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Strategic Plan: 2017–2022

Who We Are:

Great Old Broads for Wilderness (Broads) brings grassroots power to America’s wilderness and wild land protection movement. Our regional, volunteer-led chapters (Broadbands), located in rural and urban communities, organize their members locally to advocate for and engage in public land issues. A small professional staff in the national office provides leadership on national issues and supports the growth and development of Broads’ chapters and members, training and mentoring an active network of public land advocates.

As a national, women-led organization working to protect wilderness and wild lands, Broads enjoys a singular niche at a time when women’s leadership is essential and rising. Broads’ leadership by older women injects much-needed skill, experience, passion, and commitment to protect public lands. We bond through shared values and nurture each other as we nurture the planet. We welcome, respect, and commit to increasing the racial, cultural, and gender diversity of members, volunteers, and partners.

Broads combines education, advocacy, stewardship, and fun—with an emphasis on humor and play as part of the organizational personality. We are driven by a love of place and a desire to work as a community to protect wild nature.

Broads takes a two-pronged approach to public lands advocacy. We collaborate with land management agencies on stewardship and monitoring, but also serve as fierce advocates, holding agencies accountable for proper management of our public lands. When necessary to pursue legal action, Broads’ deep level of involvement and knowledge of public lands leads our members to provide legal standing (the capacity to bring suit in court) on various landscapes.

As grassroots activists, we believe in democracy and dialogue, and encourage science-based approaches to public lands problem-solving. As individuals, we care deeply about wild places for their capacity to create a sense of awe, connection, and renewal. We recognize that camaraderie and caring will bring us together to sustain ourselves and our work over the long haul. Our work is driven by a moral urgency to protect the Earth and its myriad and intricate systems, in perpetuity.


Strengthen grassroots activism for public lands protection by building focused and effective grassroots chapters (Broadbands) and active individual memberships, engaging the leadership of women in communities across the country.

“What helps us face the mess we’re in is the knowledge that each of us has something significant to offer, a contribution to make. In rising to the challenge of playing our best role, we discover something precious that both enriches our lives and adds to the healing of our world.” – Joanna Macy, ecophilosopher and author

The engagement of the public in active protection of public lands is critically important to improve land management and planning. Using proven grassroots organizing techniques, Broadband chapters and members foster visibility and effective advocacy towards the Broads’ mission, through passionate volunteerism and community involvement. Grassroots activism sources its power through building of relationships and community, uniting diverse people over time through shared learning and action.

OUTCOME 1.1: Effective education from the national office to activate members, the general public­—and ultimately elected officials—to implement and defend key laws, policies, and funding that protect public lands

Strategy 1.1.a: Use tools such as the website, Broadsides newsletter, and social media to provide education and opportunities for action.

Strategy 1.1.b: Respond to or initiate time-sensitive calls to action via tools such as email action alerts and targeted communication with Broadband leaders, when Broads’ involvement will have substantive impact on an issue. Use these communication techniques to provide background or additional information to further educate our members on issues.

Strategy 1.1.c: Throughout communications and training, cultivate Broads’ signature brand of fun and humor to attract media attention through devices such as street theatre, playful messaging, and the element of surprise.

OUTCOME 1.2: Skilled, informed, and effective activism on the part of members and Broadbands to protect wild public lands and the laws and policies needed to defend them

Strategy 1.2.a: Provide targeted education and resources to members and Broadband leaders to deepen their understanding of and engagement in public land issues, grassroots advocacy, wilderness conservation, collaborations, and partnerships.

Strategy 1.2.b: Provide tools and resources to Broadband leaders to support chapter development and leadership, effective communication skills, and program development for chapter growth.

Strategy 1.2.c: Provide guidance to members to strengthen working relationships with elected officials and public land managers at local, state, and federal levels; and improve effectiveness in legislative, administrative, and regulatory processes.

Strategy 1.2.d: Promote strength and continuity of Broadband chapters by showing appreciation and providing support to Broadband leaders; developing co-leadership teams; and encouraging collaborative, horizontal chapter-organizing techniques.

Strategy 1.2.e: Evaluate and assess national office and Broadband education and effectiveness through leader feedback and the Program Committee.

Strategy 1.2.f: Encourage dialogue with those with differing viewpoints on public land management, so as to better understand various perspectives on the nature and sources of public lands threats, thereby leading to durable solutions.

