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Schoodic Head: Where Forest meets the Sea

By Guest Observer July 26, 2017
Lower West Bay Pond in Gouldsboro
Credit: Ben Emory

Eastern Maine is the last place on the East Coast where large tracts of forest still meet the sea. On a blue-sky October day at the height of foliage season, I went to explore one such tract – a critical 300-acre parcel that Frenchman Bay Conservancy was considering for purchase. On a landscape scale, conserving it would have been one more step in maintaining the connection between the fabled North Woods and the shores of the Atlantic.

Virtues of Good Government

By Guest Observer May 29, 2017
Sign explaining historic preservation work, Fort Monroe National Monument. Photograph by Rolf Diamant

In this piece, originally published in the May 2017 issue of the George Wright Forum (vol 34, no 1), guest observer Rolf Diamant explores the significance of National Monuments to the National Park system. He calls attention to Fort Monroe National Monument, located in Hampton, Virginia, as an example of how National Monuments have played […]

What is in a name? The National Monument Version

By Brenda Barrett May 27, 2017
Grand Staircase- Escalante National Monument
Courtesy: Bureau of Land Management

National Monuments were once an obscure protected area designation. