, as last amended by Act 145 of 1995, is further amended to read:
"Section 50-11-20. (A) As used in this article:
(1) `Board' means the governing body of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(2) `Committee' means the Migratory Waterfowl Committee.
(3) (2) `Department' means the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
(3) `Director' means the Director of the Department of Natural Resources.
(4) `Migratory waterfowl' means members of the family `Anatidae', including brants, ducks, geese, and swans.
(B) There is created the Migratory Waterfowl Committee composed of nine members. A designee, who is not a paid employee, of Ducks Unlimited of South Carolina, a designee, who is not a paid employee, of the South Carolina Waterfowl Association, and the Chairman of the Board Director of the Department of Natural Resources, or his designee, shall serve ex officio. Two members are appointed by the Chairman of the Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee of the House of Representatives, two are appointed by the Chairman of the Fish, Game and Forestry Committee of the Senate, and two are appointed by the Governor, all of whom must be cognizant of waterfowl. The members of the committee shall serve for terms of three years and until successors are appointed and qualify. Vacancies are filled for the unexpired term in the manner of the original appointment. The members of the committee shall elect a chairman annually. Members of the committee are eligible to receive the per diem, subsistence, and mileage as is provided by law for members of boards, commissions, and committees.
(C) The committee is responsible for the creation of the annual migratory waterfowl stamp provided in Section 50-9-155, shall provide the design to the department, and shall recommend regulations to the department for the creation of migratory waterfowl stamp prints, their administration, sale, and distribution, and other matters relating to the stamps and their prints. If the committee sells any of the stamps, it shall purchase them from the department for five dollars and fifty cents a stamp, all of which is retained by the department. Funds derived from the sale of prints and related artwork must be expended as follows:
(1) The portion of the funds necessary to make up fifty percent of the total funds derived from the sale of the migratory waterfowl stamps and the migratory waterfowl stamp prints must be transferred by the committee to the department to be used for its specified projects.
(2) Except for the amount necessary for the committee to administer and promote the sale of any prints, stamps, or related articles, the remainder of the funds derived from the sale of the prints and related articles must be disbursed to an appropriate nonprofit organization as determined by the board director for the development of waterfowl propagation projects within Canada. The projects must specifically provide waterfowl for the Atlantic Flyway and must demonstrate evidence that the projects are acceptable to the appropriate governmental agencies having jurisdiction over the project areas.
(3) The committee shall have an annual audit of its finances conducted by the State Auditor and shall furnish a copy to the board director."
SECTION 19. Section 50-11-2310 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-3-2310. Funds from the Operation Game Thief Program may be expended only for the following purposes:
(1) the financing of reward payments to persons other than law enforcement officers, department personnel, and members of their immediate families responsible for information leading to the arrest of any persons for unlawfully taking, wounding or killing, possessing, transporting, or selling wildlife and attendant acts of vandalism. The board director shall establish the schedule of rewards to be paid for information received and payment must be made from funds available for this purpose;
(2) the financing of a statewide telephone reporting system under the name of `Operation Game Thief' established under the direction of the board director;
(3) the promotion of public recognition and awareness of the Operation Game Thief Program."
SECTION 20. Section 50-11-2520 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-11-2520. All enforcement officers and any other employee of the department designated by the board director, at any and all reasonable hours, may inspect the business premises and records required by this article of any person licensed under this article to ensure compliance.
The license of any licensee who refuses to allow promptly an inspection authorized under this section is subject to immediate revocation."
SECTION 21. Section 50-13-1193 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-13-1193. All enforcement officers and any other employee of the department designated by the board director may, at any and all reasonable hours, inspect the vehicles, boats, processing houses and wholesale businesses which are connected with nongame commercial fishing activity and the records of any person required to be licensed by this article to ensure compliance. Upon request of the department the buyers (fish houses) of nongame fish shall report quarterly the volume of sales."
SECTION 22. Section 50-13-1920 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-13-1920. The department may acquire a sufficient number of acres of land in close proximity to any dam, artificial lake, impounded water, or stream for the purpose of establishing fish hatcheries or fish nurseries. The board director may exercise the power of eminent domain if necessary to accomplish this purpose."
SECTION 23. Section 50-13-1960 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-13-1960. The department may select any place upon any river or stream within this State as a fish sanctuary. Upon making such selection the board director, upon approval in writing of a majority of the members of the county legislative delegation from the county in which such proposed fish sanctuary is to be located, may designate and set apart such place as a fish sanctuary. No one sanctuary shall exceed two miles in length along any river or stream. When such sanctuary shall be so designated and set apart, the board director shall have it adequately and conspicuously marked and shall designate the limits thereof in all directions."
SECTION 24. Section 50-13-2020 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-13-2020. The department has management control over the lakes and ponds which it owns or leases. It may establish the terms and conditions under which the public may use the lakes and ponds for fishing, boating, picnicking, and other related activities. Before taking effect, the conditions and terms must be approved by the board director and a majority of the county legislative delegation of the county where the lake or pond is located and published in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.
Any person violating the terms and conditions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be fined not more than two hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than thirty days."
SECTION 25. Section 50-15-30(b) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"(b) The department shall by such regulations establish proposed limitations relating to taking, possession, transportation, exportation, processing, sale or offer for sale, or shipment as may be deemed necessary to manage such nongame wildlife.
