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.
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Proposals now being accepted for GWS2015!

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 being accepted through October 1. Find out more


Now available! The GWS2013 Conference Proceedings


View/download at no charge


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


Volume 31, no. 1 • April 2014


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: By all means, connect the Civil War to Civil Rights ... but don't skip Reconstruction

ActivistsOne of NPS's aims for the Civil War sesquicentennial is to connect the conflict to the Civil Rights movement. The problem, historian Marty Blatt says, is that the agency has no sites that effectively highlight Reconstruction—and to understand the link between Civil War and Civil Rights, you have to understand Reconstruction. Read the essay


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)

Analysis: Great Barrier Reef commission's grim outlook report prompts call for ban on dumping

UXBRIDGE, Canada, Aug 21 2014 (IPS) - Increased effort is needed to protect Australia’s iconic Great Barrier Reef, which is in serious decline and will likely deteriorate further in the future, according to a new report.

Israel: Copper awl, one of oldest metal objects ever found in Middle East, discovered by archaeological team

A copper awl, one of the oldest metal objects found to date in the Middle East, was discovered during the excavations at Tel Tsaf, according to a recent study published by researchers from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology and the Department of archaeology at the University of Haifa , in conjunction with researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the German Archaeological Institu

MPAs may not be able to help overfished reefs enough to enable their recovery, scientists say

Pacific corals and fish can both smell a bad neighborhood, and use that ability to avoid settling in damaged reefs.
 

Editorial: Army Corps of Engineers plan to dredge and spread sand at Fire Island NS "a colossal waste of money"

EARLIER this month, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $207 million plan to dredge millions of tons of sand off the south shore of Long Island and spread it along the beaches and dunes.

Editorial: Ending USNPS maintenance backlog should take precedence over reauthorizing LWCF

The federal government's land acquisition fund is in need of reform.

Knife River Indian Villages NHS will write USNPS's first-ever management plan based on archaeology

Wendy Ross, superintendent of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, has been developing a battle plan.

It's a plan to save the site near Stanton for future generations.

full story

Kenya: REDD+ project bringing forest renewal to Kasigau region

KASIGAU, Kenya, Aug 20 2014 (IPS) - When Mercy Ngaruiya first settled in Kasigau in south eastern Kenya a decade ago, she found a depleted forest that was the result of years of tree felling and bush clearing.

Chile: Local people push to make Aysén region of Patagonia a "life reserve" through sustainable development

COYHAIQUE, Chile, Aug 19 2014 (IPS) - The people of Patagonia in southern Chile are working to make the Aysén region a “life reserve”. Neighbouring Argentina, across the border, is a historic ally in this remote wilderness area which is struggling to achieve sustainable development and boost growth by making use of its natural assets.

Recognizing community-led PAs would help preserve undisturbed forests, experts say

An international team of conservationist scientists and practitioners has published new research showing the precarious state of the world's primary forests.
 
The global analysis and map are featured in a paper appearing in the journal Conservation Letters and reveals that only five percent of the world's pre-agricultural primary forest cover is now found in protected areas.

Study: Compromise solutions needed for road-building projects in tropical PAs

Compromise solutions must be found when it comes to roads built through sensitive tropical and subtropical areas, say experts writing in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on August 18.

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.