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.

Announcing the 2017 GWS Conference
Come join us in Virginia!

Proposals now being accepted through September 30


Plan to join us in Norfolk, Virginia, next April for "Connections Across People, Place, and Time," the 2017 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites. It's your once-every-two-years opportunity to connect with the latest ideas and core values of the international parks community! Find out more


Just published — A Thinking Person's Guide to America's National Parks


A Thinking Person's Guide to America's National Parks

A popular guide to the entire national park system, focusing on the big ideas that you can explore in the over 400 national parks of the USA — and all sales benefit the GWS! Find out more


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


Volume 33, no. 1 • April 2016


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: "We shouldn’t pay for access to our right to understand"

Duncan Morrow is passionate about making America's national parks available to all, regardless of their ability to pay. It's time for Congress to fully fund them, he says, because to continue to treat them shabbily is "unjust for the best of America." Read the essay


NPS Centennial Commentaries

Golden Gate NRA • Rolf Diamant

Long-time GWS member Robert Manning is doing a year-long series of monthly audio commentaries on the US national parks for Vermont Public Radio. Each of Bob's commentaries connect to a topic covered in the new book "A Thinking Person's Guide to America's National Parks," sales of which benefit the GWS. More info on the book is further down this column.

Listen here:

"The Best View"
"The National Park Idea"
"Ways to Experience the Parks"
"The Balance between Building Constituency and Preservation"


From the front lines: Reflections on the World Ranger Congress

Front-line rangers (game wardens, guardaparques, etc.) from around the world are gathered May 21-27 in Colorado for the International Ranger Federation's 8th World Ranger Congress. GWS helped organize logistics and Emily Dekker-Fiala and Dave Harmon were on-scene all week. Click here for some of Dave's observations of this important international event.


Post & view job openings on our website!

As a service to the protected areas community, you can now post job openings, and search them, on the GWS website. All employment opportunities related to parks, protected areas, and cultural sites are welcome for listing.

Submit a job posting

View job postings


Check out these recent publications by GWS members:


America's National Park System: The Critical Documents

New edition of classic reference on NPS history


Rosy Ralph Visits His National Parks

Children's book inspires a sense of wonder about parks


I Survived: My Name is Yitzkhak

Tale of WWII survivor


Promising Pathways

Parks Canada Aboriginal engagement guide


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!


Donate now button

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

USBLM to keep allowing hunting in Sand to Snow NMon

MORONGO VALLEY — Hunting will be allowed in the new Sand to Snow National Monument, federal officials said this week.

“Hunting is included in the proclamation and we are not proposing any changes,” interim monument manager Rebecca Carr Wong said.

full story

Philippines: Researchers find island of Luzon to be world's leader in endemic mammal species; mroe cloud-forest protection key to survival

A team of researchers has concluded that, in addition to being the Philippines’ largest and most populous island, Luzon Island is also home to the greatest concentration of unique species of mammals in the world.

Malawi: Translocation of 500 elephants to Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve begins; officials acknowledge risks of such a large operation

African elephants are on the move. But this time it’s human-assisted.

Buoying conservationists, latest USBLM plan for energy leasing in southern Utah would make areas near PAs off-limits

Federal officials have released a proposed plan for a public land use — including mining and oil and gas drilling — in southern Utah.

Board OKs plan to cut jobs in New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department in face of budget deficit

The state Personnel Board has voted unanimously to approve a plan by the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department to cut nearly a dozen staff positions as it grapples with a more than $2 million budget shortfall.

In New Jersey, historic site visitation gets boost from Pokémon Go mania

Revolutionary War-related locations across the state are being invaded by imaginary creatures and gamers who are trying to catch ’em all.

Pokémon Go—a mobile app that allows players to catch Pokémon in real locations through an augmented reality—has drawn new visitors to some of New Jersey’s most famous landmarks, including the Old Barracks Museum in Trenton.

Judge's ruling may force USNPS to do EIS on impacts of cattke grazing at Point Reyes NS

A U.S. District Court has refused to dismiss a lawsuit over the National Park Service's continued allowance of cattle ranching at Point Reyes National Seashore in California, a ruling that could lead the seashore staff to conduct detailed environmental studies on the operations' impacts.

Razing of gift shop at Mariposa Grove in Yosemite NP a micrcosm of efforts to remove facilities from sensitive areas

All that remains of the gift shop near Mariposa Grove in Yosemite National Park is a scruffy patch of dirt rutted with tire tracks.

Editorial: A Bears Ears NMon would protect "the most historically significant site in US that most Americans have never heard of"

A desert landscape not far from here called Bears Ears could be the most historically significant site in the United States that most Americans have never heard of.

Philippines: Legislation to strengthen PAs reintroduced

Laoag City, Ilocos Norte – A lawmaker has re-filed a bill in Senate proposing  the Expanded National Integrated Protected Areas System (ENIPAS) Act that aimed to help strengthen conservation efforts for  close to 100 protected areas in the country.

Nine new WH natural sites headlined by India's Khangchendzonga NP, Iran's Lut Desert

The World Heritage Committee yesterday added nine new natural sites to the World Heritage List during its 40th session in Turkey.

Tanzania: Controversial safari company, temporarily banned after wildlife abuses, accused of more of the same

Green Mile, a safari company that was banned by the Tanzanian government just two years ago after videos surfaced of graphic wildlife abuses by hunters that had engaged the company’s services, has been granted new concessions and begun operating in the country once again — and now further video evidence of wildlife abuses has emerged.

Indonesia: Official says moratorium on new palm oil plantations to last 5 years

In April, Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo declared a moratorium on new licenses to establish palm oil plantations, a decision welcomed by advocates for the environment and indigenous rights.

Peru: Cattle ranching driving deforestation—even in some PAs—within Peru's "underappreciated" Amazon region

When one thinks of cattle ranchers destroying the Amazon rainforest, one usually thinks of Brazil. And for good reason: cattle ranching continues to be the leading cause of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon.

India: Government says Amazon, eBay, other online sellers turning blind eye toward illegal wildlife trade

On Monday, India’s environment minister Anil Madhav Dave accused 106 e-commerce sites of selling rare animals and wildlife products online. The list, collated by India’s Wildlife Crime Control Bureau (WCCB), includes popular websites such as Amazon, eBay, OLX, Snapdeal, Quikr, Alibaba, Petsmart and Rediff.

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

Nominations sought for GWS Board; deadline is July 1

Each year, two seats on the Board of Directors come up for election. This year, the seats are held by David Parsons and Barrett Kennedy, both of whom are reaching the end of their second three-year term on the Board and are therefore unable to run again. We are now accepting nominations of GWS members who would like run for these open seats.

GWS member launches newsletter on privately run protected areas

Brent Mitchell, chair of the Specialist Group on Privately Protected Areas and Nature Stewardship of IUCN's World Commission on Protected Areas, has created a newsletter to help elevate the recognition, understanding and integrity of private conservation world-wide.  Called The Stivrdr, this occasional newsletter takes its name from an Old Norse word meaning keeper of the house, which even