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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.

GWS Conference coming to Bay Area for first time

We recently confirmed that the 2015 George Wright Society Conference on Parks, Protected Areas, and Cultural Sites will be held in Oakland, California, from March 29 through April 2. This, the 18th in a series of conferences that date back to 1976, will be the first time GWS has organized one in the Bay Area. More details will be available in the coming weeks.

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

Volume 30, no. 3 • December 2013

The National Park Service Centennial Essay Series: Embracing the diversity and depth of American Latino heritage

ActivistsHistory textbooks typically present only a narrow—and sometimes distorted—view of the Latino experience in the USA. In the latest essay, Joseph Sánchez and Angélica Sánchez-Clark show how NPS can break through old stereotypes, tell a more inclusive story, and be more relevant to Latino Americans today. Read the essay

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)

Nevada senator Reid calls militia backers of defiant rancher "domestic terrorists"

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) intensified his criticism of armed militia members supporting rancher Cliven Bundy, calling them “domestic terrorists.”

“They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said Thursday at an event hosted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, according to the newspaper. “I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism.

Profile: Kris & Doug Tompkins, clothing businesspeople who are creating huge NPs in Patagonian Chile (not without controversy)

Kristine McDivitt Tompkins—then McDivitt, always Kris—had not made many big life changes, so maybe it was time. On the Sunday before Christmas 21 years ago, she closed the door and turned the lock on her beach house in Ventura, Calif., a place right on the water where she and her surrogate family of work friends had hung out for 20 years.

Elliott Key facilities reopen in Biscayne NP after long closure; repairs include new hard barriers against storm surges

ELLIOTT KEY -- When Hurricane Sandy pounded Elliott Key in Biscayne National Park in September 2012, a massive storm surge washed over the skinny island beloved by boaters and campers, ripping out piers, cracking its seawall and forcing rangers to close it.

On Thursday, the key finally reopened.

DR Congo: Virunga NP director recovering in hospital after being shot by assailants

Emmanuel de Merode, an internationally recognized Belgian conservationist who has been working to protect rare mountain gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is recovering from gunshot wounds after being attacked Tuesday by unknown assailants, officials said Thursday.

Japan: Enviros blast government's decision to hold scaled-back whale hunt in northwestern Pacific, plans to resume next year in Southern Ocean

TOKYO — In a move likely to bring renewed international criticism, Japan said Friday that it would resume its controversial research whaling in the Southern Ocean next year under a redesigned program that would address objections raised by an international court.

Nepal: Twelve guides killed in avalanche at Sagarmatha NP

NEW DELHI — At least 12 Sherpa guides were killed Friday morning on Mount Everest when an avalanche struck as they were fixing ropes for other climbers, a Nepalese Tourism Ministry official said.

Opponents of proposed new tribal NP in South Unit of Badlands NP will have day in court

PINE RIDGE | While the National Park Service pursues a plan for a tribal national park in the South Unit of Badlands National Park, opponents are determined to stop the Oglala Sioux Tribe from forcing them off their lands to make way for the park.

Japan: Government considering canceling portion of northern Pacific whale hunt, media reports say

(Reuters) - Japan is considering scrapping a Northwest Pacific whale hunt just days before the fleet's planned departure, media said on Thursday, as the government grapples with its response to an international court ruling against its main whale hunt.

Mercury levels in fish over healthy limits in 7 Western US NPs

National parks contained levels of mercury in some fish that exceeded health thresholds for potential impacts to fish, birds, and humans, according to a recent U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and National Park Service (NPS) publication (pdf, 6.7MB).

Facilities at Golden Gate NRA's Muir Beach get major renovation

Muir Beach and the mouth of Redwood Creek, located three miles west of Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, California, have recently gone through a major transformation.

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

Latest Park Break focuses on archaeology at session hosted by Keweenaw NHP and Isle Royale NP

[Ed. note: following is the text of a USNPS news release.] (Calumet, MI) Keweenaw National Historical Park and Isle Royale National Park, along with Michigan Technological University's Industrial Archaeology program, held a productive joint Park Break session about archaeological resources the week of April 7-11.

With focus on hydrogeology, Park Break "a watershed moment" for Saguaro NP

The week of March 10th was truly a “watershed moment” in advancing hydrogeology at Saguaro National Park.