It’s not unusual that Mammoth Parks Superintendent Dennis Rottner has challenges drop in his lap.
But when those droppings are large, round, smelly, cowpies, and they’re blocking the baseball infields and outfields at the Whitmore Ballfields, that’s an udderly different situation.
“We have a cow issue,” Rottner deadpanned in front of the Recreation Commission on Tuesday afternoon.
Said Rec Commssion Commission Chair Bill Sauser, “The cattle kind?”
Rottner said some of the free-range cattle that roam around in the area were penned in over the weekend, despite a sign on the gate to keep the gate closed at all times.
Not only was the gate left open, Rottner said to the commission, it was then chained shut. By whom?
Nobody knows, although Rottner said there are some pretty good guesses floating around.
“These were cattle that crossed the Benton Cross Road,” Rottner continued. “I have to say, we had quite a mess out there the last couple of days.”
Never one to be outdone, Sauser replied, “Well we can save some money because we don’t have to add nitrogen to the soil!”
While the rest of the commissioners tried hard (and largely failed) to treat this as a serious incident, Rottner plowed ahead with his sad tale.
“Every couple of years this happens,” he said, “and it affects everyone from Little Leagues to little ladies walking their dogs.”
He said he got no sympathy whatever from the California Highway Patrol, which called in to say, “Hey there’s cattle on the road and it’s dangerous!”
“It’s free range,” he said. “There are some grates on the road, but the cattle go where they want to go, and there’s a big sign out there that says ‘Free Range Cattle.’”
“Where does the CHP get these guys, anyway?” Rottner said afterward. “From Riverside? San Bernardino? L.A.?”
As it turned out the cowpies were removed, but it took a couple of guys a couple of days.
The commission then turned to less effusive, and moo bettah matters.