HOME > GENERAL INFORMATION > BOARD MEETING MINUTES > AUGUST 21, 2003 DRAFT MINUTES


Board Meeting Minutes

DRAFT MINUTES

BOARD OF GAME AND INLAND FISHERIES MEETING
4000 WEST BROAD STREET
RICHMOND, VIRGINIA 

AUGUST 21, 2003, 9:00 AM

PRESENT:  Dan Hoffler, Chairman, C. Marshall Davison, John W. Montgomery, Richard E. Railey, Jr., Will McNeely, Sherry S. Crumley, Jack T. Shoosmith, Cecil T. Campbell:  ABSENT:  Richard L. Corrigan, Dan McCoy, Chuck Cunningham:  DIRECTOR:  William L. Woodfin, Jr., LEGAL COUNSEL:  Roger Chaffe; SENIOR STAFF:  Ray Davis, Bob Duncan, Herb Foster, Gary Martel, Charlie Sledd, Jeff Uerz, David K. Whitehurst 

Chairman Hoffler called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and announced that a quorum was present.  Colonel Uerz was requested to lead the Pledge of Allegiance to the  Flag. 

Recently appointed member of the Board, C. Marshall Davison, representing the First Congressional District and John W. Montgomery, representing the Third Congressional District were welcomed. 

Mr. Hoffler stated that Richard Corrigan was absent due to a family emergency.  Dan McCoy was absent due to travel limitation caused by a personal injury and Chuck Cunningham had a schedule conflict. 

1.  Closed Session:  At 9:03 a.m., Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Campbell, passed (ayes Davison, Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Campbell, Shoosmith, not voting Montgomery) that the Board go into a closed meeting pursuant to § 2.2-3711.A.3 of the Code of Virginia for discussion or consideration of the acquisition of real property for a public purpose, or of the disposition of publicly held real property with respect to the acquisition of approximately 215 acres of land in Tazewell County to protect habitat for Virginia Big-Eared and Indiana Bats, which are federal endangered species.  

In open session at 9:15 a.m., Mr. McNeely moved, seconded by Mr. Railey, passed (ayes:  McNeely, Railey, Crumley, Davison, Campbell and Shoosmith, not voting Montgomery), that the Board return to open session. 

Ms. Crumley certified, seconded by Mr. Campbell, passed (ayes Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Davison, Shoosmith and Campbell, not voting Montgomery) that whereas the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries had convened a closed meeting on this date pursuant to an affirmative recorded vote and in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act, and whereas § 2.2-3712.D of the Code requires a certification by this Board that such closed meeting was conducted in conformity with Virginia law; now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Board of Game and Inland Fisheries hereby certifies that (i) to the best of each member’s knowledge, only public business matters lawfully exempted from open meeting requirements by Virginia law were discussed in the closed meeting to which this certification resolution applies, and (ii) only such public business matters as were identified in the motion convening the closed meeting were heard, discussed or considered by the Board. 

Mr. McNeely moved, seconded by Mr. Campbell, passed (ayes Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Davison, Shoosmith and Campbell, not voting Montgomery) that the Board authorize the Director to proceed to acquire up to approximately 215 acres of land in the county of Tazewell to be known as the Higginbotham Caves Conservation Area and such authorization shall be according to applicable state procedures not to exceed $245,000 in total costs.  

Ms. Crumley moved, seconded by Mr. Campbell, passed (ayes: Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Davison, Shoosmith and Campbell, not voting Montgomery), that the Board proceed with the acquisition of said property. 

2.Public Comment, Non-agenda items:  An opportunity was provided for members of the public to comment on topics not covered by the meeting agenda. 

