The Mogollon Sporting Association has selected one of its founding members to be the recipient of the prestigious Legacy Award given out annually to a person who contributes significantly and unselfishly to the Rim Country’s environment, education, conservation and economy.
Gary Barcom received the award from Ted Pettet, also an MSA founding member, April 17 at Firewood Café.
Pettet lauded Barcom for his contributions telling the audience, “Gary’s love of hunting, wildlife and the outdoors is what has motivated him to be so involved over the years.”
Pettet also told of an Arizona Game and Fish Department representative who said of Barcom, “A dedicated sportsman like you are a big part of what makes our job worthwhile.
“We at AGFD are constantly amazed at how far you’ll travel, how hard you’ll work and how much you care about the state’s great wildlife resource.”
The Legacy Award is yet another in a long list of honors bestowed on Barcom including being inducted into the Arizona Wildlife for Tomorrow Hall of Fame and his naming as the Outstanding Wildlife Citizen Contributor by the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife.
Barcom was inducted into the Arizona Wildlife for Tomorrow Hall of Fame during its 10th annual banquet held in 2008 at the Scottsdale Resort and Conference Center.
Also in 2008, he was given Outstanding Citizen Wildlife Contributor Award during ceremonies held in Rapid City, S.D.
Friends know Barcom, as a very modest man who doesn’t tout the awards he’s received, but also understand he’s very worthy of all the laurels.
Over the years, he has been the president of the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society, is active in more than a score of conservation organizations and has guided the Mogollon Sporting Association since its founding in 1991 in a Rim Country coffee shop.
With Barcom at the roots of the MSA, the organization has grown to become a solid benefactor of local youth programs and a protector of wildlife and the environment.
In 2005, the MSA was inducted into the same Outdoor Hall of Fame that Barcom joined three years later.
“Helping start the MSA is one of the accomplishments I’m most proud of,” Barcom said at the time.
Thanks to his efforts and those of other volunteers, the MSA has also received the Arizona State Schools Public Relation Association’s Award of Merit for its longtime support of school programs.
In addition to Barcom’s contributions to the MSA, he’s been active in Boy Scouts, Safari Club, Outstanding Young Farmer Program, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, Foundation for North American Wild Sheep, Arizona Jaycees and the Arizona Antelope Foundation.
He has also served as a liaison between the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society and the Arizona Game and Fish Department and spent a term on the Heritage Public Advisory Committee providing insights into the administration of the fund.
The Payson man has also been at the forefront of a number of youth hunter recruitment and retention programs and is known to be an avid angler and hunter.
Barcom says it is his passion for the outdoors that drives him to participate in a myriad of conservation organizations.
“I love to hunt and fish, so I believe you give something back if you take something,” he said. “I grew up that way and it’s a joy to do it.”
Just last fall, Barcom and other MSA volunteers, including Pettet, gathered in a wash south of Payson, near Chilson Ranch and the closed Zulu Mine, to build a state-of-the-art water system, known as “Connor Catchment.” Now that it is completed, it will provide a year-round water source for wildlife in the high desert area of the Tonto National Forest.
Laurels roll in
In notifying Barcom of his Outstanding Citizen Wildlife Contributor Award in 2008, Jeffrey Vonk, president of WAFWA wrote, “for you to be selected should be a source of great personal satisfaction and pride.”
Vonk also said that only “exceptional individuals meeting the high standards reflected in the award criteria” receive the coveted citation.
As Wildlife for Tomorrow Hall of Fame inductee, Barcom joined a long list of leaders who have made significant contributions to preserving Arizona’s outdoor heritage.
Among those previously inducted are Barry Goldwater, Morris K. Udall, Bob Hirsch, Ben Avery, Tom Woods and others.
Before retiring in 2005, Barcom — an almost 50-year resident of Arizona — was president of Barcom’s Parts and Equipment, a company he founded in 1979.
In Pettet’s Legacy Award introduction of Barcom, he told how the honoree began his career in 1963 as a parts delivery driver in Chandler. By 1971, he had part ownership of an automotive supply in Casa Grande.
In 1979, he and his family moved to Payson where he founded the parts and equipment company.
Barcom has said he was elated to move to the Rim Country because he knew living in Payson would give him more outdoor opportunities.
Barcom married his wife, Linda, in 1964 and they have two sons, Duane and Chad.