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!

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

Organizers believe time has come for NMon proclamation to recognize Reconstruction site in South Carolina

Inside the historic Beaufort church on the site where Robert Smalls is buried, a group of state and local officials built a case for national recognition of the area’s role in Reconstruction.

Bangladesh: Child slave labor camps may be hidden in Sundarbans WH site, researcher claims

Hundreds of child slaves could be working on a protected World Heritage Site in Bangladesh, according to a researcher who discovered five previously unknown labour camps using satellite technology.

Myanmar: Mein-ma-hla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary home to last tract of intact mangrove forest in Irrawaddy Delta

IRRAWADY DELTA, Myanmar – In a country with forests under increasing threat, Myanmar’s southern Irrawady Delta is home to one last precious pocket of green: Mein-ma-hla Kyun Wildlife Sanctuary.

Belize: Bowing to pressure, government halts recently announced O&G exploration near Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System WH site

Last week, the government of Belize announced that it would begin oil exploration in the Atlantic-Caribbean waters, very close to the world’s second largest reef system — the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System World Heritage site. The surveys, scheduled to start on October 20, were initiated a day earlier, angering environmentalists, tourism groups, and other stakeholders.

India: Rhino poached in Kaziranga NP; 16th killed in Assam state this year

On Friday, Oct. 21, rangers in India’s Kaziranga National Park found the carcass of a male rhinoceros, shot dead and with his horn sawed off by poachers. Rangers had been searching the forest since hearing shots on Wednesday night, according to local media reports. They eventually found the body, but by then the poachers and the horn were long gone.

Two new species of pollinating insects discovered in Denali NP&Pres; one is first new bumble bee to be described in 90 years

ANCHORAGE – Two new species of pollinating bugs have been discovered in Denali National Park and Preserve, according to park officials.

The new species were discovered during a 2012 pollinator survey in the park, a statement from park officials explained.

DR Congo: Largest subspecies of gorilla, the Grauer's, now critically endangered, its numbers declimated in the fog of war

Grauer's gorilla, which is confined to the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, is now Critically Endangered, according to a study published October 19, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrew Plumptre from Wildlife Conservation Society, USA, and colleagues.

full story

Report: For over 300 mammal species, biggest extinction threat is hunting & trapping, not habitat loss

The ongoing decline of more than 300 species of animals is having significant environmental impacts and posing a food security threat for millions of people in Asia, Africa and South America, according to the first global assessment of the hunting and trapping of terrestrial mammals.

Botanists petition USFWS to list Venus flytrap under ESA

University of Wisconsin-Madison ecologists have played a key role in a petition filed with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Friday seeking emergency Endangered Species Act protection for the Venus flytrap.

The unique carnivorous plant captures flies and captivates nature lovers, but in the wild is found only in North Carolina and South Carolina

Commission fights to restore damaged historical markers commemorating Emmett Till

In 2007, the Emmett Till Memorial Commission set up 11 signs in Mississippi to commemorate the 14-year-old African American boy whose murder in 1955 played in a crucial role in sparking the nascent civil rights movement.

Thanks to crowdfunding, monument to Maine fighters at Gettysburg NMP restored

LEWISTON — Clem Bechard discovered last week that his one-man fundraising campaign was more successful than he had ever imagined.

Rancher complains after mountain lion, well known to Santa Monica Mountains NRA biologists, kills five alpacas

MALIBU, CA -- Ranchers living along the Santa Monica Mountains are concerned for their safety after a well-known mountain lion started killing their livestock.


Ranchers are worried that the cougar, known as P45, is getting aggressive and will be targeting humans next.

USBLM rescinds O&G lease bought by enviro activist, author Terry Tempest Williams

In February, Utah conservationist and author Terry Tempest Williams handed her credit card to the Bureau of Land Management to pay for two oil and gas leases on land not far from where she lives in Grand County.

Jewell issues secretarial order directing Interior agencies to work more closely with tribes

FAIRBANKS – Interior Secretary Sally Jewell told the state's biggest gathering of Alaska Native people of new efforts to work with tribes, and she promised that her involvement won't end when President Barack Obama leaves office in January.

Utility, USACE at loggerheads over plan to lessen impacts from proposed power line near historic Jamestown; Colonial NHP says "no" to towers

After more than three years of back and forth, the Army Corps of Engineers said the mitigation process with Dominion Power over the Surry-Skiffes Creek powerline project is nearing completion, but it may not conclude with the outcome Dominion hopes for.

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