Kenny Parr, Spring Grove, VA distributed a handout on a recently formed organization known as the Sportsmen of Virginia and discussed its new web site that has been created to allow the sporting community and constituents to have quick and easy access to information that is important and/or of interest to them.  There is no cost to citizens interested in becoming a member of the organization and they may join by visiting the web site.  Mr. Parr also introduced the members of the organization’s Board: John Wetlaufer, Sr., Virginia Anglers Club, representing the angling interest, Ed Rhodes, Anglers Alliance of Virginia, Mary Arginteanu, representing the Richmond Audubon Society and citizens interested in wildlife in general, Dennis Campbell, Buck Knives, and Denny Quaiff, Virginia Deer Hunters Association, representing the hunting community, and Charlie Thalhimer representing the retail community. The web site also provides a link to members of the General Assembly to allow sportsmen to directly contact their legislative representatives to share concerns and their positions on introduced and/or pending legislative issues.  Mr. Parr also indicated that members of the organization are encouraged to take the information learned from the site and share it with others.  The site will also features a calendar of event and offers a chat room to users.  One of the primary goals of the organization is to stabilize funding for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  Many sportsmen groups have already endorsed the web site and others are invited to join. 

Laura Newell-Furniss, Director and Debbie Horne, Assistant Director, Hunters for the Hungry, Big Island, Virginia were recognized.  In appreciation for its support of the Hunters for the Hungry program, and for the enabling legislation that allows purchasers of hunting licenses to voluntarily make a $2.00 contribution to the program, Ms. Newell-Furniss and Ms. Horne presented a framed art print to the Director for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  They also presented a plaque to the Director reading, “Hunters for the Hungry is thankful for the endorsements, cooperation, and assistance we have received from the caring and dedicated men and women of the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.  We look forward to continuing our work together to provide for those in need by utilizing our renewable natural resources.  August 21, 2003.”  Photographs were taken of the artwork.  

Betty Ostergren, Hanover, Virginia representing the Virginia Watchdog, requested the Board to support her efforts to limit the public’s access to information she felt was personal and private by warning the public when purchasing services via the electronic media that the information provided by them may be maintained in a database created by VIPNet, now VITA, and that that information may be sold by VITA upon request.  She emphasized a concern regarding the possible release of social security numbers. 

Ms. Ostergren referred to an action of the Board at its October 24, 2002 meeting and suggested that Board action gave the Director authority to make money to replace loss revenue by selling VIPNet collected information to others.  She implied that the available database contains individual social security numbers.  Using the Freedom of Information Act, Ms. Ostergren requested and received copies of former Board member Jimmy Dean’s personal boat records, and she referenced those records during her remarks.  

Note to minutes:  The boat registration database available from VITA (formerly VIPNET) does not contain individual social security numbers.   

Robert Woolfolk, Louisa County, Virginia thanked the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the Board for its commitment to sportsmen and the wildlife resources of the Commonwealth.  He thanked Board members for donating their time to the public and these resources. 

3.  Recognition of Employees and Others:  Charlie Sledd displayed the Leonard Lee Rue, III Natural Resources Stewardship award that was recently presented to Director Woodfin by Michael C. Roberts and the Return to Nature Program.  The award consisted of a framed artwork and certificate reading, “In recognition of your significant contributions and unselfish endeavors while striving to execute the established program objective of helping Virginia students develop a meaningful and lasting appreciation of the natural environment.” 

Becky Wajda and Julia Dixon were recognized and presented a first place media campaign award they received from ACI (Association for Conservation Information) for their snakehead fish media advisory campaign. 

Ron Messina and Mel White received a 2nd place TV Public Service Announcement award for their “Caution, Deer Crossing” announcement that they wrote and produced. 

David Whitehurst was recognized.  He indicated that Becky Wajda and Jeff Trollinger received a first place “One-Time Publication” award from ACI for the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail, Coastal Phase Guide. 

Becky Wajda and Jeff Trollinger received a “Winners Circle Award of Excellence from IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) for the “Discover Our Wild Side”, Coastal Phase Guide of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. 

Becky Wajda and Jeff Trollinger received an IABC Winner’s Circle Award of Honor in the “Media Relations” category for the Birding Trail dedication and media preview event held in October 2002, in conjunction with the Eastern Shore Birding Festival. 

Becky Wajda and Jeff Trollinger received from APEX, which recognizes advanced excellence in writing, an Award of Excellence in the category of Special Publications-One of a Kind for the “Discover our Wild Side” Coastal Phase guide of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. 

Mike Pinder received from ACI, a third place award in the category of One-Time Publications for the Snakes in Virginia publication.  Mr. Pinder did most of the work, including the writing and illustration, on this publication. 

