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.
-->

Registration now open!

(POSTED December 1, 2014) — Registration is now open for GWS2015! We have a full program of sessions and special events that make the GWS Conference experience one of the best values out there. Click the link below and then select "Register" from the menu to get started!)

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 3, 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!


Donate now button

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

Surprising state officials, Federal judge orders gray wolves in western Great Lakes back on endangered species list, halting hunting and trapping

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. - A federal judge on Friday threw out an Obama administration decision to remove grey wolves in the western Great Lakes region from the endangered species list — a decision that will ban further wolf hunting and trapping in three states.

California politicians entreat Obama to proclaim Berryessa Snow Mountain NMon

California congressional delegates are lobbying President Barack Obama for protection of the Berryessa Snow Mountain region, a nature and recreation area in Northern California.

Malaysia: Official asks local people to be first line of defense against logging, poaching, other crimes in and around PAs

KUCHING: The people must be willing to become the ‘eyes, ears and mouths’ of the government in the fight against crime, said state Malaysian Anti-Crime Prevention Foundation (MCPF) chairman Datuk Naroden Majais.

Study: Populations of large predator species holding steady or on rise in Europe, but most live outside PAs

The forests – and suburbs – of Europe are echoing with the growls, howls and silent padding of large predators according to a new study which shows that brown bears, wolves and lynx are thriving on a crowded continent.

China: In Bawangling reserve, conservationists rush to save world's rarest primate species, the Hainan gibbon

Scientists are racing to save a critically endangered ape species that lives only in the rainforests of southern China’s Hainan island. With 25 known individuals remaining, a disease outbreak or a strong typhoon could “massively impact” the species’s chances of survival, the scientists say.

Biologists conclude that condor chick born earlier this year in Zion NP has died

The excitement surrounding word that a condor chick had been born this year in Zion National Park, the first condor born in southern Utah in decades, has been dashed by word that the chick apparently has died.

However, biologists from The Peregrine Fund have confirmed that two California condor chicks have left their nests and taken flight in northern Arizona.

Analysis: In Vietnam's Phong Nha-Ke Bang NP and elsewhere in Asia, rare cave species need urgent conservation attention

The limestone caves of Southeast Asia and southwest China are home to scores of species of plants and animals, many of them rare.

But a rise in tourism, mining, and other human activities is increasingly placing these biodiverse environments at risk.

full story

Analysis: Greenpeace at crossroads after failed PR stunt

Greenpeace International set off a firestorm in Peru last week, and not the kind it had hoped for.

Malaysia: 20 more PAs planned

KUCHING: Another 20 protected areas will be created here in a bid to reverse habitat degradation, and the state is mulling over a proposal to arm more environmental agencies.

Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said he planned to increase the number of national parks, nature reserves and animal sanctuaries in the state.

Jewell: Obama administration still committed to saving sage grouse

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said she is disappointed that Congress chose to block protections for the vulnerable sage grouse.

But the Obama administration “is still moving full steam ahead” in various ways to protect the 11-state habitat of the greater sage grouse and gunnison sage grouse species, working with federal, state and local agencies, Jewell said.

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

Latourelle heads up roster of 2015 GWS Awards winners

Alan Latourelle, chief executive officer of Parks Canada, will receive the Society’s highest honor, the George Melendez Wright Award for Excellence, at the conference in Oakland.

GWS signs MOU with Clemson; first Student Chapter launched; Harmon honored

In September, GWS Executive Director Dave Harmon traveled to Clemson University to sign a memorandum of understanding with the university’s Institute for Parks, one of the USA’s leading academic institutions in the world of protected area education, management, and development.  This is a major agreement that pledges GWS and Clemson to work together in six areas: