By Ashley Rader
The Barrigars now work to raise awareness on environmental issues, such as climate change and conservation.
Nancy grew up in Carter County and found her love for the natural world as a child.
“As a small child, I just loved being outdoors,” she said. “The more I learned about the natural world in school, the more awesome and fascinating it became. When you love something, you want to care for it.”
Gary was born in Johnson City and raised in Kingsport, but said Carter County’s mountains are the ones he loved the best.
He said he, too, fell in love with nature as a child, being raised in a family that spent time outdoors, going camping, hiking and fishing.
“It has been a lifetime pursuit of mine,” he said. “Some of my favorite things to do are to get out and hike and fly fish. We live, as far as I am concerned, in the best place in the world. I love Carter County, and Carter County has more of the kinds of natural beauty and opportunities for outdoor activities than any place. Roan Mountain, it has been called the jewel of the southern Appalachians. We have miles and miles of trout streams. It is just a fine place to live.”
Charter members of the Friends of Roan Mountain, Gary is president and Nancy is treasurer. They are members of the Peacemaking Team at First Presbyterian Church.
Gary is president of the Boone Watershed Partnership and serves on the board for Trout Unlimited. Gary has also been director for the last 18 years of the Fall Naturalists Rally at Roan Mountain State Park.