About Great Old Broads for Wilderness
Great Old Broads for Wilderness was founded in 1989, on the 25th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, by a feisty group of lady hikers who wanted to refute Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch’s notion that wilderness is inaccessible to elders. Today our wrinkled ranks have grown to include men and younger women (Broads-in-Training), though the majority of our membership continues to be older women committed to protecting wilderness areas.
Wild places will have the respect and protection needed to preserve them for future generations.
Great Old Broads for Wilderness is a national organization that uses the voices and activism of elders to preserve and protect wilderness and wild lands. Conceived by older women who love wilderness, Broads gives voice to the millions of older (and not so able) Americans who want to protect their public lands as Wilderness for this and future generations. We bring voice, knowledge, commitment, and humor to the movement to protect our last wild places on earth.
Great Old Broads, with lifetimes of adventures and experiences to draw from, bring a broader perspective and valuable insights to wilderness discussions than other environmental organizations with more youthful memberships are able to do. Great Old Broads are uniquely qualified to speak up for the lands and to protect what we have learned is valuable and important. We are prepared to alleviate the destruction to wilderness, and we are optimistic that we will make a difference. Our forte is raising public awareness for the importance of wilderness, and using press coverage to alert the public to inappropriate development and management decisions affecting wilderness.
There are particular advantages to being old and gray (besides the senior citizen discount). We’re an anomaly in the environmental activist area and the press and others are curious as to what we have to say. Our approach in this endeavor is the use of a sense of humor and our well-aged grace. Our message on behalf of wilderness may be similar to that of other organizations, but Great Old Broads have the ability to attract the public’s interest and attention in ways that other groups cannot. Correspondingly, because we are both older and (presumably) wiser, people give greater deference to our message than to that of younger environmentalists.
We bring a unique perspective, and some well-earned wrinkles, to the wilderness effort. As life-long nurturers and care-givers, our approach is one of perseverance and determination, rather than militancy and contentiousness. If Great Old Broads are anything, we are indefatigable in our quest, with a heart-felt and lifetime outlook on the benefits of protecting our wild, public lands. In addition, Broads are known to bring wisdom, grace, and humor to wilderness discussions.