Who We Are
Great Old Broads for Wilderness (Broads) brings grassroots power to America’s conservation movement. Our volunteer-led chapters (Broadbands), located in rural and urban communities across the nation, organize members to engage as advocates to protect and steward wilderness and wild places. The national office staff provides leadership on national issues, trains and mentors conservation advocates, and supports the growth and development of Broadband chapters.
As a nationwide, women-led organization, Broads enjoys a singular niche at a time when women’s leadership is essential. Broads’ leadership by older women injects much-needed skill, experience, and commitment to protect public lands. We bond through shared values and nurture each other as we nurture the planet.
Broads welcome, respect, and commit to increasing the diversity of members, volunteers, staff, board, and partners. We honor and value the traditional ecological knowledge of Indigenous people and the expansion of co-stewardship of lands to bring Indigenous expertise to decision making.
Broad’s organizational culture is a combination of education, advocacy, and stewardship—with an emphasis on humor and fun. We are driven by a love of place and a desire to work as a community to protect wild nature. We care about wild places for their capacity to create a sense of awe, connection, and renewal.
Broads takes a two-pronged approach to public lands advocacy. We collaborate with land management agencies on stewardship and monitoring, but we also serve as effective advocates, holding agencies accountable for ecologically-sound management practices.
Our deep level of engagement and extensive history in public lands advocacy qualifies Broads to pursue legal action when necessary to protect and defend wild places. We believe in democracy and dialogue, and encourage a science-based approach to problem-solving. Our work is driven by a moral urgency to protect the Earth, and its myriad and intricate systems to sustain all forms of life in perpetuity.
Mission, Vision, and Values
Great Old Broads for Wilderness is a women-led national grassroots organization that engages and inspires activism to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands.
Wild public lands and waters are treasured for their intrinsic values, and protected for current and future generations.
Wilderness and public lands and waters are for everyone. They are the heritage of all and a gift to future generations.
- Public lands and waters.
- The spirit and intent of national conservation legislation such as the Wilderness Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Antiquities Act.
- Knowing that wild places once destroyed, may be gone forever.
- The natural world as a community where humans—as one piece of an interconnected whole—must take responsibility for stewardship.
- Sound science as a basis for informed decisions.
- Being bold, courageous, and fearless in defense of wild lands.
- Humor, grace, common sense, and passion.
- Curiosity and a willingness to listen to all perspectives.
- Dialogue to resolve conflicts.
- Racial, cultural, and gender diversity in the conservation movement.
- Indigenous traditional ecological knowledge and experience.
- Broadness as a state of mind.
Goals, Outcomes, and Strategies
GOAL 1: The effectiveness of Broads’ grassroots activism is strengthened and enhanced.
OUTCOME: 1.1: An educated, inspired, and diverse membership is effectively defending environmental laws and advocating for policies and funding to protect public lands and waters.
- Strategy 1.1.a: Provide targeted and accessible education and resources to Broads to deepen their understanding of—and engagement in—public land issues, grassroots advocacy, land conservation, collaborations, and partnerships.
- Strategy 1.1.b: Provide Broadband leaders high-quality grassroots training and resources such as the annual Wilderness Advocacy Leadership Training Sessions, annual national and regional Rendezvous leadership retreats, peer leadership calls and webinars, online resources, and individual coaching.
- Strategy 1.1.c: Recruit new members (with a focus on our prime demographic of older women) through events, sponsorships, webinars, advertising, publicity, etc.
- Strategy 1.1.d: Provide guidance to Broads to strengthen working relationships with elected officials and public land managers at local, state, and federal levels; and to improve effectiveness in legislative, administrative, and regulatory processes.
- Strategy 1.1.e: Encourage Broads to join county and state commissions, collaborations, Resource Advisory Councils, and other opportunities to influence public lands/waters management and policy, and provide training and resources to ensure success in these leadership roles.
- Strategy 1.1.f: Encourage dialogue with those with differing viewpoints on public land management to better understand various perspectives on the nature and sources of threats to public lands and waters, thereby leading to durable solutions.
OUTCOME 1.2: The public is informed by Broads about opportunities to advocate for the protection of wild places, the importance of public involvement, and how to be successful advocates.
- Strategy 1.2.a: Provide education about the history and management of wilderness and public lands/waters; the means by which they can be defended or lost and the impacts of losses; the value of federal management; and the concept of keeping public lands and waters in public hands.
- Strategy 1.2.b: Assist Broadbands in the development and presentation of educational, advocacy, and stewardship events (expert talks and discussions, hikes with a purpose, restoration and monitoring activities, workshops, and Broadwalks) to engage their communities in protecting America’s public lands and waters.
OUTCOME 1.3: Broads are active in areas of the country where grassroots activism is essential to defend public lands and waters from threats.
- Strategy 1.3.a: National staff and Broadbands prioritize significant opportunities for grassroots advocacy and stewardship on public lands and waters.
- Strategy 1.3.b: Strategically expand Broadbands while considering geographic needs, staff capacity, and areas of high existing membership.
OUTCOME 1.4: Broads are engaged with diverse coalitions and marginalized communities regarding community concerns that intersect with wild lands and waters advocacy.
Note: This includes, but is not limited to, collaboration with communities of color (Black, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Hispanic or Latina/o, etc.), LGBTQ+ groups, immigrants, disabled people or those with disabilities, working class and low-income communities, and others who have historically been underrepresented within the established conservation movement.
- Strategy 1.4.a: Develop partnerships with diverse organizations to collaborate on conservation issues of interest to them.
- Strategy 1.4.b: Train and support Broadband leaders’ outreach efforts through tools, talking points, and examples of success.
- Strategy 1.4.c: Remove barriers of participation (language, economic, etc.) and share resources such as access to influencers, elected officials, or partner organizations, funding and grant opportunities, and communications support.
- Strategy 1.4.d: Develop and incorporate inclusive messaging into all print and electronic materials.
GOAL 2: New or expanded protective designations for wild lands and waters are maximized.
OUTCOME 2.1: Protective designations are gained for public lands and waters in addition to Wilderness such as National Monuments, Wilderness Study Areas, National Wild & Scenic Rivers, and other conservation designations.
- Strategy 2.1.a: Provide training on the different types of wild lands protections, the unique challenges of various protections, methods to develop protection proposals, and how to organize and advocate for effective protection.
- Strategy 2.1.b: Develop national and regional events to spotlight prioritized land protection campaigns.
- Strategy 2.1.c: Broads’ national office staff participates and represents the organization in national campaigns and coalitions (i.e. the America the Beautiful for All Coalition) that are focused on new land protections.
- Strategy 2.1.d: Broads’ national office staff seeks out funding to deepen organizational involvement in land protection work.
- Strategy 2.1.e: Broads’ national office communications support prioritized land protection campaigns.
OUTCOME 2.2: Co-management of public lands and waters is established where appropriate by the U.S. federal government and Indigenous sovereign governments; Indigenous partners without formal federal recognition; and non-Indigenous partners having historic or current ties, or a cultural, spiritual, or community connection to the public lands and waters.
- Strategy 2.2.a: Broads’ national office and Broadband communications provide support for co-management proposals.
- Strategy 2.2.b: Broads’ national office and Broadband communications provide education about Indigenous co-management and co-management proposals to support advocacy efforts.
GOAL 3: Wild places in the United States are protected from degradation.
OUTCOME 3.1: Public involvement toward protection of wild places and prevention of activities that degrade land and wildlife and plant habitat health is increased by Broads’ engagement.
- Strategy 3.1.a: Broads pursue actions to protect public lands and waters from activities that present the greatest risk (expanded energy extraction, logging, overgrazing, recreational or commercial overuse) and document the impact of these activities.
- Strategy 3.1.b: Broads’ national office and Broadband communications and events educate members and the public about wild land and water degradation activities, and provide opportunities to take action.
