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.

The deadline for GWS2017 proposals is fast approaching!
Proposals being accepted through September 30

Come join us in Virginia!


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!


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

China: Proposal from provincial government for large new PA devoted to big cat conservation could be centerpiece of revamped NP system

It is rare to spot an Amur tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) in the wild, according to Yang Jun, director of the Hunchun Forestry Bureau’s wildlife protection department.

Mexico: As Olive ridley sea turtles begin to come ashore, Playa de Ecsobilla Sanctuary managers hope for 150,000 nests

Nesting female marine turtles arrived at La Escobilla beach on Mexico's Oaxaca Pacific coast, in their annual migration, a sign that life is about to burst forth from scorched grains of sand.

Every year from the start of August to the end of September, these tiny black baby reptiles haul themselves to the sand's surface and painstakingly crawl to the sea.

Congressional panel hears testimony alleging harassment, hostile working environments at Yosemite & Yellowstone NPs

Complaints of sexual harassment in the National Park Service have spread to Yosemite and Yellowstone, two of the crown jewels in the system, lawmakers disclosed Thursday as they berated a top agency manager for failing to punish wrongdoers.

Death Valley NP authorities seek information on illegal offroad driving that marred dry lake bed famous for its moving rocks

The National Park Service is trying to track down a motorist who defaced a remote dry lake bed in Death Valley National Park famous for its mysterious moving stones.

Brothers charged with illegal ivory sales at high-end New York antiques store

One chilly day last November, two well-dressed men walked into the Metropolitan Fine Arts and Antiques store on West 57th Street in Manhattan, looking for Chinese figurines carved from ivory.

Turkey: Rare intact 8,000-year-old female figurine discovered at Catalhoyuk WH site

Whoever she was, she had achieved celebrity status.

China: "Vandalism done in the name of preservation"—Widespread outrage follows slapdash repairs to Great Wall

BEIJING — The Great Wall of China. A stirring symbol of national pride whose overlapping sections span thousands of miles. A crumbling, melancholy monument to China’s imperial grandeur, so imposing that it inspired the stubborn myth that it is visible from the moon.

National survey shows 82% support for a new NMon around Grand Canyon NP

In an era of hyperpartisan debate, it feels rare for an issue to generate broad consensus or cut across political, geographic, and demographic lines. But apparently the Grand Canyon, one of the country's oldest and most iconic national parks, is that issue.

Dissenting from their tribal government, some Navajos reject calls for a Bears Ears NMon

WASHINGTON – Navajo Nation locals joined Utah lawmakers Wednesday to express opposition to any attempt to designate land around the Bears Ears site in southeastern Utah as a national monument.

Mexico: Time running out to save world's smallest porpoise species, the vaquita, enviros say

There were as many as 570 vaquita in the world back in 1997, but now there are fewer than 60 left — and the species is facing extinction in the very near future if we don’t take immediate action, environmentalists are warning.

Canada: Federal government wants to double number of MPAs in Nova Scotia, alarming fishermen

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans wants to double the number of marine protected areas around Nova Scotia next year.

DFO is holding a series of consultation meetings with the public to get feedback to the idea.

full story

Analysis: Conservation outlook for Asian rhinos a mixed bag

When people think about rhinos, they likely think of Africa, where black and white rhinoceroses roam the grasslands and savannas. However, Asia is also home to three distinct species of rhinos: Javan, Sumatran and Indian or greater one-horned rhinos. As conservationists around the world mark World Rhino Day, each of these three species faces its own unique challenges.

Bee species, once prized as pollinator but now vanishing, proposed for ESA status

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Wednesday proposed listing the rusty patched bumble bee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once widely found in the upper Midwest and Northeastern United States, for federal protection as an endangered species.

NWRs chronically short-staffed, advocates say

PORTLAND, Ore.

House to hold hearing today on sexual harassment problems in USNPS

The National Park Service could be in for a rough day Thursday, as officials from Yosemite and Grand Canyon are scheduled to testify at a congressional hearing on alleged mismanagement in the agency.

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

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

Reminder: Nominations being accepted for 2017 GWS Awards; deadline is October 28

Imagine Excellence, the GWS Awards Program, recognizes outstanding accomplishments in fields associated with research in, administration and management of, and communication about parks, other kinds of protected areas, cultural sites, and related supporting activities.