OUTCOME 1.3: Broadbands in areas of the country where grassroots activism is essential to defend public lands

Strategy 1.3.a: Develop a process to determine how to strategically expand Broadbands, considering geographic needs, staff capacity, and areas of high existing membership.

Strategy 1.3.b: Prioritize significant opportunities for grassroots advocacy and stewardship on public lands.

OUTCOME 1.4: Training programs to empower emerging leaders, decision-makers, and media influencers

Strategy 1.4.a: Provide high quality grassroots training and resources such as the annual Wilderness Advocacy Leadership Training Sessions (WALTS), annual national and regional Rendezvous leadership retreats, peer leadership calls and webinars, online resources, and individual coaching.

Strategy 1.4.b: Encourage members to join county and state commissions, consensus collaborations, and other opportunities for public lands influence; and, provide internal training and resources to ensure success in these leadership roles.

OUTCOME 1.5: Active members who are catalysts in strong coalitions and partnerships to defend public lands

Strategy 1.5.a: Assess what can be accomplished with existing partnerships to more effectively accomplish our public lands goals.

Strategy 1.5.b: Create partnerships with new and diverse groups and organizations, such as tribal, youth, recreational (e.g. hunters, anglers), ranchers, land conservancies, and commercial entities aligned with our values.


Keep wild lands wild and the Wilderness Act intact.

“Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining Wilderness be destroyed…We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edges and look in.” – Wallace Stegner

Protect America’s wild public lands from threats to ecological integrity, scenic beauty, cultural resources, natural quiet, and solitude, while defending the key laws and policies that protect these values, such as the Wilderness Act, Antiquities Act, Endangered Species Act, and National Environmental Policy Act.

OUTCOME 2.1: Organizational resources focused on the greatest threats to wilderness character, ecological integrity, and intrinsic and spiritual values of national public lands

Strategy 2.1.a: Pursue actions to protect public lands from specific activities that present the greatest risk (e.g. expanded energy extraction, logging, motorized activities, recreational or commercial overuse). Document the effects of these activities on public lands.

Strategy 2.1.b: Prioritize opportunities to creatively solve administrative problems facing specific wild public lands (e.g. improved planning, better enforcement, monitoring and responding to public land conditions, fighting cuts in federal spending for critical agencies).

Strategy 2.1.c: Protect bedrock laws and policies essential to public land protection.

OUTCOME 2.2: Guidance and support from the national office to enhance strategic grassroots efforts to defend and advocate for new and expanded wilderness areas, wild and scenic rivers, national monuments, and other protective designations of wild public lands

Strategy 2.2.a: Identify and bolster the most critical protection campaigns through communication tools that inspire advocacy, partnership and collaboration with diverse organizations; promote, advocate and conduct grassroots and direct lobbying for new legislation as appropriate; and spotlight campaigns through national and regional events, such as Broadwalks (multi-day educational camping trips.)

Strategy 2.2.b: Provide training for Broadband leaders and members on the different types of wild lands protections, their unique challenges, and methods to develop proposals, advocate, and organize for effective protection.

Strategy 2.2.c: Provide education and communications on the values and ethics of establishing wilderness and other protections for wild public lands, including the culture and language best suited for communications with media, partners, and leadership trainings.


Keep public lands in public hands

“Our public lands — whether a national park or monument, wildlife refuge, forest or prairie — make each one of us land-rich. It is our inheritance as citizens of a country called America.” – Terry Tempest Williams, author and activist

America’s 635 million acres of national public lands are protected by federal laws and owned by all Americans. Efforts to transfer federal lands to states put them at risk of being overdeveloped, made inaccessible, or sold based on ill-conceived policies, narrow ideologies, and short-sighted self-interests. National public lands are more than the dollars generated by energy development, recreational use, and other activities. They are also rich in the cultural and historic values they contain; the clean air and water they generate; the biological wildness and diversity they harbor; and the sense of wonder and amazement they engender. Today, more than ever, these lands are at risk. We must protect these indispensable pieces of America’s heritage.

OUTCOME 3.1: Increased public support for America’s public lands and increased grassroots leadership that is both knowledgeable and effective at defending the concept and value of federally managed public lands

Strategy 3.1.a: Provide education to members, Broadband leaders, and the general public to enhance understanding of the history and management of public lands and wilderness: the means by which public lands can be defended or lost and the impacts of losses; the benefits of increased protections; and the policies that protect public lands.

