Eric Peterson Receives 2021 Los Alamos Public Safety Association Award For Work On Feral Cattle Public Safety Issue

Eric Peterson, Los Alamos County Open Space Specialist with the public safety award he received from the Los Alamos Public Safety Association Thursday evening during the LAPSA annual dinner at Cottonwood on the Greens. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Enjoying the LAPSA annual event Thursday evening are, from left, Jesse Galvan, Director of Protection Force Operations and Training Division for Centerra-Los Alamos, Susan Upshaw and Sheila Galvan. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Department of Energy Security Administrator Adolfo Meana and his wife, Ysabel at Thursday’s Los Alamos Public Safety Association annual dinner. Photo by Maire O’Neill/


Eric Peterson, Los Alamos County Open Space Division Manager received an award Thursday evening from the Los Alamos Public Safety Association for dedication to public safety related to his work on the capture of feral cattle in the area.

Peterson was nominated for the award by Los Alamos Police Department Cmdr. Oliver Morris who was unable to LAPSA dinner and presentation at Cottonwood on the Greens so his nomination was read and his award was presented by LAPSA President Lennie Upshaw.

Morris’s nomination noted that at the beginning of 2021 feral cattle became a huge safety concern in and around the County. He said LAPD responded to a serious crash where a woman crashed her car into a cow on the roadway at NM 502 and the “Y’.

Morris noted that LAPS received 26 calls for service in January and February about feral cattle in the roadway. He said LAPD reached to Peterson who began identifying and repairing damaged fencing around Los Alamos open spaces. Peterson also reached out to San Ildefonso Pueblo to begin efforts to mitigate the cattle issue. Due to Peterson’s efforts, LAPD saw a huge decrease to just two calls in March.

“Eric continued to work the problem by contracting a cattle wrangling outfit fitted with Catahoula catch dogs to capture and remove the 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 cattle and identify fencing to be repaired surrounding Lab property.  Eric also sends out press releases educating the public on his efforts that describe the environmental impact of the cattle and information to protect hikers from aggressive cattle,” Morris said.

He added that while the feral cattle problem is persistent and there are numerous cattle moving into the Los Alamos area, Peterson continues to address the problem, has reduced incidents and ultimately will help keep motorists and hikers safe and help protect the environment.

Peterson said that of the 38 feral cattle that have been captured, only two have had brands on them. The last cow he caught had only one tooth and had been living on the range for 10 years.

“They’re a big issue and a very large animal. Hopefully it will be a challenge in two years to find a cow track,” he said.

Eric Peterson, left, and Michael O’Neill swap stories Thursday at the LAPSA dinner. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Los Alamos Police Department Sgt. Daniel Roberts and his wife, Kim, at Thursday’s LAPSA event. Roberts is the Accreditation Manager for LAPD and is a Major in the National Guard. Photo by Maire O’Neill/

Eric Peterson receives the 2021 LAPSA Public Safety Award in recognition of outstanding community service and public safety support from Lennie Upshaw, president of LAPSA and General Manager of Centerra-Los Alamos. Photo by Maire O’Neill/