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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.

It's a wrap! Over 350 gather at GWS2017

Another George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites is in the books after GWS2017 wrapped up on April 7. Our week in Norfolk was headlined by Plenary Sessions on connectivity conservation, decolonizing conservation, and fostering cities where nature is front and center and available to everyone. Over 350 people were there ... connecting with the latest ideas and core values of the parks community! A conference proceedings is in the works — if you gave a presentation in Norfolk, you are invited to contribute. 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)

USBLM withdraws parcels near Rocky Mountain NP from O&G lease auction

For 41 years, Ken Fosha and his family have operated a dude ranch near Rocky Mountain National Park, in a little valley in the headwaters of the Colorado River. Fosha voted for President Donald Trump and, in general, likes what he hears about the new administration’s determination to expand oil and gas leasing.

DR Congo: Elephant poachers kill 2 rangers in gunfight in Garamba NP

Elephant poachers have killed two wildlife rangers in a shootout in Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), reports African Parks, a not-for-profit conservation group that manages ten protected areas across Africa in partnership with governments and local communities.

Report: Trump to issue executive order saying Antiquities Act has been "overused"; will review all NMon proclamations over last 21 years

Washington • President Donald Trump this week will order a review of national monument designations — including southern Utah's Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — as part of a wide look at a century-old law that allows presidents to set aside federal lands without congressional approval.

USNPS objects to bridge at Buffalo NR

PRUITT — A new bridge over the Buffalo National River at Pruitt has been hobbled after complaints from the National Park Service.

Editorial: Grand Teton NP's plans for historic ranch were a foregone conclusion

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.

Workers finish rehabilitation of Burnside Bridge in Antietam NB

SHARPSBURG — Thanks to a $2.2 million restoration project, the historic Burnside Bridge at the Antietam National Battlefield looks just like it did on Sep. 17, 1862, when 600 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed or wounded there.

Analysis: Is the bay in Biscayne NP too damaged to ever recover?

Something is wrong in the north end of Biscayne Bay, where — despite decades of dredging and boat traffic and polluted stormwater runoff — thick meadows of seagrass once kept water gin clear and filled with marine life.

Residents oppose new parking lot at Carl Sandburg Home NHS

FLAT ROCK — Neighbors of the Carl Sandburg historic site say they hope to stop the National Park Service from building a parking lot across Little River Road from their homes, citing traffic concerns and the cutting of large trees.

USBLM finds proposed hydropower plan near Joshua Tree would have no significant impact on park

Federal officials have concluded that infrastructure for a proposed hydropower project — which would tap billions of gallons of groundwater in the California desert, just outside Joshua Tree National Park — wouldn't be especially harmful to the environment.

NYT editorial series: "The Planet Can't Stand This Presidency"

The NY Times Magazine for April 21 has a series of short editorials, headlined by Bill McKibben, under the title "The Planet Can't Stand This Presidency."  McKibben argues that Trump's policies on climate change are taking us backward at a crucial time.  Beneath his lead editorial are a number of short reports on what could be lost if Trump is successful.  They include several co

Canada: CPAWS sues federal government over tardy reporting on habitat status of endangered woodland caribou

A national charity created to safeguard Canada's lands and water is taking the federal Environment Minister to court for allegedly failing in her responsibility to monitor the protection of the endangered boreal woodland caribou.

Russia: 3 new PAs focusing on Arctic biodiversity announced for Nenets Autonomous Area

In 2017, three new specially protected nature areas of regional importance will be established in the Nenets Autonomous Area. They are the Pakhanchesky and Khaipudyrsky nature sanctuaries and the Severny Timan Nature Park, the website of the Year of the Environment in Russia reported.

The protected areas will facilitate the conservation of unique Arctic biodiversity.

Indonesia: Tiger smugglers get off with light sentence

JAMBI, Indonesia — A pair of wildlife traffickers were sentenced to eight months imprisonment here after authorities caught them with a bevy of illegal animal parts, including several Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) skins.

The rare big cat is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN, with only a few hundred left in the wild.

Cameroon: Saved but stranded—20 chimps stuck in primate sanctuary facility because no suitable PAs available to release them into

YAOUNDE, CAMEROON — Two male chimps, Avi and Max, take turns inside an electric-fenced compound where eight Central chimpanzees are housed at the Mefou Primate Sanctuary not far from Cameroon’s capital.

Malaysia: Yielding to outcry, government cancels plans for bridge near Kinabatangan Conservation Area; Attenborough letter cited

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah has scrapped a controversial plan to build a second bridge across the Kinabatangan River.

The Sabah government's decision to scrap the RM223mil Sukau bridge project was announced in London by Sabah Forest Department chief conservator Datuk Sam Mannan.

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.