- Strategy 3.1.c: Broads’ national office staff assists in the development and presentation of educational, advocacy, and stewardship events to bring attention to land degradation.
OUTCOME 3.2: Degradation of wild lands is reduced through policy and management planning, legislation, litigation, and other methods.
- Strategy 3.2.a: Broads create and sustain engagement with local, state, and federal agencies, legislative bodies, courts, and the presidential administration to prevent land degradation.
OUTCOME 3.3: Protections are increased and degradation is decreased by Broads who are active leaders and participants with groups, coalitions, campaigns, and other collective efforts.
- Strategy 3.3.a: Create new partnerships with diverse groups and organizations such as Indigenous, youth, recreational (e.g., hunters, anglers), ranchers, land conservancies, and commercial entities aligned with our values.
- Strategy 3.3.b: Assess and pursue opportunities with existing partnerships to achieve advocacy and conservation goals more effectively.
- Strategy 3.3.c: Where appropriate, Broads assume a leadership role within collaborations to further mission-aligned protections.
OUTCOME 3.4: The reduction of degradation and threats to wild lands and waters adjacent to communities, particularly communities that typically suffer disproportionately from extraction and contamination.
- Strategy 3.4.a: Develop partnerships with diverse organizations to collaborate on conservation issues of concern threatening communities.
- Strategy 3.4.b: Identify communities at risk and cultivate relationships to partner with and provide resources (funding, training, access to decision makers, communications support, etc.) to those communities based on their expressed needs.
GOAL 4: Public lands and waters management reduces climate impacts, rather than contributing to climate change.
OUTCOME 4.1: Policy and management practices (such as decreasing or eliminating extractive activities) are established to mitigate climate change.
- Strategy 4.1.a: Build grassroots capacity to oppose activities that exacerbate climate change by using tools such as agency processes, legislative advocacy, direct action, and litigation to protect the land and waters’ natural capacity for carbon storage and sequestration.
- Strategy 4.1.b: Track high-impact laws, policies, and projects that affect emissions and carbon sequestration. Educate members and the public about these issues and how to take action.
- Strategy 4.1.c: Challenge laws and projects that reduce environmental analysis and fail to consider the best available science and full climate costs.
- Strategy 4.1.d: Advocate to increase climate resilience of wild places by preserving roadless areas and old-growth/mature forests and restoring lands (for example, reestablish beaver and native carnivore populations, reduce and retire livestock grazing allotments, etc.).
OUTCOME 4.2: Wild lands policies and management practices are maximizing opportunities for habitat protection to allow plant and wildlife species to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
- Strategy 4.2.a: Pursue stewardship, natural resource planning, and legal opportunities to help restore native plant and animal species and their habitat.
- Strategy 4.2.b: Support and/or initiate efforts to protect habitat connectivity, migration corridors, and buffer zones for plant and animal species—particularly in areas where changes are anticipated due to climate change.
- Strategy 4.2.c: Support and/or initiate efforts to protect coastal and marine waters, as well as uninhabited natural waterways, water sources, and aquatic habitat with adequate volume and flow to retain resilience amid climatic changes.
- Strategy 4.2.d: Advocate and participate in the reduction and removal of non-native species of flora and fauna that inhibit native species and ecosystem health.
GOAL 5: Great Old Broads for Wilderness and its mission are sustainable for the long term.
OUTCOME 5.1: Affordable programs are offered to attract diverse members and supporters to experience wild places, foster relationships, and increase their commitment to conservation.
- Strategy 5.1.a: Design and conduct national events (Broadwalks, webinars) to educate participants about nature, build lasting connections to landscapes in need of defense, create community through enjoyment and stewardship of public lands/waters, and engage participants in advocacy.
- Strategy 5.1.b: Offer stipends and scholarships to support participation by diverse, underrepresented, and economically-disadvantaged individuals.
