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.

Refresh your career at GWS2017!

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Our week in Norfolk is headlined by Plenary Sessions on connectivity conservation, decolonizing conservation, and fostering cities where nature is front and center and available to everyone. Plan now to join us in 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


A WSJ "Best of 2016" pick — 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. 3 • December 2016


The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: Final Thoughts on a Ten-Year Project

Dwight Pitcaithley and Rolf Diamant wrap up the National Park Service Centennial Essay project with a look back at some of the major ideas that came out of the 27 essays that form the series, and a look forward into an unsettled future for the agency. 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)

Study: Illegal cutting of forests in tropical PAs releases millions of metric tons of carbon each year

Deforestation is a big source of atmospheric carbon, one that is increasingly targeted by climate change mitigation projects around the world. Now, even forests in protected areas can be “significant” sources of carbon emissions, researchers say.

India: Historic sites face funding shortfall

Hyderabad: Seven protected historical monuments under the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) in Telangana state and Andhra Pradesh “need attention” and have been put up for corporate aid for preservation, conservation besides amenities for tourists.

Editorial: Obama's final NMons too much—time to repeal Antiquities Act

Government is the word we use for the things we choose to do together, as progressives like to say. But try telling that to Utah.

Numerous Oregon counties challenge Obama's expansion of Cascade-Siskiyou NMon in court

WASHINGTON (CN) – Seventeen Oregon counties have challenged President Obama’s 48,000-acre expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southern Oregon, claiming the executive order prohibits logging the counties desperately need.

Large outdoor industry show to leave Utah over lawmakers' desire to undo Bears Ears NMon

SALT LAKE CITY — The Outdoor Retailer show is telling Salt Lake City to take a hike following a "curt" conference call with the governor.

India: Indigenous, religious groups fighting over governance of Manas NP

BARPETA, India — When Babulal Orang, a field staffer in the Manas National Park in the northeast Indian state of Assam, tried to stop a group of armed Bodo youths from entering into the park one evening in the late 1980s, he was threatened at gunpoint.

“Who are you to prevent us from entering the forest? Mind you coolie, this is our forest!” Orang recalls them shouting.

Malaysia: 7 of country's "most wanted" elephant poacher arrested

On February 10, Malaysian authorities arrested seven of the country’s “most wanted” elephant poachers in Kelantan, Malaysia.

Enviros, hunters, anglers push back against proposed nullification of new USBLM land-use rules

CHEYENNE, Wyo. -- A coalition of sportsmen and conservation groups is standing up for the Bureau of Land Management's new land-use planning policies after the U.S. House invoked a rarely used rule to roll back the initiative. The Senate is expected to vote on eliminating the rules as early as next week.

Trump administration sued over delay in bee ESA listing

On the eve of a Senate hearing Wednesday to consider “modernization of the Endangered Species Act,” an environmental conservation group sued the Trump administration for halting implementation of federal protections for the first bumblebee in history placed on the endangered list.

Editorial: Grand Teton NP officials going through NEPA motions on historic property re-use decision

Last summer the National Park Service asked the public to weigh in on 44 historic properties in Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway.

If you bothered to comment you’ll be disappointed to learn that your opinion probably didn’t matter.

Over 100 small parcels totaling 3,000+ acres donated to Mojave NPres

A nonprofit group has donated more than 3,000 acres of desert land to the Mojave National Preserve.

The Mojave Desert Land Trust announced Wednesday that it had handed over ecologically and historically significant land to the park. The 110 parcels already are surrounded by the national preserve. They include juniper and yucca stands and a century-old homestead site.

Analysis: New forest management techniques called for in Sierra Nevada PAs

In California’s Sierras and around the world, extreme drought and rising temperatures are killing trees and threatening the viability of forests.

Some ecologists are saying that land managers now need to adopt radically new strategies.

full story

Editorial: India's Kaziranga NP policy of allowing rangers to shoot suspected poachers on sight goes too far

in Kaziranga, a national park in north-eastern India, rangers shoot people to protect rhinos. The park’s aggressive policing is, of course, controversial, but the results are clear: despite rising demand for illegal rhino horn, and plummeting numbers throughout Africa and southeast Asia, rhinos in Kaziranga are flourishing.

Raids seize massive stash of illegal ivory products around Los Angeles

Hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of illicit ivory was seized from shops in Los Angeles County this week as part of authorities’ effort to enforce a law that bans the sale of the precious material.

USNPS asks for status to intervene in water management decisions affecting Kaloko-Honokohau NHP

HONOKOHAU — At what is now Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park, the water flows beneath the ground and out to the bay, mixing with the saltwater to create an environment perfect for the ‘ama‘ama, or mullet, whose predators can’t tolerate the lower salinity.

Ancient Hawaiians took advantage of the fish’s movements by constructing a massive wall to create the Kaloko Fishpond.

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

Jennifer Palmer Appointed New Executive Director of the George Wright Society

Jennifer Palmer, a conservation scientist, educator, and wildlife biologist, has been announced as the new Executive Director of the George Wright Society.

Reynolds, Thomsen gain seats on Board of Directors

David Reynolds and Jennifer Thomsen are the newest members of the Board of Directors.