The George Wright Forum

Since 1981 The George Wright Forum has explored innovative thinking and offered enduring perspectives on critical issues across the whole spectrum of place-based heritage management and stewardship. The George Wright Forum is the only professional conservation journal with an interdisciplinary focus, publishing insights from all field in cultural and natural resources related to parks, protected areas, and cultural sites. 

The George Wright Society believes that better knowledge makes better decision—and better parks. We also want to support our colleagues working in place-based conservation no matter where they may be, and no matter how well-resourced they are. Therefore we have an open-access policy to all our publications: you may download them free of charge. If you too support this principle, please help us deliver it by joining or donating to the GWS.

The Current Issue

We invite you to sample the current issue of The George Wright Forum through the selected articles linked in the table of contents below. The links allow you to download, at no charge, a PDF of the sample article. Articles not linked are available only to GWS members until the next issue comes out, at which time all articles in this issue go on the backlist below, and may be downloaded at no charge.

Volume 35, number 2 (2018)


This is a special issue devoted entirely to a new edition of The National Parks: Shaping the System, the definitive history of the development of the US National Park System. The new edition, the fourth to appear since the book’s original publication in 1985, is by Barry Mackintosh, Janet A. McDonnell, and John H. Sprinkle, Jr. You can sample the Preface, Introduction, and first chapter below.

>> Download entire issue (filesize = 33 Mb)

Preface to the fourth edition


Shaping the System: Before the National Park Service

Forging a System, 1916 to 1933

From the New Deal to War and Peace, 1933 through 1951

Mission 66 and the Environmental Era, 1952 through 1972

Towards a New Century, 1973 through 2004

(re)Shaping the National Park System, 2005 to 2017


  • National Park System Classifications

  • Chronological List of National Park System Areas

  • Directors of the National Park Service

  • Affiliated Areas

  • National Heritage Areas

  • National Historic Trails

  • National Scenic Trails

  • Wild and Scenic Rivers

  • NPS Cooperative Programs

  • Suggested Readings

  • Index

Back Issues

We are working on transferring our entire catalogue of back issues of The George Wright Forum to this site. In the meatime, you can access back issues through our publications archive. Every article that has ever appeared in the journal is available to you at no cost.

 © 2021 George Wright Society


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