Secretary of Agriculture Honors Local Employee

Release Date: May 30, 2012


Contact:   Jean Nelson-Dean – 541.383.5561                                                                                              May 30, 2012

                    Daniel Smith– 541-383.5300


Secretary of Agriculture Honors Local Employee

Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer Honored as “Unsung Hero”


BEND– In a recent ceremony in Washington D.C. the Secretary of Agriculture honored a local Forest Service Law Enforcement Officer as an “Unsung Hero” for 2011.

In mid-May, Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, recognized Deschutes National Forest Law Enforcement Officer, Eduardo Cartaya, as an “Unsung Hero” at a ceremony hosted by the Organization of Professional Employees of USDA.  Cartaya was one of two Forest Service employees in the nation honored. 

Cartaya, a graduate of West Point, was recognized for several incidents in 2011 where he demonstrated dedication to his job and the public. 

In January 2011, he worked with a fellow officer to access a remote area on snowmobiles to provide medical aid to an injured man with a potential skull fracture.  As an EMT, Cartaya re-warmed the victim and administered first aid until a helicopter could evacuate the man.  That same month, Cartaya recovered evidence that closed a case, open since 1960, involving resource damage and theft.

In June 2011, Officer Cartaya investigated vandalism to a culturally and historically significant cave, Hidden Forest Cave, and arrested five suspects.  He gained confessions from all the suspects resulting in a grand jury indictment of all five.

In August of 2011, Cartaya responded to a driver stuck in a truck turned on its side.  Fuel was pouring on the driver and Cartaya was able to remove the driver and provide first aid.

“Although Eddie is relatively new to the agency, he has proven himself to be an invaluable asset to the Forest Service.  He brings a tremendous work ethic, technical skills, unbelievable energy, and leadership to his position.  Eddie is the future of the agency, and I look forward to working with him for many years,” said Daniel Smith, Law Enforcement Captain and Cartaya’s supervisor.