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.

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!

Donate now button

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

Idaho governor vows to fight any proclamation of Boulder–White Clouds NMon

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter said Monday that he strongly opposes and will resist any attempt by President Barack Obama to use executive authority under the Antiquities Act to lock up more public land by creating a Boulder-White Clouds national monument.

Legislation to create Browns Canyon NMon being pushed in Senate

Browns Canyon — already one of Colorado’s most popular whitewater rafting and fishing destinations — is expected take a step closer to achieving national monument status this week. Sen. Mark Udall will present the bill in a U.S. Senate National Parks Subcommittee hearing set for 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 23.

Utah health professionals urge Obama to expand Canyonlands NP with NMon proclamation

Utah health professionals are adding their voices to the clamor for President Barack Obama to create a Greater Canyonlands national monument.

Some 200 Utahns, ranging from doctors to dietitians to nonprofit managers, signed a letter that was sent Tuesday to Obama.

GOP representative introduces bill to guarantee law enforcement access to new Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks NMon

WASHINGTON, D.C. >> Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., introduced the "Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument Corrections Act" on Tuesday.

Bill to add historic Negro League baseball stadium to Paterson–Great Falls NHP moves ahead in House

An effort to include Hinchliffe Stadium within the boundaries of Paterson’s Great Falls National Park gained momentum this week, with the House unanimously passing Rep. Bill Pascrell’s legislation Tuesday and a Senate committee set to hold a hearing on Wednesday.

US: "Food-conditioned" black bear euthanized at Glacier NP after raiding picnic, driving off visitors

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK -- Glacier National Park Rangers euthanized a black bear from the Two Medicine area on Friday, July 18, after several reports in which the bear exhibited apparent food-conditioned behavior, including an incident in which the bear charged a picnicking family.

After extensive renovation, Mabry Mill on Blue Ridge Parkway set to reopen

After many months of restoration work, the Mabry Mill along the Blue Ridge Parkway will be celebrated on July 31.

The ribbon cutting marks both the restoration of the mill wheel itself, as well as dredging of the pond. Much of the work was paid for through a $65,000 grant from the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. The Parkway itself has received another $12,258 in donations.

Editorial: Federal land not a surplus to be gotten rid of

How much federal land is too much? When it comes to the state level, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas believes 50.1 percent is too much.

While he recently failed to force the federal government to reduce the size of its holdings, the Republican and other anti-government politicians bear watching, particularly with the coming fall elections.

Mountain goat management plan proceeds at Olympic NP

SEATTLE — Four years after a mountain goat fatally gored a hiker in Olympic National Park, officials are looking at ways to manage the goats to protect public safety and the environment.

South Africa: Kruger NP may remove some rhinos from park to protect them from poaching

Kruger National Park, the nation’s flagship wildlife reserve, is weighing a plan to move some rhinos out, aiming to protect them from poachers by spreading the risk to other game reserves.

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