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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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Proposals now being accepted for GWS2015 — deadline October 1

Health, sliding baselines on tap for plenaries

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 are being accepted through October 1. The conference will kick off with a plenary panel discussion on the health/parks connection. Find out more


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


Volume 31, no. 2 • August 2014


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: The experts, the public, and the gap in between

ActivistsUsing last year's US federal government shutdown as a case in point, Diane Barthel-Bouchier describes a growing segment of the public that is no longer willing to accept NPS expertise at face value, raising a host of challenging issues that boil down to two simple questions: Who's in charge here? and, Who should be? Read the essay


Now available! The GWS2013 Conference Proceedings


View/download at no charge


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)

White House advisor predicts Obama will proclaim some large NMons before leaving office

A senior White House aide predicted this week that President Obama will use his authority under the Antiquities Act to designate new national monuments — including some large monuments — before he leaves office.

Tuna industry raises opposition to Obama proposal to up Pacific marine sanctuary

President Obama’s proposal in June to expand a marine sanctuary around seven U.S.-controlled islands and atolls in the central Pacific Ocean drew immediate praise from scientists and conservationists, but has since sparked opposition from representatives of the tuna industry, including fishermen in Hawaii who say it would threaten their livelihood.

Brazil: Plans afoot to more than triple area of MPAs

A pioneer initiative will more than triple the ocean area under environmental protection in Brazil, from 5.5 million hectares to over 17.5 million, an area larger than Greece.

Decision on Yellowstone NP bison quarantine expected by middle of next year

BILLINGS — A decision is expected in mid-2015 on a proposal to capture and quarantine wild bison from Yellowstone National Park so disease-free animals can be relocated to create new herds, Yellowstone's chief scientist said.

South Africa: ""These are the people that we entrusted"—3 Kruger NP employees charged with rhino poaching

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A ranger and two other employees of South Africa's parks service were arrested on suspicion of rhino poaching in the country's flagship wildlife reserve, the agency said Monday.

Red pine scale insects killing off trees at Acadia NP

A tiny, almost microscopic, insect is killing pine trees at Acadia National Park, where biologists and entomologists are trying to determine how widespread the infestation is and what can be done to slow it.

Giant clothing company linked with illegal defacement of rock faces during photo shoot at Capitol Reef NP

It seemed like the perfect photo shoot: Two climbers making a "first ascent" on a route in Capitol Reef National Park in Utah. Unfortunately for the climbers, not only did they install bolts into the rockface, which is against park system regulations, and also roll rocks down the slope, but they were recognizeable.

Czech Republic: Zoo burns 60 kg of rhino horn in spreading demonstration against poaching

(Reuters) - A Czech zoo burned around 60 kilograms (132 pounds) of rhino horns on Sunday, part of an international campaign designed to highlight the plight of a species being driven towards extinction by poachers.

SoCal city backs NMon request for San Gabriel Mountains

RANCHO CUCAMONGA >> City leaders have backed a move to include Cucamonga Canyon into the San Gabriel National Monument designation efforts, despite having few details on how the plan would be implemented or any guarantee that additional funding would be diverted to the popular hiking trail.

USEPA to delay decision on Alaska's Pebble Mine until February

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said it is waiting until February to decide whether to block work on the massive Pebble Mine in southwestern Alaska.

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, ParksCanadaHistory.com, has been created providing access to electronic editions of publications with the aim of showcasing the rich history of the Canadian National Park System.