Mike Pinder received the Virginia Environmental Stewardship Award from the Commonwealth of Virginia and the Virginia Petroleum Council for his work in redeveloping a wetland on Route 8 in Patrick County.  He obtained funding for interpretative artwork displayed at the site, and he did the artwork for the site. 

Ms. Crumley encouraged all members of the Board to attend the September 8, 2003 dedication ceremony for the Mountain Phase of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail. 

4.  Minutes of Meeting.  The draft minutes of the June 27, 2003 meeting were distributed to the Board with their meeting briefing materials.  Chairman Hoffler called for any additions or corrections to the minutes.  As there were none, Mr. Railey moved, seconded by Mr. Campbell, passed (ayes, Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Campbell, Shoosmith, Davison, not voting Montgomery) that the minutes be approved as written. 

5.  MIGRATORY WATERFOWL SEASONS:  Using Power Point, Bob Duncan presented the following framework and staff recommendations for migratory waterfowl seasons.  Shooting hours are one-half hour before sunrise until sunset daily.  Mr. Duncan indicated that a public input meeting was help August 5, 2003 to receive comments on the framework.  A summary of the received comments was provided to members of the Board with their briefing materials.  Department staff serves on the Atlantic Flyway Council and Technical Committees.  A major change in this year’s framework is the addition of a 30-day canvasback season, with a bag limit of one. 

Mr. Duncan noted for the record that the Department has submitted comments on the framework to the Federal Register requesting a two-bird daily bag limit for Canada geese in the Atlantic Population Zone (Eastern Virginia area).  The federal framework currently provides for a bag limit of only one bird per day. 

Federal Framework-- Duck Season:  A three-way split season, with no zones, is offered, beginning September 27, 2003 through January 25, 2004, with no more than 60 hunting days plus a consecutive two-day youth waterfowl hunt, with a daily bag limit of 6 ducks, and may include no more than 4 mallards (only 2 of which may be hen mallards), 3 scaup, 4 scoters, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 black duck, 1 pintail for up to 30 days, 1 canvasback for up to 30 days, 1 mottled duck, 1 fulvous whistling duck.  The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.  The season is closed on Harlequin ducks.  

Special Sea Duck Season (in sea duck zone), Scoter, Long-Tailed Duck, and Eider:  A 107 hunting-days season is allowed between September 15, 2003 and January 25, 2004, with a bag limit of 7 birds daily (14 in possession), which may include no more than 4 scoters (8 in possession). 

Coot, Merganser, Gallinule and Moorhen:  Coot:  The framework allows a 60 hunting days season between September 27, 2003 and January 25, 2004, with a bag limit of 15 birds daily (30 in possession). 

Merganser:  The framework allows for a 60 hunting days season between September 27, 2003 and January 25, 2004, with a bag limit of 5 birds daily, only 1 of which may be a hooded merganser (10 in possession, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers). 

Gallinule/Moorhen:  The framework allows for a 70 hunting days season between September 1, 2003 and January 20, 2004, with a bag limit of 15 daily,  30 in possession. 

Canada Goose (Western Zone):  The regular season, of up to 40 hunting days, may be held between November 15, 2003 and January 14, 2004.  The extended season dates are January 15 through February 15, 2004.  The bag limit is 2 per day through January 14, 5 per day from January 15 through February 15. 

Atlantic Population Zone (Back Bay Closed):  A two-way split season, up to 45 hunting days, may be held between November 15, 2003 and January 31, 2004.  The bag limit is 1 per day.  

Snow Goose and Atlantic Brant Seasons:  Snow Goose:  A three-way split season is allowed, up to 107 hunting days, between October 1, 2003 and March 10, 2004, with a bag limit of 15 birds daily (no possession limit). 

Atlantic Brant:  States may select seasons of up to 60 hunting days (September 27, 2003 through January 31, 2004) with a bag limit of 3 birds daily (6 in possession).  

Tundra Swan Season:  Virginia’s Department of Game and Inland Fisheries may issue up to 600 permits to participants and the state must obtain harvest and hunter participation data.  A 90-days hunting season may be selected between October 1, 2003 and January 31, 2004, with a bag limit of one bird per permittee per season. Permit conditions must be observed by permittees.  

