The George Wright Society champions stewardship of parks, protected & conserved areas, cultural sites, and other kinds of place-based conservation by connecting people, places, knowledge, and ideas. By uniting people from many different backgrounds around a common passion for protecting Earth’s natural and cultural heritage, we create the collaboration needed to meet today’s greatest conservation challenges.
INNOVATING ACROSS BOUNDARIES FOR
Parks • Cultural Sites
Protected / Conserved Areas
What sets us apart: Interdisciplinary conservation thinking
GWS’s unique role is to foster interdisciplinary place-based conservation. Specialist organizations and subject-matter professional societies create essential knowledge. GWS operates one level up from that endeavor: we provide opportunities for specialists to go beyond their usual mental boundaries and see how what they know connects with, and complements, what other specialists know. GWS nurtures the kind of context-aware thinking needed to tackle complex conservation problems.
What we create: Innovation
Innovation only comes from open minds. Open minds thrive in a collegial atmosphere that encourages people to think outside their silo, beyond their usual point of view. GWS is the only conservation organization that exists specifically to bring people together from a wide range of points of view in settings designed to allow open-mindedness to flourish. By doing this, GWS creates space for multidimensional learning and collaboration that leads to innovative conservation action.
How we work: Convening
The learning spaces we create are both physical and virtual. We convene opportunities for people to come together in person: face-to-face events that expand communication networks, support mentoring, and build the capacity of park and protected area stewards, cultural and natural resource managers, scientists and other scholars, and teachers and students. We also help create these goods by nurturing a virtual global community of stewardship through publications and online interactions.
Today’s top story • 26 January 2023
Biden stops mining project near Boundary Waters wilderness area by barring mineral leasing
Years of concern that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness would be harmed by nearby mining were alleviated when the Biden administration withdrew 225,504 acres of the Superior National Forest from mineral and geothermal leasing for 20 years.
Roughly 80 miles east of Voyageurs National Park and about 70 miles west of Grand Portage National Monument in northern Minnesota, conservationists feared the Boundary Waters would be adversely impacted by a copper-nickel mine proposed to be built in the Rainy River watershed. The U.S. Forest Service last summer called for the withdrawal, warning that mining could impair the Boundary Waters. In a draft environmental assessment the agency said "the protection and preservation of cultural resources, wilderness character, water quality, scenic integrity, important wildlife corridors, and high-quality recreation values is a longer term need" than mining.
INSPIRED BY GEORGE MELÉNDEZ WRIGHT
George Meléndez Wright was born in San Francisco, California, and in 1933 became the first chief of the wildlife division of the U.S. National Park Service. Under his vision and leadership, each park started to survey and evaluate the status of wildlife and to identify urgent problems. As one of the first and only Latino staff for the Park Service, he was a true pioneer in celebrating diversity and working together across disciplines for parks, wildlife & wild places.
The George Wright Society was founded in 1980 in his honor, to continue the legacy of forward thinking and applied solutions in an ever-changing environment.