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In Memory

Henry E. McCutchen

January 10, 2014

Henry E. McCutchen, Ph.D., 76, passed away after a brief battle with cancer on Jan. 3.

Henry was born in Tulsa, Okla. When he was a teenager his parents moved to the family ranch near Gillette, Wyo., where he graduated from high school. He subsequently obtained a Bachelor's degree in zoology from Oklahoma State University; an Master's degree in biology from Montana State University and a Doctorate in Biology at Colorado State University.

Henry worked for nearly 40 years as a U. S. park ranger, management biologist and ultimately as a research scientist for the U.S. National Park Service. He also worked as a wildlife biologist for the U.S. Forest Service.

Early in his career he became an experienced and trained wild land fire fighter. He fought forest fires in the summers during college years culminating in joining the prestigious Smoke Jumpers in Missoula, Mont. While working with the U. S. Forest Service in Albuquerque, New Mexico, he served in a number of fire fighting capacities on the large fires. He was ultimately recruited to serve on the staff of a regional fire incident command team, which traveled all over the U.S. managing the largest of the forest fires.

Later in his career, as a research scientist, his major interest was in the assessment and restoration of large animal populations in the National Parks. He lived and worked in a number of National Parks including, Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Zion, Prince William Forest, Rocky Mountain, and others. He retired from Joshua Tree National Park in 2004. In the parks he conducted research on mountain sheep, elk, pronghorn antelope, black bears and grizzly bears. He specialized in their capture, marking and radio-collaring for subsequent population and ecological research.

In addition to assignments in the National Parks he was stationed at Colorado State University and at Northern Arizona University as a federal research scientist/coordinator with faculty adjunct appointments. He also served for several years as the regional ecologist /consultant for 41 national parks of a 6 state region in Denver.

Henry was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society, and a member of the professional Sigma Xi and Wildlife Societies.

Henry was a private pilot and a budding violinist. His other hobbies included hiking, backpacking, trailer camping, bird watching, reading history, hunting and fishing.

Early on Henry dreamed of having jobs working with large wild animals which would offer a mix of outdoor adventure, excitement, comradeship, solitude, academics, science, and management results, coupled with moderate amounts of office work. He wanted to provide service to the people of the United States and its resources. He believed that he had accomplished this dream.

He is survived by his daughters Holly Dykstra and Jana Glassmeyer; his sister Patty; and 6 grandchildren.

His wife Marilyn Ann McCutchen precedes him in death.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 13 at First Presbyterian Church, 531 S. College, Fort Collins, CO.

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