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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.
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GWS Conference coming to Bay Area for first time

We recently confirmed that the 2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites will be held in Oakland, California, from March 29 through April 2. This, the 18th in a series of conferences that date back to 1976, will be the first time GWS has organized one in the Bay Area. More details will be available in the coming weeks.


Sample the current issue of our journal, The George Wright Forum


Volume 30, no. 3 • December 2013


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: Embracing the diversity and depth of American Latino heritage

ActivistsHistory textbooks typically present only a narrow—and sometimes distorted—view of the Latino experience in the USA. In the latest essay, Joseph Sánchez and Angélica Sánchez-Clark show how NPS can break through old stereotypes, tell a more inclusive story, and be more relevant to Latino Americans today. 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)

Conservation groups pressing for Boulder–White Clouds NMon expand proposal by almost 21,000 acres

CHALLIS • Conservationists looking to protect the Boulder-White Cloud Mountains have changed the boundaries of a proposed national monument, adding 20,629 acres.

Groups such as the Idaho Conservation League and Wilderness Society had been pushing the Obama administration to designate 571,276 acres north of Ketchum as a monument. They now are asking for 591,905 acres.

Governor announces major financial shot in the arm for New York's SPs and SHSs

Albany, NY - April 23, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced New York State will advance 69 projects to improve and repair 53 State parks and historic sites.

Editorial: Getting rid of many NP units would help cut back "swollen" USNPS and let it concentrate on most-visited parks

The National Park Service is waiving entrance fees to America’s national parks and historic sites during National Parks Week. The freebies continue until April 27, but taxpayers aren’t getting a bargain, considering that the swollen agency spends $2.6 billion a year.

Point Reyes NS moving forward on management plans for beef, dairy ranches within park boundaries

A planning effort is under way at Point Reyes National Seashore in California to manage some 28,000 acres of beef and cattle ranches overseen by the seashore.

The need for such a plan arose in November 2012 when then-Interior Secretary Ken Salazar issued a memorandum authorizing the NPS to pursue long-term lease/permits for dairy and beef ranching operations.

Nepal: Strike possibility re-emerges as sherpas demand much larger share of mountaineering profits

KATMANDU, Nepal — Over the years, as Mount Everest attracted larger crowds of amateur climbers from the West, the Sherpas adjusted: to a slower ascent, to traffic jams, to bulging loads of gear. Every spring some new frustration would get them talking, then recede with the end of the season.

Canada: Government proposes downlisting humpback whales in Pacific, removing them from SARA protections

(Reuters) - Canada has recommended taking humpback whales off the "threatened" species list, two months before the government is due to decide whether to approve a proposed pipeline that would lead to half a million barrels of oil being shipped through their Pacific marine habitat every year.

Enviros sue to upgrade Idaho, Montana population of grizzlies to "endangered" status

(Reuters) - Federal protection status for a population of grizzly bears facing extinction in the mountains of Idaho and northwest Montana should be raised to endangered from threatened, environmentalists said in a lawsuit filed on Tuesday.

Civil War earthworks study group finds undocumented tunnels at Petersburg NB

An avocational Civil War study group made an exciting discovery at Petersburg NB in February – undocumented tunnels for placing explosives and countering possible enemy lines.

3-D laser scanning one of tools being used to preserve historic tunnel at Ninety Six NHS

Twenty-first century technologies are being relied upon to help explain, and even physically buttress, Revolutionary War tactics at Ninety Six National Historic Site in South Carolina.

Nepal: Government accedes to sherpas' death compensation demands, heading off possible strike

(Reuters) - Nepal's government agreed on Tuesday to compensation demands for Mount Everest sherpas, after the single deadliest avalanche on the world's highest mountain killed at least 13 guides.

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

Latest Park Break focuses on archaeology at session hosted by Keweenaw NHP and Isle Royale NP

[Ed. note: following is the text of a USNPS news release.] (Calumet, MI) Keweenaw National Historical Park and Isle Royale National Park, along with Michigan Technological University's Industrial Archaeology program, held a productive joint Park Break session about archaeological resources the week of April 7-11.

With focus on hydrogeology, Park Break "a watershed moment" for Saguaro NP

The week of March 10th was truly a “watershed moment” in advancing hydrogeology at Saguaro National Park.