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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.
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Proposals now being accepted for GWS2015 — deadline October 1

Health, sliding baselines on tap for plenaries

The George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites is coming to the Bay Area! Plan now to join us in Oakland, California, the week of March 29–April 2, 2015, for "Engagement, Education, and Expectations: The Future of Parks and Protected Areas." Our biennial conference is all about reflection, reconnection, and renewal — a week of stimulating discussion about leading-edge research, innovative practices, and foundational values. GWS2015 is your place to engage with colleagues who share your commitment to excellence ... to educate yourself about the latest trends and ideas ... to raise expectations for yourself and your career! Proposals are being accepted through October 1. The conference will kick off with a plenary panel discussion on the health/parks connection. Find out more


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


Volume 31, no. 2 • August 2014


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: The experts, the public, and the gap in between

ActivistsUsing last year's US federal government shutdown as a case in point, Diane Barthel-Bouchier describes a growing segment of the public that is no longer willing to accept NPS expertise at face value, raising a host of challenging issues that boil down to two simple questions: Who's in charge here? and, Who should be? Read the essay


Now available! The GWS2013 Conference Proceedings


View/download at no charge


Check out these recent publications by GWS members:


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


Action on the Ground III • Parks Canada

Latest on Parks Canada's ecological integrity program


To Conserve Unimpaired • Robert B. Keiter

Analysis of the evolution of the national park idea


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)

Stolen heavy equipment used to damage trail at Petroglyph NMon

Someone hot-wired a Bobcat loader and drove along a Petroglyph National Monument trail during the weekend, destroying recently built fence-posts and wire designating the trail, according to a monument spokeswoman.

Texas city council ponders resolution asking for Obama NMon proclamation of Mammoth Site

Advocates for the Waco Mammoth Site are taking their case for a national monument to the White House, after years of trying in Congress.

Waco City Council today will consider passing a resolution in favor of adding the archaeological site to the national park system under the Antiquities Act of 1906.

India: 300 spotted deer, roaming outside PAs, to be moved to Guindy NP, protected forests

Sighting spotted deer on the Anna University campus, or in Kotturpuram, Adambakkam and other residential localities will soon become a thing of the past.

Thanks to the efforts of wildlife authorities, deer found outside protected areas such as Guindy national park and the campuses of Raj Bhavan and IIT-Madras will be translocated.

Editorial: Maine Wood NP would illustrate geological history

Acadia National Park, at the confluence of Penobscot Bay and the open Atlantic Ocean, is a wonderful example of the bold, rocky coast of Maine. But, as such, it provides only a limited and skewed glimpse of Maine.

USFWS gets pushback on contest for finding educational way to re-use ivory crushed after confiscation

As you may have heard, the United States Fish and Wildlife Agency and counterparts elsewhere, including in China and France, have been crushing tons of confiscated elephant ivory in the fight against elephant poaching.

EU, US urge Iceland to halt increase in whaling

(Reuters) - The European Union and United States delivered a strongly worded complaint to Iceland on Monday condemning an increase in whaling and urging it to observe an international ban on the commercial hunting of whales.

Officials set 10,000-acre controlled burn at Everglades NP to fight invasive fern

(Reuters) - Wildlife officials are preparing to set a 10,000-acre fire on Tuesday to combat an invasive fern in Florida's Everglades National Park, hoping to burn away a vine that is blocking sunlight to native plants.

UK: Parliament committee says Cameron government doing poorly on environmental issues, including land protection

(Reuters) - British lawmakers say the government is doing a worse job of reducing air pollution, preventing flooding and protecting wildlife than it was four years ago, according to a report published on Tuesday.

Conservartion groups call for end to killing of bison that migrate out of Yellowstone NP

(Reuters) - Wildlife conservationists petitioned the Obama administration on Monday to halt the practice of killing bison from Yellowstone National Park, sometimes by the hundreds, to prevent the spread of disease to cattle that graze on neighboring land in Montana.

Germany: Archaeologists discover site of Roman soldier outpost

In the course of an educational dig in Gernsheim in the Hessian Ried, archaeologists from Frankfurt University have discovered a long lost Roman fort: A troop unit made up out of approximately 500 soldiers (known as a cohort) was stationed there between 70/80 and 110/120 AD.

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

Condor chick seen at Zion NP

A gut feeling that a pair of California condors had laid an egg in the upper reaches of Zion National Park has been confirmed with the first documented sighting of a condor chick born in Utah, an event biologists hope is the first step in the large birds reestablishing a presence in southern Utah.

New Parks Canada history website debuts / Lancement du nouveau site internet Histoire de Parcs Canada

A new website, ParksCanadaHistory.com, has been created providing access to electronic editions of publications with the aim of showcasing the rich history of the Canadian National Park System.