Stephen S. Boynton, 70, passed away on Aug. 24 after a long, hard fought battle with lung cancer. Sportsmen, conservationists and the scientific wildlife management community suffered the loss of one of our true champions. Steven believed so strongly in the sustainable use of our natural resources that he devoted his life and legal profession in the pursuit of the applying true science to the management of wildlife and other natural resources.
Steve earned his BA in International Relations in 1959 at Ohio State University and his law degree in 1965 while attending the University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbus, SC. From 1965 to 1969 Steve was with the law firm of Hogan & Hartson, Washington, DC. From 1969 to 1971, he was Legislative Assistant for U.S. Senator E. F. Hollins (SC), and from 1971 to date was in private practice.
Steve was admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States, Supreme Court of South Carolina, U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeal for the 8th Circuit, U. S. Court of Claims, U.S. Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
While in Law School, Steve was Editor-in-Chief, South Carolina Law Review, a member of two winning Intramural Moot Court Teams, and a Student Instructor, National Moot Court Team Legal writing program (two years).
Steve was elected American Law Student Representative, He was Chairman of the International Programming Committee, and Recipient of the Silver Key Award, American Law Student Association, American Jurisprudence Award for Trail Practice. Steve was also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and he was Outstanding Senior, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity.
Steve was a member of the Bar Association, District of Columbia – Young Lawyer Section and was voted Young Lawyer of the year, 1972 – 1973. He was elected Executive Council Member Treasure, Vice Chairman, and Delegate, American Bar Association Convention.
As editor of Lawyers Reference to Statutes of Metropolitan Area; Symposia of Code in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia, Steve received the Outstanding Service Award from the Bar Association, District of Columbia. He contributed numerous articles to many conservation and nature magazines. He also accepted the responsibility to moderate ten one-half hour television productions, Law & the Lawyer (BBC/WRC) that received the Golden Gavel Award from the American Bar Association.
Steve Boynton was appointed by the U.S. Senate to the District of Columbia Law Revision Commission for two four year terms. He was elected to the First Edition of Who’s Who in American Law; elected to Who’s Who in Executives and Professionals; elected to Who’s Who in Virginia, and selected for Strathome’s Who’s Who.
While in private practice, Steve represented organizations, associations, individuals, business, corporations and foreign governments on various civil and criminal matters in federal and state courts, and administrative proceeding as well as representation and presenting testimony before the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and state and federal agencies.
He was a member of the U.S. Delegation at the Meeting of the Parties to the Convention for the Conservation of the North Pacific Fur Seal. Steve was a Non-Governmental Observer (NGO) at the Conference of the Parties of the Convention on the International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in Costa Rico, India, Argentina, Switzerland, USA, Zimbabwe, Kenya, and Chile.
He served as a NGO at the Annual Meeting of the International Whaling Commission of the International Convention of the Regulations of Whaling in Mexico, Grenada, Australia, and England and Japan. Steve was and NGO at the meeting of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO) in Italy, and NGO at UN-FAO International Conference on Sustainable Use of Fisheries Food Security in Japan.
Steve again served as NGO at UNWC World Conservation Trust, Sustainable Use Conference in Indonesia and China; and was also a NGO at the World Council of Whalers General Assembly in Canada, Ireland and New Zealand. In addition to extensive service as an NGO, Steve served as Secretariat of the Sustainable Use Parliamentarian Union (SUPU) in Kenya, New Zealand, Japan and Germany.
Steve’s fight against cancer was merely the last of many hard-fought battles. He won some and he lost some, but he was always there; the standard-bearer for the hunter, the fisherman, the trapper and the professional scientific wildlife biologists.
Those of us who knew and loved Steve saw him as far more than another Ivory Tower, Washington D.C. attorney. While the Halls of Congress were certainly all too familiar turf, Steve was also a well-known personality in the offices of governors, at the state legislative sessions, county commission meetings. Steve was a frequent participant to address fish and wildlife agencies, a keynote speaker at sportsmen’s conventions and fur sales, or simply sitting around the campfire discussing issues. Steve was just at home — within his element — pleading the case for sportsmen with the Secretary of the Interior as he was visiting with a trapper from the hills of Montana, leaning across the bed of a pickup truck.
An avid waterfowl sportsmen, Steve was point man on the steel shot legislation, one of the many anti-sportsman programs initiated by the anti-hunting community with its huge war chest for lobbying. Steve once commented; “Two swans die after ingesting lead shot in a pond in England and the antis cry ‘foul’ insisting of a ban on lead shot, thus forcing steel shot into the hunter’s gun. Steel shot is too light to kill immediately, so thousands of birds die in agony days later. The whole thinking there is insane and without scientific reasoning. It looks like we cannot win this one — but somehow the true sportsman will still hunt, still try to educate and still fight idiocy at the same time.”
Steve leaves behind his wife of 27 years, Ingrid L. Boynton, of Maryland, and daughter, Stuart Allison Hindle of Vienna, Virginia, her husband, Bill, and a 3-year-old granddaughter, Carolyn Anne, the “apple of his eye.”
Steve’s son, Scott, was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1979. His ex-wife, Carolyn Boynton, and her three children, Stephen, Laurel, and Gail were very close to Steve’s heart.
Arrangements have been made for a memorial service in Steve’s memory on from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25, at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens Atrium, in Vienna, Virginia.
To honor Stephen’s great love of the wilds, please consider, in lieu of flowers, making a donation in his name to his beloved International Foundation for the Conservation of Natural Resources (IFCNR) at P.O. Box 1019 Poolesville, Maryland 20837. Designate it for the “Stephen S. Boynton Memorial Conservation Fund.” Such gifts are fully tax-deductible