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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.

Tomorrow is the last day to make a proposal for GWS2017! Deadline is Friday, 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)

Analysis: Prosecution of cultural heritage destruction as war crime sets precedent, but one unlikely to spur lots more cases

For the first time, the world’s highest criminal court ruled this week that destroying cultural antiquities is a war crime.

India: Anti-poaching software beginning to pay dividends in tiger reserves

The monitoring system for intensive patrolling and ecological status of tigers popularly known as “MSTrIPES” has started delivering results after four years of its implementation.

Software “MSTrIPES” identifies vulnerable points inside the protected area and ensures that ground work done by forest staff officials remains transparent.

Peru: New study finds several illegal incursions into El Sira Communal Reserve

Deforestation is pressing further into a protected area in central Peru, finds a recent analysis by the Monitoring the Andean Amazon Project (MAAP). Satellite data and images show areas of clearing for crops, cattle pasture, and gold mining within the bounds of El Sira Communal Reserve, an important area for indigenous groups and several endangered animals.

Chile: Huge new no-take MPA, Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, comes into force; 12% of national sea surface now protected

An area that includes the islands of San Félix and San Ambrosio — also known as the Desventuradas — is now officially protected. On August 24, the Chilean government announced the creation of the Nazca-Desventuradas Marine Park, located 911 kilometers west of the Chilean city of Caldera.

Indonesia: Hundreds evacuated after volcano erupts in Mount Rinjani NP

Hundreds of climbers have been brought down safely from the slopes of an Indonesian volcano that erupted this week, the disaster agency said on Thursday, although the fate of several daredevil tourists who declined to leave was not clear.

New computer program aims to optimize corridor choices between PAs

A new optimization technique could help conservation biologists choose the most cost-effective ways of connecting isolated populations of rare, threatened and endangered species living in protected areas. As the human population grows and expands its footprint, maintaining the connectivity of animal habitats is a challenge.

Analysis: Push is on for high-seas MPAs

Marine protected areas in national waters have proven successful in helping depleted fish stocks to recover.

Now, there is growing momentum for the creation of extensive reserves on the high seas as a way of reversing decades of rampant overfishing.

Interior investigators return to Yosemite NP to probe sexual harassment complaints

Federal investigators are heading back to Yosemite National Park in coming days, as their probe of park management picks up speed.

Editorial: Powerline would forever mar James River and historic Jamestown

We have a saying in the national parks: “Only the losses are permanent.” Core to the National Park Service’s mission is our responsibility to protect the places where America’s history happened from forces that would permanently deface them or diminish their national significance.

Israel: Rare gate shrine, dating to 8th century BCE, unearthed at Tel Lachish NP

rare gate shrine dating to the First Temple period (8th century BCE), unearthed in Tel Lachish National Park, near Mount Hebron, may prove King Hezekiah’s Biblically-recorded efforts to abolish worship in the region, the Israel Antiquities Authority announced on Wednesday.

Litigants in Yosemite NP trademark dispute spar over adding new concessioner to case

A legal battle over trademarked names at Yosemite National Park is now trickier than ever.

Bill introduced to redesignate Chiricahua NMon as NP

A U.S. congresswoman introduced legislation Tuesday that would promote Chiricahua National Monument in southern Arizona to a national park.

Rep. Martha McSally of Arizona submitted the two-page bill, dubbed the Chiricahua National Park Act, in hopes of changing the 11,985-acre monument’s designation but detailed no other amendments to the site or how it’s managed.

CITES votes to bar all trade in pangolins, Barbary macaques

The United Nations on Wednesday banned global trade in highly endangered pangolins, a scaly animal with the dubious distinction of being the world's most poached mammal.

Enviros sue again over ESA status of bison in Yellowstone NP

Wildlife advocacy groups are suing to force the U.S. government to look again at whether the hunting and slaughter of bison that wander outside of Yellowstone National Park threaten the survival of one of the last genetically pure populations of the national mammal.

Investigators home in on suspect in playa defacement at Death Valley NP

Federal investigators have identified a suspect believed responsible for a frenzy of high-speed driving across “Racetrack Playa,” a remote dry lake in Death Valley National Park, officials said Tuesday.

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

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.