I have been a member of Great Old Broads for Wilderness for more than 10 years. Not only do they embody many of my core values, including wild place protection, humor, hiking, and helping, but people who are attracted to the Great Old Broads are some of the most fascinating and productive wilderness advocates I have ever met. Their organization is very well run and the staff is knowledgeable and helpful. I look forward to many more years as a Great Old Broad for Wilderness. The organization is currently expanding its range and training leaders for new chapters throughout the nation.
I've been an active, participating Great Old Broad twenty years since the beginning (1990). My favorite Broad's experience was in 1995 when Orin Hatch announced to America that for no other reason, we need roads in the wilderness for the aged and infirm. In response, the Broads organized a month walk across Utah, from Moab to St George, to let the world know otherwise. Each day we walked in precious wilderness without roads. Much of this land was wild public BLM land, magnificent but without permanent protection. Experiencing this cause and rare beauty changed my life forever. We changed other lives forever by bringing attention to these wild places. Local media responded and we attracted PBS crews, both radio and TV, at several locations. Most years I participate with the Broads at a carefully chosen sensitive wild site -- our purpose is to educate ourselves, perform service projects in wild places, take the word to the world that these lands need permanent protection, from the grass-roots up AND TO HAVE FUN WHILE WE'RE DOING IT. Following the WALK ACROSS UTAH, I worked for five years with the Escalante,Utah BLM and cattle ranchers monitorina long-term grazing issues on wild lands that cry for protection. Each year I participate in our Broad's on-line auction, our major fundraiser -- last weekend I hosted a trailhead breakfast at my mountain home in Sonoma Valley and led an all day hike in now-protected wilderness. Linda Liscom
I first learned about the Great Old Broads through one of our founders, Dottie Fox. Off we would go on a hike. Dottie knew all the wildflowers. She knew cheat grass and why it appears when there has been cattle overgraxing the area. I envied that knowledge and wanted to learn more. As soon as work allowed, I followed her off to Broadwalks around the west and met a group of independent, thoughtful women who wanted more than just hiking beautiful lands. They wanted these lands to have protection and be there for the future generation. As my daughter has told me,
My husband and I attended a Healthy Land Project Training in Arizona and learned about monitoring public lands for motorized vehicle and human use effects. We learned how to document degradation of public lands and noted the resulting consequences for wildlife and fragile ecosystems. We saw beautiful country and the company of other trainees was terrific. Lots of laughter. now we can apply our training in our home state of New Mexico
The Broads are the only land-protection non-profit that I know of that focus more on helping and communicating than litigating. They try to work with local public land management agencies to ensure proper practices but also do field work to find both healthy and unhealthy land management occurring on our nation's land. They protect our home turf! The agencies have so much paperwork to wade through, that to give them a head start as to where the problem areas are, and where things are working, has so far been an invaluable volunteer resource. PS. They have a sense of humor. Clearly, given the name.
I had a good experience talking with the Forest Supervisor and some of his staff and the training from Great Old Broads helped! We knew to start with positive introductions that connected us to the land. I was able to share a special perspective of Broads on wilderness and other critical forest issues. The training from Broads helped me structure comments, their brochures and handouts let me show a connections to protecting the lands the Forest Service is charged with managing. Broads gave me the courage and support I needed to step forward and let the Forest Service know there is a new kid on the block that can support them and their purpose...and also keep pressure on them to do the right thing. Broads give me courage and support to step forward and speak out for our public lands.