One of the heroes of the tragedy at icy Convict Lake was a U.S. Forest Service ranger named Clay Cutter (Part A, Feb. 20). Cutter, who lived near the lake and had rescued others there in the past, was quick to offer assistance. The treacherous conditions proved too great, however, and he slipped under the ice. His body was later found clinging to his rescue rope.
In the early 1980s before he joined the Forest Service, Cutter was a member of the California Conservation Corps at our Owens Valley Fire Center near Bishop. Even then his leadership potential was noted. He became an outstanding crew leader and a model for the rest of the young people at the center.
The CCC can point to corps member "success stories" throughout the state, but Clay Cutter's selfless actions are in a category apart. He exemplified the very best qualities we can hope to instill in a young person. For that, all of us will certainly take inspiration from him.
California Conservation Corps