Much of the attention that has come to the issue of air pollution in the Great Smoky Mountains in recent years comes from Don Barger, who founded the Southeast Regional Office for the National Parks Conservation Association in 1992. Working closely with allies and gateway communities, Barger’s leadership has resulted in the protection of the Fern Lake watershed next to Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, the Obed Wild and Scenic River, the Roan Highlands, Cumberland Island National Seashore, and the section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park threatened by the proposed North Shore Road.

Prior to his work at NPCA, Don Barger directed the Citizens’ Mining Project for the Environmental Policy Institute in Washington and performed grassroots organizing efforts against coal companies in Tennessee.

Previous Pioneer

Laird Knight

Next Pioneer

Eric Jackson (and family)