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Special Donors:

Donna & Carroll Cook

Donna and Carroll Cook grew up in the shadows of the Allegheny Front on small farms in the steep rocky terrain of one of West Virginia’s highest mountains. A typical childhood day was roaming the great outdoors and working and playing on their family farm. During the summer, their families ran sheep and cattle on the beautiful high plateau of the Allegheny. The old open range, leased from Western Maryland Railroad and U.S. Government by local farmers, extended from the Old Stoney River Dam to south of Red Creek encompassing what is now the Dolly Sods Wilderness.

Fortuitously, the Cooks had an opportunity to buy a farm near their childhood homes in the early 1990’s. Since then, they have worked diligently to protect and preserve the natural beauty of their famous backyard. Above and just south of their farm lay the Dolly Sods and Roaring Plain Wilderness areas in the Monongahela National Forest. The Cooks’ greatest joy is riding horses over this dramatic landscape. In addition to running a beef cattle operation on their farmland, they have horses, donkeys, and a diversity of pets: cats, chickens, and guineas. Nightly, their Great Pyrenees dogs roam the Spurs of the Allegheny guarding the sheep and goats from coyote and bear.

Donna was the cofounder of Friends of the Allegheny Front formed to oppose industrial wind farms that are ruining the scenic views and heritage values on the Front. She is a charter and board member of Stewards of the Potomac Highlands and a long-time board member of Friends of Blackwater. In addition to co-managing the farm, Carroll owns and operates a commercial concrete construction company in Northern Virginia.

Of their generous support to Friends of Blackwater, they maintain: “We give to Friends of Blackwater because we want to protect the natural wonders of West Virginia’s high Allegheny Mountains. Donating to support Friends of Blackwater gives us a chance to make a real difference, and we are proud to be part of this success. We enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that our donations will make a lasting difference to the preservation of the Allegheny Highlands.”