It's nice to see you getting involved and more informed. The problem as I see it is that your delivery is that "you" have "discovered" this new thing and are suddenly the expert on this.
No one on this board announces the meetings? Seems to me I see Brewman and Yetti post it up almost every time. Others don't do it because they do.
No one has heard of the organization? Take a look at the home page of the forums. The top line of the 4x4 land use has a sticky about GLFWDA. If they don't know about it, it is because they just browse over the top of it.
Spending money out of a fund to travel to a meeting? This comes up frequently with people seeming to have a hard on about it. Currently that is not being done but the issue was this: We as an organization "demanded" that someone from the organization be there to represent the organization and be informed. In many cases people are not able to attend for a variety of reasons. (work, cost, family, etc) So, we said if we are going to be a land use advocasy group, we can at least cover the cost of the gas to attend the meetings. Should I expect someone else to spend their money to represent me when I can't make it or don't have the money to spend. Doesn't seem to me a big deal.
If I or our group asked you to attend a meeting on our behalf, who wouldn't say "I'll chip in for gas"?
Don't have the money to join? Bullshit! If you buy a pop every day out of a vending machine, the bottle yo throw away will pay for your membership. So will the outrageous price you pay for the vending machine versus buying the pop/ water in bulk.
Dinner and a movie once a month? Skip a month and you payed for it. A tank of gas in your jeep? Skip one day of wheeling per year and you payed for it.
Rent 10 movies per year at $3.50? Watch CNN instead.
I can go on and on about ways to fund a $35 annual cost. The bottom line is that you will spend the money if you feel it is worth it. You won't if you don't. It's all about priorities.
Once again, I commend you for wanting to get involved but don't be so quick to go on the attack. Most of the people in the organization have a wealth of information if people will just ask.
As for the age thing, not sure why you avoided it. I am 50 and have been a member since 1979.