George Melendez Wright   Logo   the landscapes that are important to members of the society
The Society strives to be the premier organization connecting people, places, knowledge, and ideas to foster excellence in natural and cultural resource management, research, protection, and interpretation in parks and equivalent reserves.

Over 700 attend GWS2015

Plenary videos now available on YouTube

Just over 700 people gathered in Oakland for the 2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. It was a week of stimulating discussion about leading-edge research, innovative practices, and foundational values. We thank everyone who attended, and if you didn't, we invite you to find out what these biennial meetings are all about by exploring the GWS2015 website. Find out more

You can now view videos from the three plenary sessions on the GWS YouTube channel.

Sample the current issue of our journal, The George Wright Forum

Volume 32, no. 2 • September 2015

The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: NPS should let some parks be run under a franchise

ActivistsThe National Park Service is woefully underfunded, and a fractious Congress is unlikely to fix that. Economist Holly Fretwell's solution? Let the agency create a franchise under which some parks could be run by private concerns. Read the essay

Check out these recent publications by GWS members:

Promising Pathways

Parks Canada Aboriginal engagement guide

The Land is Our Teacher

Celebration of collaboration between Aboriginal peoples and Parks Canada

Expanding Horizons • Large Landscape Network

Summary of a pathbreaking national workshop

Scaling Up: Collaborative Approaches to Large Landscape Management

Collection of stories highlighting the "Scaling Up" goal of the NPS "Call to Action"

Keeping it Wild in the National Park Service • USNPS Wilderness Program

User guide to including wilderness character in management

Wilderness Stewardship Plan Handbook • USNPS Wilderness Program

How-to guide to creating wilderness stewardship plans

Philanthropy and the National Park Service • Jacqueline Vaughn

Historical view of NPS funding partnerships

What's your passion?

At the GWS, our passion is protected areas: the special places—natural areas and cultural sites alike—that are being safeguarded for perpetuity by people like you all over the world. We are dedicated to building the knowledge needed to protect, manage, and understand protected areas around the globe. The GWS is the one organization whose sole focus is on the scientific and heritage values of parks and other kinds of protected areas, from the largest wilderness area to the smallest historic site. Are these your core values too? Then help us make them a reality!

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Parkwire: GWS's daily digest of global protected area news (follow us via RSS, Twitter @parkwire, or Facebook)

Field trials at Hanford Reach NMon help soil scientist zero in on natural bacterial control of cheatgrass

Cheatgrass could vie for the title of the most successful invasive species in North Amer

Tribes say Bears Ears NMon would be first true tribal/federal PA collaboration

Five Four Corners-area tribes have united to propose a 1.9 million–acre Bears Ears National Monument that would be the first truly collaborative land management effort between Native Americans and the federal government.

Waco Mammoth Site NMon officially dedicated

WACO (October 5, 2015)--The designation of the Waco Mammoth Site as a national monument should have a positive impact on the local economy, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said Monday.

Data show that every $1 the park service invests has a $4 impact on the local economy and a $10 impact on the national economy, she said.

Coalition wins delay of grazing permit at Canyon of the Ancients NMon

DURANGO, Colo. (AP) — A coalition of environmental groups has forced public land managers to delay a permit for grazing on Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.

Russia: With humans gone, wildlife flourishing in nature reserve around Chernobyl nuclear accident site

Oct 5 - Some 30 years after the world's worst nuclear accident blasted radiation across Chernobyl, the site has evolved from a disaster zone into a nature reserve, teeming with elk, deer and wolves, scientists said on Monday.

Chile: Presdent announces new MPAs around Rapanui (Easter Island) & Juan Fernandez Island; pledges cooperation with US

Chile said on Monday it will create one of the world's largest marine conservation parks, and Washington announced two new marine sanctuaries and an increased drive against illegal fishing to help protect the world's oceans.

Closing loophole, California institutes near-total ban on sales of ivory, including that contained in antiques

It will be illegal to sell almost all ivory products in California under a measure signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown that closes a loophole in the state's nearly 40-year-old ban on the sale of elephant ivory.

IUCN: 31% of cactus species threatened with extinction; illegal trade major cause of declines

Thirty-one percent of cactus species are threatened with extinction, according to the first comprehensive, global assessment of the species group by IUCN and partners, published in the journal Nature Plants. This places cacti among the most threatened taxonomic groups assessed on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ -- more threatened than mammals and birds.

Conservationists cheer tough new wildlife trade provisions of new Trans-Pacific trade pact

WASHINGTON — Environmentalists praised wildlife protections included in the sweeping Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal announced Monday, calling them groundbreaking.

Analysis: "Old school" enviros, "ecopragmatists" debate future of conservation

When the Obama administration announced last month that it would not add the greater sage grouse to the endangered species list, some conservation groups predictab

Obama administration to propose first new NMSs since 2000; Maryland, Wisconsin waters targeted

President Barack Obama's administration will announce steps on Monday to create marine sanctuaries in Maryland and Wisconsin and will take further action to combat illegal fishing, the White House said.

Côte d'Ivoire: Mont Peko NP among country's PAs, forests destroyed by illegal cocoa plantations; government plans purge of farmers

In Mont Peko National Park, thousands of leafless Iroko and Samba trees tower over a sea of lush plantations like headstones, a testament to the heavy environmental cost Ivory Coast has paid for a dramatic rise in its cocoa production.

Syria: Islamists blow up Arch of Triumph in continuing destruction of WH site of Palmyra

DAMASCUS — Islamic State militants have blown up the Arch of Triumph, a major monument in the 2,000-year-old Roman city of Palmyra, Syria's antiquities chief said on Sunday, after they destroyed two ancient temples at the central Syrian site in recent months.

Analysis: Enviros vow to push for re-authorization of expired LWCF

In July, Montanans celebrated the addition of 8,200 acres, known as Tenderfoot Creek, to the Lewis and Clark National Forest.

Utah state lawmaker lobbies White House for Bear Ears NMon proclamation

Democratic State Senator Jim Dabakis is in Washington D.C. this week and will be meeting with White House officials on Friday to give his unique perspective on public lands.

Senator Jim Dabakis says he has one goal for his trip to the White House.

What is the George Wright Society?

The society is dedicated to the protection, preservation, and management of cultural and natural parks and reserves through research and education.

The GWS is a nonprofit association of researchers, managers, administrators, educators, and other professionals who work on behalf of the scientific and heritage values of protected areas. When many people think of parks, they think of them exclusively in terms of being vacation destinations and recreation areas. But the heart of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites is the resources they protect.  The GWS is dedicated to protecting and understanding these resources by promoting scientific research and cultural heritage scholarship within and on behalf of protected areas.

By “protected areas,” we mean a broad array of places—both “cultural” and “natural”—managed by different entities: parks at all levels; historic and cultural sites; research areas and designated wilderness within national and state forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges, and other public lands; tribal reserves, traditional indigenous cultural places, and community-conserved areas; marine, estuarine, freshwater, and other aquatic sanctuaries; private land-trust reserves; and similarly designated areas.   Find out more

GWS News

Free limited-time access to special Royal Society issue on "The biological impacts of artificial light at night"

Until the end of September, readers can get free access to a special issue of the scientific journal Royal Society Philosophical Transactions B on "The biological impacts of artificial light at night: from molecules to communities."

Call for Papers: The 7th National Forum on Historic Preservation Practice

The year 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act, which responded admirably to the many challenges then facing our country’s historic and prehistoric heritage.