Strategy 3.1.b: Assist Broadbands and members in the development and presentation of educational, advocacy, and stewardship events (such as expert talks and discussions, hikes with a purpose; restoration and monitoring activities; workshops; and regional Broadwalks) to engage their communities in protecting America’s public lands.

OUTCOME 3.2: Encouragement and support for grassroots efforts to defend national public lands, including working effectively with local, state and federal agencies, legislative bodies, courts, and the presidential administration

Strategy 3.2.a: Provide education and resources to Broadbands and members on grassroots advocacy methods, effective communications with governmental representatives, and documentation and lobbying skills.

Strategy 3.2.b: Provide opportunities for members to collaborate at state and national levels in defense of public lands.


Make public lands part of the solution to climate change

“Our wild landscapes have been drilled and mined for energy for over a century, but now we know that these very activities are leading to global environmental disaster. We believe land that belongs to the public should serve the public interest. We can choose to keep fossil fuel safely underground while we protect and restore our forests, grasslands, and deserts to minimize climate change and allow public lands the resilience to adapt to those changes we can’t avoid.”
– Shelley Silbert, Executive Director, Great Old Broads for Wilderness

Public lands can serve as a major bulwark against climate change and its effects. Managing public lands for natural carbon sequestration and reducing or eliminating fossil fuel development is key to developing maximum resilience to the impacts of a changing climate. However, the health of these lands is threatened or weakened by those who oppose federal land management and land protections, or deny the science of climate change. These factions seek to slash agency budgets, rendering them ineffective; limit democratic processes that provide for public involvement; and encourage exploitation of public land resources for short-term gain.

OUTCOME 4.1: Effective action to support policies that make public lands a part of the solution to climate change rather than part of the problem as emitters of greenhouse gases

Strategy 4.1.a: Track and promote awareness and action on high-impact laws, policies, and projects that affect emissions and carbon sequestration. Support laws to limit and offset emissions, and promote positive renewable energy proposals. Challenge laws and projects that reduce environmental analysis, create new fossil fuel energy infrastructure, or promote the export of fossil fuels.

Strategy 4.1.b: Build grassroots capacity to watchdog fossil fuel leasing through activities such as submitting effective comments, participating in administrative protests, filing appeals and legal challenges, and other means to oppose actions that fail to consider the best available science and full climate costs.

Strategy 4.1.c: Use tools such as agency processes, legislative advocacy, direct action, and litigation to protect public lands’ natural capacity for carbon storage and sequestration.

OUTCOME 4.2: Effective action to support policies that maximize the adaptation of species to the impacts of climate change on their habitat, particularly on public lands

Strategy 4.2.a: Pursue and promote stewardship, natural resource planning, and legal opportunities to help restore native plant and animal species and their habitat to increase the natural resilience of public lands (e.g., restore beaver populations and native carnivores, reduce livestock grazing impacts).

Strategy 4.2.b: Support and/or initiate efforts to protect interconnected wildlife migration corridors and buffer zones, particularly in areas where habitat changes are anticipated from climate change.

Strategy 4.2.c: Support and/or initiate efforts to protect uninhibited natural waterways, water sources, and aquatic habitat with adequate quantity and flow to retain resiliency amid climatic changes, and support protections for coastal and marine waters.

OUTCOME 4.3: Educational programs and materials to widely share the relationship between the use and management of public lands and climate change including guidance to improve climate stewardship

Strategy 4.3.a: Develop resources to help members identify and advocate for climate action (mitigation and adaptation) by working with public land plans and proposals.

Strategy 4.3.b: Design communication strategies for sharing Broads’ climate messaging and materials using outreach and training opportunities such as newsletter articles, conferences, social media, email, in-person and online leadership trainings, as well as external print and electronic media (e.g., local/national newspapers, television interviews, community discussions).

Strategy 4.3.c: Assist Broadbands in mastering climate messaging and conducting events such as climate action workshops, Broadwalks, town hall meetings, marches, and meetings with locally elected officials, to educate and build support for public lands management strategies that mitigate contributions to climate change.


Ensure long-term sustainability of Great Old Broads for Wilderness and its mission.

