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.

Over 300 proposals received for GWS2017

Poster proposals still being accepted — click link below for more info

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. 2 • August 2016

The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: The Organic Act is only half the mission of NPS

The NPS Centennial Essay wraps up with an essay by Denis P. Galvin, who draws attention to the "other half" of the Park Service mission: the more than three dozen external and partnership programs that agency is responsible for. Read the essay

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 Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond

Award-winning account of policy and management challenges

National Park Roads: A Legacy in the American Landscape

Definitive history of road systems in US national parks

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

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)

India: Ministry set to relax rules on infrastructure development in PAs

NEW DELHI: With the NDA government focusing on infrastructure development, the Ministry of Environment and Forests is coming up with set of rules for allowing construction of linear projects like roads, railway tracks, transmission lines and canals in the periphery of protected areas like tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries.

Interview: What is PADDD, and what does it mean for the Amazon?

Brazil houses nearly two-thirds of the Amazon rainforest and one-third of all the tropical forest left on the planet — forest that represents 30 percent of the solution to climate change.

England: Church of early feminist, Brighton historic district on Historic England's newest national endangered list

A church celebrated as the birthplace of feminism, Brighton’s Old Town, and a 1960s aviary at London zoo are among the historic sites on a new list of heritage considered to be at risk in England.

TRAFFIC: Hundreds of snow leopards killed illegally each year from China to Tajikistan

Hundreds of snow leopards are killed illegally every year in remote mountains from China to Tajikistan, further endangering the big cats that number only a few thousand in the wild, a report said on Friday.

India: In Odisha state, tribal women seek legal title to forests they have protected for decades

RANAPUR, India (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - For the tribal women of Gunduribadi village, in India's eastern Odisha state, an early morning patrol is essential to conserve their forest, but what they are protecting goes far beyond food security or even their livelihoods.

Brazil: Study calls for more PA focus on freshwater system along Amazon

A study into freshwater lake management along the Amazon’s most meandering river has demonstrated astounding benefits to local livelihoods in replenishing vitally important fish stocks — a source of much-needed food and income.

Managers unveil draft plan to revamp transportation in Acadia NP

ACADIA NAT’L PARK — The National Park Service has unveiled “preliminary concepts” for a comprehensive transportation plan aimed at reducing traffic and parking congestion, improving safety and promoting high-quality visitor experiences.

Top officials to visit Alabama Civil Rights sites as likely NMon proclamation looms

Anniston officials on Thursday announced a visit to the city next week by federal officials to tour two sites tied to the Freedom Riders, who in 1961 risked their lives and freedom challenging segregation.

Record number of sea turtle nests recorded at Gulf Islands NS, despite nearby dredging

Pensacola Beach and Gulf Islands National Seashore saw a record number of sea turtle nests this year despite major sand pumping and dredging projects on area beaches.

Feature: In Death Valley NP, biologists strive to understand, save Devils Hole pupfish

More than 500 feet below the northwest part of Nevada's share of Death Valley National Park, the bottom of Devils Hole remains untouched by man.

A relic of an ancient sea in one of the world's driest places, this gaping crack in the earth's crust is a window into the aquifer and may be the deepest underwater cave in the country.

Bangladesh: UNESCO says plans for new coal-fired power plant could mean "in danger" listing for Sundarbans WH site

The world’s largest mangrove forest is in danger if a massive coal-fired power plant is not cancelled or moved, the World Heritage Center warns in a new report.

Editorial: USNPS's secretiveness about Yellowstone NP cell coverage makes its wireless plan "useless paper"

The many-hued blobs on a map of Yellowstone National Park show the range of cell phone coverage by existing and future carriers planned for the park.

Protest planned for potential pipeline under Potomac River in C&O Canal NHP

HANCOCK — Citizens from the region will gather to protest the proposed Columbia Gas pipeline on Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park in Hancock near the bike shop.

Columbia Gas has applied for a permit from the National Park Service to do survey work in the park just west of Hancock.

Study: Antarctic MPAs being undercut by political infighting

Antarctica's surrounding waters are home to some of the healthiest marine ecosystems on Earth and support thriving populations of krill, seabirds, fish and whales.

Interview: The best PAs are those with Indigenous people living in them, UN special rapporteur says

Indigenous Peoples are often the victims of nature conservation, according to a new report by Vicky Tauli-Corpuz presented to the UN this week, as they are expelled from lands they have inhabited for millennia.

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

More than Motown: Park Break students document diverse Detroit music heritage sites

2016’s Park Break program took place August 8-12 in Detroit, MI, with support from the NPS Cultural Resource program.  We placed eight graduate students studying a variety of disciplines ranging from historic preservation, museum studies, and landscape architecture in a week long Park Break program.  The focus of the week was to look closely at the 20th Century music herita

2016 Board of Directors election underway

Online voting is now open for this year's GWS Board of Directors election. There are three candidates vying for two open seats.  They are:

* Charles Fryling
* David Reynolds
* Jennifer Thomsen