Falconry:  The framework provides for a 107 hawking days season, not to exceed three segments in any extended season outside the regulation season, between September 1, 2003 and March 10, 2004.  The bag limit is 3 daily (6 in possession).  Federal Law prohibits falconry for waterfowl on Sunday. 

Staff Recommendations:  Duck Season: Staff recommended a 60-hunting days season, plus 1 youth waterfowl hunting day.  The first segment is October 8-11 (Black Duck closed).  The Youth Waterfowl Hunting Day is October 18.  The second segment is November 15-December 6, 2003 and the third segment is December 13, 2003 through January 24, 2004 (Canvasback and Pintail open only December 22, 2003 through January 24, 2004).  The daily bag limit is 5 ducks, which may include no more than 4 mallards (which may include no more than 2 hen mallards), 3 scaup, 4 scoters, 2 wood ducks, 2 redheads, 1 black duck (except closed during October 8-11), 1 mottled duck and 1 fulvous whistling duck.  From December 22, 2003 through January 24, 2004, the daily bag limit also includes 1 canvasback and 1 pintail.  The possession limit is twice the daily bag limit.  The season is closed on Harlequin duck.  

Special Sea Duck Season:  (Scoter, long-tailed duck, and eider):  The season dates are October 8, 2003 through January 24, 2004, with a bag limit of 7 birds daily (14 in possession), but may include no more than 4 scoters (8 in possession).  

Coot, Merganser, Gallinule and Moorhen seasons:  Coot:  Staff recommended that the coot season coincide with the general duck season, with a bag limit of 15 birds daily (30 in possession). 

Merganser:  Staff recommended that the merganser season coincide with the general duck season, with a bag limit of 5 daily, only 1 of which may be a hooded merganser (10 in possession, only 2 of which may be hooded mergansers). 

Gallinule/Moorhen:  A three-way split season was recommended, with the dates of October 8-11, 2003, November 15 through December 6, 2003 and December 13, 2003 through January 20, 2004, with a bag limit of 15 daily (30 in possession). 

Canada Goose Season, western zone:  A two-way regular season was recommended, November 24-December 6, 2003, December 13, 2003 through January 14, 2004.  The extended season dates are January 15-February 14, 2004.  The bag limit is 2 geese per day from November 24 through December 6, 2003 and December 13, 2003 though January 14, 2004.  The bag limit is 5 geese per day from January 15 through February 14, amended by Board action from staff’s original recommendation of 4 geese per day. 

Atlantic Population Zone (Back Bay Closed):   Season dates are November 22 through December 1, 2003 and December 13, 2003 through January 24, 2004, with a bag limit of 1 goose per day. 

Snow Goose and Atlantic Brant Seasons:  Snow Goose:  Season dates are November 7, 2003 through March 10, 2004, with a bag limit of 15 birds daily (no possession limit). 

Atlantic Brant season dates are November 15 through December 6, 2003 and December 13, 2003 through January 24, 2004, with a bag limit of 3 birds daily (6 in possession).  

Tundra Swan:  The season dates are December 1, 2003 through January 31, 2004.  The hunt area is all counties and portions of counties lying east of U.S. Route I-95 and south of the Prince William/Stafford County line in Chopawamsic Creek at Quantico Marine Corps Base.  The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries may issue no more than 600 permits to holders of valid Virginia hunting licenses.  The bag limit is 1 bird per permittee.  All permit conditions must be obeyed.  

Falconry:  Staff recommended a season of 107 hawking days, with no combination of falconry and firearms hunting allowed to exceed 107 days for any species.  The bag limit is 3 daily.  Season dates will coincide with other migratory waterfowl seasons for Virginia.  

Ducks, Mergansers, Coots, Moorhens and Gallinules:  Season dates of October 8-11 and November 15, 2003 through February 28, 2004. 

Canada Goose season dates are November 22, 2003 through February 21, 2004. 

Brant and Snow Goose season dates are November 7, 2003 through March 10, 2004. 