Provide a foundation of long-term stability and financial strength through grassroots leadership and member development; dynamic fundraising, prudent financial management, capacity building, and documentation of institutional knowledge; staff and board development; and diversifying membership, partnerships, and constituency for public lands.

OUTCOME 5.1: Programs that get members and supporters into the wild, connected to public lands, organizational values, and each other, thereby increasing their advocacy and financial commitment to the organization

Strategy 5.1.a: Design and conduct national multi-day events (e.g. Broadwalks) on public lands to educate participants about nature, build lasting connections to landscapes in need of defense, create community through enjoyment and stewardship of public lands, and engage participants in advocacy. Offer activities such as expert led hikes, plant and wildlife identification, citizen science projects, and stewardship activities. These activities serve to expand members’ understanding of their potential to protect and advocate for public lands.

Strategy 5.1.b: Offer a schedule of national service projects (Broadworks) to create opportunities for members and the public to experience dedicated stewardship. Design these trips to build a sense of community, connection to public lands, relationships with land management agencies, and enhance understanding of the challenges and potential of effective land management.

Strategy 5.1.c: Encourage and support Broadband efforts to organize regional Broadwalks and Broadworks, including strategies to best prepare novice members.

OUTCOME 5.2: A portfolio of diverse funding sources and effective strategies for acquiring/achieving a consistent funding stream to support successful programs

Strategy 5.2.a: Utilize a Board Fundraising Committee, composed of board members and national office staff, to drive short and long-term fundraising goals and identify prospective funding sources.

Strategy 5.2.b: Implement a strategy to achieve balanced funding sources and analyze funding practices for their outcomes and long-term sustainability. This includes a process to ensure a reliable database of active members, proper management of prospect information, and a vigorous and dynamic member retention program.

Strategy 5.2.c: Develop a successful major donor and planned giving program that targets the organization’s primary demographic through thoughtful outreach and solicitation of donors and prospects throughout the year.

Strategy 5.2.d: Establish one or two focused, outcome-oriented, nationwide programmatic campaigns that will also serve to attract multi-year funding.

OUTCOME 5.3: An engaged and active Board of Directors and a plan for assuring a succession of future Board leaders

Strategy 5.3.a: Evaluate current and future Board needs and generate a pool of candidates with the skills, expertise, experience, and resources necessary to satisfy these needs.

Strategy 5.3.b: Develop and implement an orientation and mentoring program for new Board members to assure the transfer of institutional knowledge and to promote their full engagement

Strategy 5.3.c: Develop the steps necessary to keep the Board apprised of new and evolving issues on public lands and Broadband activities so the Board can best contribute to setting priorities.

OUTCOME 5.4: Organizational staff capacity sufficient to grow the skills and expertise needed to carry out this strategic plan and the organization’s mission to protect wilderness and wild public lands

Strategy 5.4.a: Provide competitive compensation and incentives to support retention of excellent staff.

Strategy 5.4.b: Provide staff with training necessary to increase their skills, exercise their creativity, and create an environment that maintains their enthusiasm for the organization’s mission.

Strategy 5.4.c: Assess current staffing needs and plan for gaps in organizational capacity to ensure proper staffing to handle current and future needs.

Strategy 5.4.d: Utilize a Board Sustainability Committee, composed of board and staff members, to assure the capacity of the organization is sustained and capable of meeting new and evolving issues.

OUTCOME 5.5: A plan to diversify membership, partnerships, and a constituency for public lands

Strategy 5.5a: Develop and ensure inclusive messaging in all print and electronic materials, including an emphasis on a generative concern for the future and in nurturing and guiding the next generation.

Strategy 5.5b: Develop partnerships with organizations representing a variety of cultural, ethnic, socio-economic, and age groups to focus on issues of interest to diverse communities.

Strategy 5.5c: Support Broadband leaders’ efforts to diversify their members and partners through tools, shared messaging, and examples of success.

Strategy 5.5.d: Implement practices to promote diverse candidate pools for employee, Board of Directors, and Advisory Board recruitment. Plan and implement diversity training for staff and board members.

Lupine wildflowers
Women standing in front of the U.S Capitol building
A group of Broads hiking at Bears Ears
A scenic view of a stream with trees and mountains in the background
A woman in a Great Old Broads shirt smiling with signs