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Dedicated to the preservation and management of parks, protected areas and cultural sites. 
By connecting knowledge and management, we support leaders on the frontlines of conservation.



The George Wright Society (GWS) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded over 35 years ago to promote professional research and resource stewardship. As a bridge between scholarly knowledge and management, the GWS brings together hundreds of leaders across disciplines in natural and cultural resource management. With members in all 50 U.S. states and numerous countries around the world, the GWS unites a community of resource managers and park staff, researchers, professors, emerging leaders, educators, government agencies, Indigenous peoples, nonprofits, and park enthusiasts. 


Through impactful events and trainings, publications, communication platforms and student summits, the George Wright Society connects community with conservation.  

The George Wright Society is dedicated to building the knowledge needed to protect, manage, and understand

parks, protected areas and cultural sites around the globe. 

GWS Promo Video

GWS Promo Video

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GWS News

2019 GWS Award Winners Named 


April 25, 2019 — Outstanding achievements in several fields related to the understanding and management of parks, protected areas, and cultural sites have been recognized by the George Wright Society (GWS) in the 2019 round of “Imagine Excellence,” its awards program.  Every two years GWS acknowledges people who have made major contributions in the areas of natural and cultural resources, social sciences, communications, and related fields.  Collectively, the 2019 GWS Award winners have distinguished themselves for protecting park resources, restoring natural conditions, promoting the understanding of human use of protected areas, supporting Indigenous peoples, addressing the impacts of climate change, and fostering large-scale conservation across entire landscapes. The 2019 awardees are:


  • Louise Johnson and Abigail Miller, co-winners of The George Melendez Wright Award for Excellence, 

  • Melia Lane-Kamahele, winner of The GWS Cultural Resource Achievement Award, 

  • Anthony Fiorillo and Jeffrey Marion, co-winners of The GWS Natural Resource Achievement Award, 

  • Steve Lawson, winner of The GWS Social Science Achievement Award,

  • Brenda Barrett, winner of The GWS Communications Award, 

  • Maria Caffrey, winner of a GWS Special Achievement Award.


You can read the full award citations here. Congratulations to all the 2019 awardees! 


Today’s Top Parkwire Story

11 June 2019

Canada | Nearly half of Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park put off-limits to whale-watching tours

Canada has some of the most spectacular coastlines in the world that provide habitat for rich biodiversity and valuable ecosystems. The Government of Canada is committed to doubling the amount of nature protected in Canada’s lands and oceans to help recover species at risk, combat climate change, and provide Canadians with the opportunity to discover the immense richness of nature.

Today, Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister Responsible for Parks Canada, has announced that 44% of the area of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park will be exempt from commercial whale-watching excursions as a means to provide beluga whales with greater tranquility. The conservation area is situated in the Upper Estuary and extends from pointe au Bouleau, near Baie-Sainte-Catherine to Gros cap à l’Aigle, in the Charlevoix region. This conservation measure was developed in partnership with the nine whale-watching tour companies that operate within the marine park.

Inspired  by George Melendez Wright

George Melendez Wright was born in San Francisco, CA and in 1930 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 our wildlife and 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. 

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