Such regulation shall become effective sixty days after being proposed during which period public comment shall be solicited and received. The board director may hold a public hearing if deemed appropriate. On the basis of public comments received or the testimony at any such hearing the department may make such changes in the proposed regulation as are consistent with effective management of nongame wildlife."
SECTION 26. Subsections (a) and (b) of Section 50-15-40 of the 1976 Code are amended to read:
"Section 50-15-40. (a) On the basis of investigations on nongame wildlife provided for in Section 50-15-30 and other available scientific and commercial data, and after consultation with other State agencies, appropriate Federal agencies, and other interested persons and organizations, but not later than one year after July 2, 1974, the department shall by regulation propose a list of those species or subspecies of wildlife indigenous to the State which are determined to be endangered within this State, giving their common and scientific names by species and subspecies. Such regulation shall become effective sixty days after being proposed during which period public comment shall be solicited and received. The board director may hold a public hearing if deemed appropriate. On the basis of public comments received or the testimony at any such hearing, the department may add to such proposed list additional species or subspecies which are determined to be endangered within the State or delete therefrom such species or subspecies which are determined not to be endangered within the State.
(b) The board director shall conduct a review of the state list of endangered species within not more than two years from its effective date and every two years thereafter and may amend the list by such additions or deletions as are deemed appropriate. The board director shall submit to the Governor a summary report of the data used in support of all amendments to the state list during the preceding biennium."
SECTION 27. Section 50-15-50(a) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-15-50. (a) The board director shall establish such programs, including acquisition of land or aquatic habitat, as are deemed necessary for management of nongame and endangered wildlife. The board director shall utilize all authority vested in the department to carry out the purposes of this section."
SECTION 28. Section 50-17-320 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-17-320. (A) If the State authorizes any activity or use requiring the permanent closure of shellfish grounds, the portion of a permitted area which falls within the closed area may be removed from the permit acreage agreement by the board director. If a portion of the acreage is removed, the permit acreage agreement and annual fee must be adjusted on the annual renewal date as prescribed in Section 50-17-336.
(B) If a state or federal permit is issued over the objections of the department, or for a project of overriding public need, and if the permitted project causes the closure of any shellfish grounds or renders any bottoms unsuitable for the purpose of shellfish propagation, the department may require the permittee to mitigate or compensate, or both, for the loss of the public shellfish resource.
The compensation must be remitted to the department and placed in a special fund for shellfish management.
Compensation and mitigation under authority of this section may not be considered as factors in justifying the issuance of any such permit and this section may not be interpreted as authorizing the closure of any shellfish grounds or authorizing the rendering of any bottoms unsuitable for shellfish propagation.
If an unauthorized action results in a closure of shellfishing waters or renders them temporarily or permanently unsuitable for the purpose of shellfish propagation, the party responsible for the action may be required by the department to mitigate the loss of the resource and to compensate for damages which result from the loss of the shellfish resource.
(C) The terms of the mitigation or compensation authorized by subsection (B) and the amount of the award of damages must be determined in the first instance by the board director. Its His determination constitutes a final decision for the purpose of Section 1-23-380, and the affected party may seek judicial review pursuant to the decision."
SECTION 29. Section 50-17-365 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-17-365. It is unlawful for any person to remove, take, or harvest any shellfish, as defined in Section 50-5-10, from the coastal waters and bottoms of the State from May fifteenth to September fifteenth, inclusive. The board director has the authority to open or close any area of state waters or bottoms for the removal, taking, or harvesting of shellfish for specified periods at any time during the year when biological and other conditions warrant the action. Nothing in this article may be construed to alter the authority of the Department of Health and Environmental Control to open and close shellfish grounds for public health reasons.
Nothing in this section prevents the removal of shellfish for the purpose of replanting under permit granted by the department. Clams and oysters may be imported during the closed season in this State from other states where the taking and possession of the shellfish is lawful. Each shipment or load of imported shellfish must be properly marked and identified to verify compliance with the provisions of this section. Any person violating the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, must be punished as provided in Section 50-17-100."
SECTION 30. Section 50-17-1180 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-17-1180. The board director shall administer and enforce this article and may promulgate regulations for its implementation. The department shall print and distribute a brochure explaining the point system."
SECTION 31. Section 50-19-1320 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-19-1320. In order to carry out the purposes of this article the power of condemnation is conferred upon the board director. The power must be exercised to condemn only property necessary, useful, or convenient for the purposes of this article. All land acquired must be in fee simple and just compensation must be paid for it."
SECTION 32. Section 50-20-110(A) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-20-110. (A) A Marine Recreational Fisheries Advisory Board is established to assist in prioritizing the expenditures of monies received in the special account. The board is composed of:
(1) one member of the board the director of the Department of Natural Resources, or his designee;
(2) two at-large members appointed by the Governor;
(3) one member from each of the following coastal counties appointed by a majority of the respective legislative delegations: Beaufort, Charleston, Colleton, Georgetown, Horry, and Jasper."
SECTION 33. Section 50-23-240 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 50-23-240. A copy of the regulations adopted pursuant to this chapter, and of any amendments thereto, shall be filed in the office of the board director and in the office of the official State state record-keeping agency. Rules and regulations shall be published by the department in a convenient form."
SECTION 34. Sections 48-4-30, 48-4-40, and 50-3-10 are repealed.
SECTION 35. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.