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.

Thanks to everyone who submitted a proposal!
Poster, Exhibit abstracts still being accepted

(POSTED OCTOBER 2, 2014) — The deadline for submitting proposals was October 1. However, we are still accepting proposals for Posters and Exhibits on a space-available basis ... the links to those submission forms are still active. To propose a Poster or Exhibit, click the link below and go to "Submit a Proposal.")

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! 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)

Ruffling feathers in Utah, 14 out-of-state senators send letter to Obama urging Greater Canyonlands NMon

Fourteen liberal senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday urging him to create a new national monument in southeastern Utah forever protecting redrock mesas, ancient cliff dwellings and a hunting site that’s 12,000 years old.

New coalition looks to boost awareness of Oregon's MPAs

(NEWPORT, Ore.) - A new partnership focused on sharing information, promoting science and cooperative research, and engaging citizens in Oregon’s marine reserves and protected areas has launched.

Conservation group launches ad campaign against House majority leader over opposition to new NMons

The League of Conservation Voters is targeting House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) in a new Facebook ad campaign.

The green group ad blasts McCarthy for opposing new parks designated as national monuments by President Obama.

NPs in Arizona try to counter drop in visitation

When the Los Angeles couple spotted a sign for Sunset Crater National Park on the way home from the Grand Canyon, they decided on a whim to visit a 21st.

Several western US NPs vandalized by rock paintings; suspect documents work on social media

A wandering artist with an affinity for using slices of national parks for her palettes, an apparent disregard for the law, and a penchant for documenting her works via social media channels, has drawn the attention of the National Park Service.

Brazil: Huge new Amazon PA created; Alto Maues covers 6680 sq km of rainforest

(Reuters) - The Brazilian government said on Tuesday it has put an environmentally rich area of the Amazon rainforest under federal protection, creating a reserve larger than the U.S. state of Delaware.

Study: Legalized trade in rhino horn, harvested non-lethally, could prevent species' extinction

The extinction in the wild of the southern white rhino population could be prevented by letting local communities take responsibility of the animals and giving them permission to harvest horns in a controlled manner through a legal trade. Rhino horn is made of the same material as human hair and fingernails and grows back in 2-3 years.

Lawsuit filed to halt hunting, supplemental feeding of elk in Grand Teton NP

Two Teton County photographers filed a lawsuit in Washington, D.C. Monday seeking to stop the annual elk hunt in Grand Teton National Park.

Enviros complain that important nature, historic areas left out of San Gabriel Mountains NMon proclamation

Members of a Pasadena-based environmental group are complaining that the Arroyo Seco and a portion of the Angeles National Forest damaged during the 2009 Station Fire were inexplicably left out of the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument.

Once more into the breach: Australia will again make pitch for more Antarctic MPAs

Australia is hopeful a revised proposal for new Marine Protected Areas off East Antarctica will be supported at the annual Commission for the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources.

The joint Australia, France and European Union Marine Protected Area proposal was initially put forward in 2011 and covers 1.9 million square kilometres over seven separate areas.

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

GWS joins Great Lakes-Northern Forest CESU

In early September the Society received word that our application to join the Great Lakes-Northern Forest Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit has been accepted.  By joining the national CESU network, GWS will be able to more readily partner with federal agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations on projects of common interest.  The Great Lakes-Northern Forest is hosted b

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

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