Our primary focus is to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands. Sadly, there are many threats.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness gives voice to the millions of Americans who want to protect their public lands for future generations.
Founded in 1989, we are one of the few public land conservation organizations led by women. With more than 8,500 members and supporters across the nation, we emphasize local grassroots action. We value and promote women’s leadership and experience, and have fun doing serious work.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness:
- Fight to defend public lands from threats that degrade ecosystems and wilderness characteristics.
- Join with like-minded partners to urge Congress to increase public land protections and designate new wilderness areas.
- Monitor management of designated wilderness to ensure these places remain, as the 1964 Wilderness Act characterizes them, “untrammeled by man.”
H O W W E W O R K—Our Tools
Broads empowers women to use democracy to defend our birthright—America’s public lands and waters. We train and mobilize advocates in communities across the nation to rally for wilderness designation and public land protections to ensure clean air and water, and a healthy habitat for all of Earth’s creatures. We focus on four core activities:
Education is the foundation of action and the core of our work. We believe in placed-based education to develop a strong understanding of the issues, history, and important link between public lands and mitigating the effects of a changing climate. Our work is guided by science and research to ensure we advocate for what is best for the land. Our members learn to act as citizen scientists, documenting impacts on our public lands, and gathering data used to evaluate land conditions and support protection proposals.
Broads takes a grassroots approach, connecting people with a desire to get involved and guiding them on how to take action. Individual members and our 40 (and growing!) Broadband chapters across the country participate in land management decision-making to keep threats at bay and support policies that protect public lands. We coach Broadband leaders and members how to hold government agencies and decision makers accountable for sustainable management of our public lands, and how to engage communities to effect change. We’re there to speak at legislative and agency hearings for the voiceless—wilderness and wildlife.
Broads has something for everyone, whether you are an armchair activist or a hardcore hiker. Click here to find your nearest Broadband!
We show our love for the land through projects that repair and restore our wild places. We teach volunteers to document impacts to landscapes and gather data. Broads are the eyes and ears, the boots on the ground, the reporters and supporters. From re-seeding to fence building to trail repair, Broadbands work with land management agencies such as the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to lend their loving hands to tend public lands.
Broadwork events tackle stewardship and monitoring projects on public lands, while Broadwalks feature on-the-ground exploration with guided hikes for all abilities and skill levels. Evenings offer expert presentations and discussions, giving participants insight into why these lands need protection. Participants are given the tools and information to advocate on behalf of these lands as well.
As legendary columnist Molly Ivins once said, “You got to have fun if you plan on staying involved for the long haul.”
This is serious work, but we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Broads have fun learning and doing, making their voices heard, putting pen to paper, and getting close to nature. The challenges often feel unrelenting, but being on the land leads to a natural camaraderie with others who share the enthusiasm for the fight for America’s wild lands.
P U B L I C L A N D T H R E A T S
Oil and gas drilling and mining exact a high price on the land—impairing air and water quality, disrupting or destroying wildlife habitat, and disturbing the natural quiet and beauty of the land.
Americans have a deep love for our “wild west” beginnings, yet, behind this idealized vision is a truth that reveals an ugly history of public lands abuse, runaway subsidies, and a broken system…
We believe vehicular access should occur only on designated roadways and trails. Sadly, there are recreationalists who disregard travel routes…
Much of Broads’ work is related to reducing or eliminating activities on public lands that contribute to global warming…
Broadtastic Books: Wilderness
America's National Monuments: The Politics of Preservation
Edward Abbey, 1968
Rachel Carson, 1962
The Everglades: River of Grass
Marjory Stoneman Douglas, 1947
A Sand County Almanac
Aldo Leopold, 1949
Encounters with the Archdruid
John McPhee, 1971
The Singing Wilderness
Sigurd Olson, 1956
Henry David Thoreau, 1854
Two in the Far North
All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life
Winona LaDuke, 1999
Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth
George Wuerthner, Eileen Crist, Tom Butler
Cadillac Desert: the American West and Its Disappearing Water
Marc Reisner, 1986
Last Child in the Woods
Richard Louv, 2008
The Spine of the Continent: The Most Ambitious Wildlife Conservation Project Ever Undertaken
Mary Ellen Hannibal, 2012
The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America
Timothy Egan, 2009
The World Is Blue: How Our Fate and the Ocean's Are One
Sylvia Earle, 2009
Totem Salmon: Life Lessons from Another Species
Freeman House, 2000
Feral: Rewilding the Land, the Sea, and Human Life
George Monbiot, 2013