- Strategy 5.1.c: Seek funding sources, sponsors, and partner with other organizations to subsidize program costs to maintain affordability.
OUTCOME 5.2: A diversified portfolio of funding sources and effective fundraising strategies are maintained to achieve a consistent revenue stream to support the organization.
- Strategy 5.2.a: Develop and implement a plan to achieve balanced funding sources and analyze funding practices for their outcomes and long-term sustainability.
- Strategy 5.2.b: Employ the Board Development Committee to drive short- and long-term fundraising goals and identify prospective funding sources.
- Strategy 5.2.c: Implement a vigorous and dynamic membership program to recruit, grow, and retain active and engaged members.
- Strategy 5.2.d: Develop a program to cultivate and maintain relationships with foundations.
- Strategy 5.2.e: Refine and expand the major donor program, and increase and maintain planned giving commitments and endowments through thoughtful outreach and solicitation of donors and prospects.
- Strategy 5.2.f: Establish and incorporate fundraising expectations in the Board Commitment Policy.
- Strategy 5.2.g: Provide training, support, and development for Broadband leaders to identify and secure sources of revenue.
OUTCOME 5.3: Engaged, knowledgeable, and diverse Board members are recruited to ensure effective organizational leadership and a succession of future Board leaders.
- Strategy 5.3.a: Evaluate current and future Board requirements and generate a pool of candidates with the skills, expertise, experience, and resources necessary to satisfy those needs.
- Strategy 5.3.b: Strengthen the orientation and mentoring program for new Board members to assure the transfer of institutional knowledge and promote full engagement.
- Strategy 5.3.c: Ensure the Board conducts regular reviews of organizational policy documents and bylaws and maintains complete records.
- Strategy 5.3.d: Keep the Board apprised of new and evolving public lands and waters issues and Broadband activities.
OUTCOME 5.4: Engaged, knowledgeable, and diverse members for the Council of Advisors (COA) are recruited to provide support to the Board and Executive Director.
- Strategy 5.4.a: Evaluate current and future COA needs and generate a pool of candidates with the skills, expertise, experience, and resources necessary to satisfy those needs.
- Strategy 5.4.b: Develop an orientation program and identify areas where COA members can provide support to the organization.
- Strategy 5.4.c: Keep the COA apprised of organizational activities.
OUTCOME 5.5: An inclusive and equitable organizational culture and structures (policies, benefits, etc.) exist across Board, staff, membership, Council of Advisors, and partnerships.
- Strategy 5.5.a: Implement practices to recruit diverse candidates for the staff, Board of Directors, and Council of Advisors.
- Strategy 5.5.b: Evaluate current organizational HR policies and procedures to remove barriers and ensure equitable practices.
- Strategy 5.5.c: Conduct ongoing equity and justice training for staff, Broadbands, Board members, and Broadband Leaders.
- Strategy 5.5.d: Work with The Avarna Group to create an education plan for Broadband Leaders that will be incorporated into WALTS, Rendezvous, and webinars.
- Strategy 5.5.e: Evaluate Board, staff, and Broadband Leader commitment to DEI values to ensure accountability.
- Strategy 5.5.f: Secure funding to support ongoing DEI training and evaluation of organizational materials and communications.
- Strategy 5.5.g: Survey staff, Board, and membership to evaluate effectiveness of equity and inclusion efforts.
OUTCOME 5.6: A plan to hire, retain, and inspire employees to ensure the highest quality of organizational effectiveness is developed and implemented.
- Strategy 5.6.a: Ongoing evaluation of staff benefits, salaries, responsibilities, and work environment and location to align with industry averages, standards, and federal and state employment laws.
- Strategy 5.6.b: Budget and plan for professional development, team-building, and opportunities for staff recognition and appreciation.
OUTCOME 5.7: Ensure Broadbands have strong volunteer leadership and are well supported by staff.
- Strategy 5.7.a: Provide guidance and support to Broadbands with implementation of Broads’ strategic plan (as appropriate) and share best practices among Broadbands.