South Carolina Chapter
|Witherspoon, William D. , Chm.||Toole, McLain R. "Mac" , 1st V.C.||Hiott, David R. , 2nd V.C.|
|Brady, Joan B. , Secy.||Agnew, Paul L.||Brown, Robert L.|
|Duncan, Jeffrey D. "Jeff"||Frye, Marion B.||Funderburk, Laurie Slade|
|Hardwick, Nelson L.||Hodges, Kenneth F.||Knight, Patsy G.|
|Loftis, Dwight A.||Lowe, Phillip D.||Mitchell, Harold , Jr.|
|Pitts, Michael A.||Umphlett, C. David , Jr.||Vick, Ted Martin|
|Hegler, William V. , Dir. of Res.||Whittle, Debbie , Com. Asst.|
Comments on H.3020
House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee Wildlife Subcommittee
SC Chapter of the Sierra Club
Cary D. Chamblee, Lobbyist
DNR Land Management - DNR currently has adequate policies and procedures that provide optimum usage of the public properties in their trust without endangering the natural character of the property, the animal and plant species, or cultural features that are identified as needing management or protection. DNR should be allowed to continue to manage lands in a manner that is consistent with the natural characteristics and management needs of the site.
Fees We all can agree that DNR does not have adequate funds to provide all of the amenities that we would all like, however there are some obvious problems with the fee structure proposed by this bill, and imposing fees on hiking is not the way to fund DNR land management.
- Hiking - When hiking, there is no way to distinguish in advance when you will encounter DNR lands, PRT lands, National Forests, National Wildlife Preserves, National Parks, local public lands, and private and other lands that are open to the public like Duke Power properties at Jocassee or Santee Cooper lands around the lakes. Long trails, like the Palmetto trail, include most of these land areas and this requirement would make violators of unsuspecting hikers.
- Wildlife Viewing - Many families use DNR lands for Sunday afternoon visits, nature walks, wildlife watching and many other uses. Much of this is done on roads and trails and also at areas that are designated by signs and brochures as Wildlife Viewing Areas. How would casual walkers and viewers, and hikers be differentiated?
- Eco-tourism -Many families from out-of-state visit DNR lands and Heritage Preserves when traveling through the state. Sites like Dungannon Heritage Preserve in Charleston and Donnelly Plantation in Colleton, both on Hwy. 17 get a lot of tourists. A fee would discourage their use and stifle eco-tourism that so many are trying to encourage.
- Natural Resource Education - DNR encourages natural resources education on its properties and they are commonly used for field trips by adults and school groups. This practice needs to be encouraged and no fee should be charged.
- Little Damage - Hiking and nature viewing do not cause the types of damage that high impact uses like ATV use and horseback riding cause. These uses should be exempted from fees.
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