Eric Peterson, Los Alamos County Open Spaces Specialist with the Public Safety Award he received from the Los Alamos Public Safety Association Thursday night at the annual LAPSA dinner in Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Enjoying the annual LAPSA event on Thursday night are, left to right, Jesse Galvan, Director of Force Protection and Training Division Operations for Centerra-Los Alamos, Susan Upshaw and Sheila Galvan. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Energy Security Department administrator Adolfo Meana and his wife, Ysabel, at the Los Alamos Public Safety Association annual dinner Thursday. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
BY MAYOR O’NEILL
Eric Peterson, director of the Los Alamos County Open Spaces Division, received an award Thursday night from the Los Alamos Public Safety Association for his dedication to public safety related to his work capturing wild livestock in the region.
Peterson was nominated for the award by the Cmdr of the Los Alamos Police Department. Oliver Morris who was unable to attend the LAPSA dinner and presentation at Cottonwood on the Greens, so his nomination was read out and his award was presented by LAPSA Chairman Lennie Upshaw.
Morris’ appointment noted that at the start of 2021 feral cattle became a huge safety issue in and around the county. He said the LAPD responded to a serious accident where a woman hit her car with a cow on the roadway at NM 502 and the “Y”.
Morris noted that LAPS received 26 calls for service in January and February regarding feral cattle on the roadway. He said the LAPD contacted Peterson who began identifying and repairing damaged fencing around open spaces in Los Alamos. Peterson also contacted San Ildefonso Pueblo to begin efforts to alleviate the livestock problem. Thanks to Peterson’s efforts, the LAPD saw a huge decrease to just two calls in March.
“Eric continued to work on the problem by engaging a cattle control team equipped with Catahoula capture dogs to capture and remove feral cattle. To date, Eric has helped facilitate the removal of 38 head of feral cattle. Eric has also coordinated with LANL to help facilitate the removal of livestock and identify fencing to be repaired around the lab property.Eric also sends press releases informing the public of his efforts outlining the environmental impact of livestock and information to protect hikers from aggressive livestock,” Morris said.
He added that while the feral cattle problem is persistent and many cattle are moving through the Los Alamos area, Peterson continues to address the problem, has reduced incidents and will ultimately help ensure safety. motorists and hikers and to protect the environment.
Peterson said of the 38 feral cattle that were captured, only two had markings. The last cow he caught had only one tooth and had been living on the pasture for 10 years.
“They are a big deal and a very big animal. I hope it will be a challenge in two years to find a cow trail,” he said.
Eric Peterson, left, and Michael O’Neill swap stories Thursday at the LAPSA dinner. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Daniel Roberts and his wife, Kim, at Thursday’s LAPSA event. Roberts is the LAPD’s credentialing officer and is a major in the National Guard. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com
Eric Peterson receives the 2021 LAPSA Public Safety Award in recognition of outstanding community service and public safety support from Lennie Upshaw, LAPSA President and General Manager of Centerra-Los Alamos. Photo by Mayor O’Neill/losalamosreporter.com