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J. Steven Addington May 15, 1947 - January 29, 2004

Steve Addington No Longer With Us

STEVE ADDINGTON, 56, the man who originally proposed preserving much of Fort Ord, died January 29. He was born in Shelby, North Carolina to a military family alternately stationed in Japan, Germany and Washington State. In 1966 he joined the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a photo-journalist in the Caribbean and Vietnam. He later earned a degree in archaeology.

After marrying Kathy Powers in 1972, the two traveled extensively before Steve accepted a position with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management as an archaeologist and wilderness specialist in Boise, Idaho. His travels, from the tropics of Bali to the heights of the Himalayas, fostered an appreciation for natural resource management.

A Marina resident, Steve was working in the BLM's field office in Hollister in 1991 when he attended a Monterey meeting that was called to discuss the Army's closure of Fort Ord. He explained the unique habitat at Fort Ord, with its large stand of western chaparral, and said it was so valuable that it should be preserved. That was one of the early planks of the reuse planning at Fort Ord. The plan adopted by FORA provided for about 60% of the 28,000-acre former Army base to be preserved as natural habitat.

In 1998 Steve left his position as the BLM Fort Ord Project Manager to become Area Manager in the BLM's Eastern Sierra office, where he continued his innovative and visionary leadership and dedication to collaborative resolution of public land use issues. He returned to this area, following his diagnosis in 2002 of a rare brainstem tumor, to work on one last project involving his passion for protection of our public lands.

Steve was recently recognized by the Monterey Board of Supervisors for the establishment of Fort Ord's Bicycle-Equestrian Trail Assistance (BETA) group and for his community-based protection of the natural habitat at Fort Ord. A portion of Fort Ord has been designated "Steve Addington Glade." His friends and family will remember him for his love of nature, recreation, and travel as well as his boundless energy, integrity, courage, humor and ever-present smile. Steve is survived by his wife, Kathy, his mother and five brothers and sisters.

A celebration of his life will be announced in the spring. Memorial donations may be sent to: California Native Plant Society, Jim Pittman/Treasurer, 19180 El Cerrito Way, Aromas, CA 95004; Josephine Kernes Memorial Pool for Disabled Children and Adults, 15 Portola Avenue, Monterey, CA 93942; or the American Brain Tumor Assn., Pediatric Tumors, 2720 River Road, Des Plaines IL 60018-4110.

Published in the Monterey Herald on 2/7/2004.