After Mr. Duncan presented the framework and staff recommendations, Chairman Hoffler provided an opportunity for the Board to discuss the migratory waterfowl seasons.  Mr. Campbell asked for an increased bag limit from 4 to 5 Canada geese, since the framework provides for 5 birds daily.  He felt that the western population could sustain the increased bag limit.  Staff did not object to the requested increased bag limit, but noted that the recommendation of a 4 bird daily limit was based on comments received from the public. 

Ms. Crumley requested staff to continue to work with the Service to eliminate the requirement that the two-day youth hunt be consecutive days to allow Virginia to offer the two youth hunting days.  Due to the prohibition on Sunday hunting, Virginia is unable to offer the two-day youth hunt. 

Mr. Duncan noted for the record that due to staff reductions, this year the agency is using a fulfillment service for the tundra swan permits and quota hunts. The fulfillment service charges a $6.00 fee to cover its administrative costs.  Sportsmen may apply for permits on line, via the mail or using the 1-800-368-4683 toll free telephone number.  

Following the Board’s discussion, Chairman Hoffler called for public comment and there was none. 

Mr. Campbell moved, seconded by Mr. Shoosmith, passed (ayes:  Campbell, Crumley, Railey, McNeely, Davidson, Shoosmith, not voting Montgomery) that the Board adopt staff’s recommendations for migratory waterfowl seasons, amended to allow for a five bird daily bag limit for Canada geese in the western zone, to change the closing date for the Canada goose western zone season from February 15 to February 14, and to authorize the Director to make adjustments as appropriate to seasons and bag limits as provided for in the final rules of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

6.  2004 Board Meeting Schedule:  The Board’s briefing materials included a suggested meeting schedule for 2004 that meets statute requirements for meetings, as well as meeting the work needs of the Board.  Director Woodfin noted for the record that the absent Board members had not requested any adjustment to the proposed schedule.   Chairman Hoffler asked if there were any requested date changes from Board members, and there were none.  Mr. Railey moved, seconded by Mr. McNeely, passed (ayes Railey, McNeely, Crumley, Davison, Shoosmith, Campbell, not voting Montgomery) that the 2004 meetings be held March 25, June 25, August 19 and October 21. 

7.  Director’s Report:  Mr. Woodfin reminded Board members that the dedication ceremony for the Mountain Phase of the Virginia Birding and Wildlife Trail will be held September 8, 2003.  He encouraged Board members to attend if their schedules allowed. 

The 2003 Sportsman Show was well attended, and staff felt it was successful. Hunters for the Hungry had a successful fund-raiser event during the show. 

The national FLW, Jacobs Cup Fishing Tournament will be held in Richmond September 10-13, 2003.  

The DU (Ducks Unlimited) Great Outdoors Festival will be held at the Virginia Motorsports Park in Petersburg, Virginia September 19-21, 2003.  The Department is offering volunteers and a booth will be available. 

Virginia is hosting the National Association of States Boating Laws Administrators conference September 20-24, 2003 in Virginia Beach, at the Cavalier Hotel. 

Board members were reminded that 2003-04 hunting licenses are now available. 

The Department’s dispatch operations will change to a 24-hour service soon to better serve the citizens of the Commonwealth.  A 24-hour service will make it easier for the public to contact game wardens. 

Lieutenant Ron Henry continues to recover from serious injuries sustained when a youth intentionally ran over him with an ATV.  

The Board was informed that staff is working with the Virginia Fox Hunters Association on an experimental program to perhaps allow for fox pens to be stocked with coyotes. 

Mr. Woodfin commented that the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries will not receive any portion of the fee that will be charged by the fulfillment service that will handle the applications for managed hunts and the tundra swan permits. 

The America’s Most Wanted television program has filmed a segment on the yet to be solved Stack hunting fatality that occurred in Rockbridge County on opening day of the 2003 spring gobbler season.  The segment will air later this year.  A $32,000 reward, from anonymous donors, has been posted for information that leads to an arrest in this fatality. 

Chairman Hoffler asked if Board members wished to discuss any additional topics.  As there were none, the meeting was adjourned by the Chairman at 10:30 a.m. 

                                                                        Respectfully submitted, 

                                                                        Belle Harding
                                                                        Secretary to the Director

  © 2003 VDGIF. Please view our privacy policy.
  Contact dgifweb@dgif.state.va.us with any comments or questions.