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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!

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

House committee forwards bill to expand Oregon Caves NMon by 4000 ac; area would remain open to hunting, fishing

A bill that would expand the Oregon Caves National Monument by more than 4,000 acres passed out of the House Natural Resources Committee and heads for possible consideration by the full House when Congress re-convenes in September.

A companion bill, SB 344, was passed by the Senate earlier this month.

Liberal senators urge Obama to proclaim new Greater Canyonlands NMon around existing NP

Fourteen liberal senators sent a letter to President Barack Obama on Wednesday urging him to create a new national monument in southeastern Utah forever protecting redrock mesas, ancient cliff dwellings and a hunting site that’s 12,000 years old.

Extensive gravestone restoration project underway at Little Bighorn Battlefield NMon

CROW AGENCY - Settled below Last Stand Hill at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, headstones mark the graves of more than 5,000 veterans and their loved ones.

A major headstone preservation project is underway at Custer National Cemetery after decades of natural wear and tear.

Illinois to seek "targeted" cuts in hours of SHSs after Labor Day

State officials will consider targeted reductions in historic site hours after Labor Day — including in Springfield — to ease the effects of budget cuts.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Director Amy Martin said Wednesday that the agency is working on specifics and will attempt to maintain hours as much as possible at the most popular sites, including Abraham Lincoln sites.

Law allowing gull egg harvest by Tlingit people at Glacier Bay NP&Pres gets presidential signature

A law authorizing the Huna Tlingit to harvest glaucous-winged gull eggs in their traditional homeland of Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska has been signed by President Obama.

Draft plan to allow bison to roam outside of Yellowstone NP based on one-year quarantine of animals

(Reuters) - New herds of genetically pure wild bison may once again roam vast expanses of the American West where the iconic animal has been absent since the end of the 19th century, under a tentative plan federal officials advanced on Wednesday.

Germany: Fragment of 40,000-year-old ivory figurine unearthed

Archaeologists from the University of Tübingen have found an ancient fragment of ivory belonging to a 40,000 year old animal figurine.

USBLM may ban latest craze in Utah's Arches country: extreme rope-swinging

MOAB, Utah — No outdoor pursuit is too crazy for this desert town built on red sandstone and adrenaline. Mountain bikers careen off rocks. Climbers string lines between towering rock spires and dance out over canyons.

Peru: New carbon-sequestration map of country's forests shows 75% of carbon lies outside of PAs

Peru’s landmass has just been mapped like never before, revealing important insights about the country's forests that could help it unlock the value healthy and productive ecosystems afford humanity.

House bill to amend ESA would mandate data disclosure, sharing

The House passed legislation Tuesday that would modify the Endangered Species Act.

Passed 233-190, the bill would require federal agencies to publish data they use to determine whether a species should be designated as "endangered" or merely "threatened."

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.