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2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Great Old Broads for Wilderness

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Human Services, Land Resources Conservation

Mission: Great Old Broads for Wilderness (Broads) is a national grassroots organization, led by women, that engages and inspires activism to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands.

Target demographics: save wilderness and public lands.

Geographic areas served: USA

Programs: 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.” 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~ 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. ~ADVOCACY~ 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! ~STEWARDSHIP~ 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. ~FUN~ 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.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Rynda C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I joined the Broads in 2013 and created a chapter in Central Oregon. The Broads now have over 40 chapters nationwide. The thing I like most about the Broads is we do grassroots leadership in the areas we live in. Many environmental issues are addressed that are priorities for that geographic area. The chapters address priorities in three ways: education, stewardship and advocacy. An education event may address a topic on the effect of climate change on our local rivers and streams. At the end of the event, we ask participants to advocate for solutions in specific ways, e.g. contact the forest service/BLM, politicians, or other community members. In addition, we do many stewardship projects than include road surveys (to determine forest roads being used that are closed), noxious weed pulls, reparation of riparian areas by planting and supporting habit.
I am retired, and the Broads give my the opportunity to be actively involved in creating a healthier planet for future generations.

Review from Guidestar

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

10

Board Member

Rating: 5

The presentations included historians from the nearby national park presenting costumed cameos of various Spanish settlers and native Americans. The speakers included Forest Service representatives and members of environmental organizations who had differing views on making the lands we hiked Wilderness. Our service project for the Forest Service included picking up trash and mending barbed wire fences, and while we were working in the hot noon-day sun seeing groups of undocumented workers carrying their gallon jugs of water moving from their space under a tree where they were waiting for transport and running across the road to a canyon trying to escape. Our hikes included those to the top of a ridge staked out by environmental heroes and near the motion-activated camera which had recently captured photos of two different highly endangered jaguars extant on the US side of the border. The variety of experiences and meaningful interchange among the Broads and Bros there were both informative and life-enriching.

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

My experiences with the Broadwalks where we go to an area, learn about the environmental issues from the locals, and participate in a service project have been wonderful.

1

Board Member

Rating: 4

As a senior woman I have canoed rivers such as the Green and Colorado and explored remote canyons that I would never have seen without Broads. I have learned how to assess the health of riparian areas so vital to western ecology. Best of all I have been able to help keep wild public lands wild and have fun doing it.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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,

7

Board Member

Rating: 5

This group of dedicated Great Old Broads and Great Old Bros work to protect public and wild lands for future generations, and have fun doing so! Broadwalks (campouts) provide the opportunity for camraderie, service, and exploring areas that need protection for future generations. Local Broadbands (chapters) provide opportunities to work in our communities, giving voice to elders to protect public and wild lands and to explore local or regional wilderness.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great Old Broads is one of a kind: effective, empowering, and fun. They give a voice to the older, impassioned, experienced, wise female, and thus fill an important niche in the environmental and wilderness movement. In a time of large environmental organizations caving to corporate money (see The Nation, March 4, 2010 The Wrong Kind of Green), Great Old Broads remains staunchly independent, grassroots, and true to their mission of protecting wild places. Their campaigns to combat abuse from off-road vehicles and overgrazing on public lands have led to more responsible management plans protecting our public lands for future generations. Their many activities to engage people in both national and local issues are always imaginative, collaborative, non-confrontational, and great fun. As the name suggests, all is done with a sense of humor, and a constant eye towards protecting our pristine public lands for future generations.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.