Wilderness and Wild Public Lands Protection

Our primary focus is to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands. Sadly, there are many threats.

What We Do:

  • Collaborate with conservation partners to urge Congress to designate new wilderness areas
  • Monitor management of wilderness to ensure these places remain “untrammeled by man”
  • Work to mitigate threats to our public lands
  • Work with decision makers to ensure wild public lands stay wild while awaiting wilderness designation or other protective measures. These lands include:
    • Wilderness Study Areas
    • Inventoried Roadless Areas
    • Lands identified as having wilderness character not yet endorsed for protection.
    • Orphan lands—wild lands unqualified for wilderness designation that contain remarkable scenery, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities that merit protection from further development and destruction.

Our actions are guided by what is best for the land; what is best for Mother Earth.

Wilderness & Public Lands Defined

There are a lot of terms that describe our public lands. What is the difference between a National Park and a Wildlife Refuge? What is Wilderness? For up-to-date maps and statistics on wilderness areas, visit wilderness.net here.

Be sure to check out our recommended reading list (below) that includes wilderness classics and introductions to “The Broader Wilderness”.

P U B L I C  L A N D  T H R E A T S

Exploration & Extraction

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.

Public Lands
Livestock Grazing

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…

Roads & Vehicular Use

We believe vehicular access should occur only on designated roadways and trails. Sadly, there are recreationalists who disregard travel routes…

Climate Change

Much of Broads’ work is related to reducing or eliminating activities on public lands that contribute to global warming (and exacerbate…


Broadtastic Books: Wilderness

P U B L I C  L A N D  T H R E A T S

H O W  W E  W O R K


Broads develop a strong understanding of issues through our action alerts, Broadwork, and Broadwalk events. We educate on  the history, politics, animal and plant life, and the health of wild lands and waters. We teach volunteers to be citizen scientists, how to document impacts to public lands, gather data, and most effectively advocate for protection.


We provide public citizen leadership and advocacy skills with the goal of creating a national grassroots movement to push for stronger policies and laws to protect wild lands and waters, and wildlife. Broadband chapter members (Broads) show up, create public awareness, and provide substantive comments on public lands planning policies and management. We testify on behalf of wilderness and wildlife.


On our own and with partners, we’re there to repair, restore, and care for public lands. From re-seeding to fence building to trail repair, Broads lend their loving hands to tend our public lands on our Broadwalks and Broadworks.


Best of all, Broads bring their own brand of FUN to the conservation movement. As columnist Molly Ivins said, “You got to have fun if you plan on staying involved for the long haul.” Great Old Broads for Wilderness is definitely in it for the long haul.


Our Position

  • New wilderness proposals and legislation must be in keeping with the spirit and the intent of the 1964 Wilderness Act. Although authorized under the Wilderness Act, Great Old Broads opposes livestock grazing in designated Wilderness.
  • Protection of designated Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas should never be reduced as the result of quid pro quo trades resulting in privatization, development, or other activities that degrade public lands. All public lands with Wilderness qualities should gain protection based solely on those qualities.
  • Wilderness legislation must not compromise or reduce the existing protections for Wilderness Study Areas, Roadless Areas, National Park Units, Wildlife Refuges, and other lands important to cultural heritage, fish and wildlife habitat, air and water quality, and as refuges of peace and quiet.
  • Proposals and legislation that set bad precedents should be opposed even if they might provide some permanent wilderness designation.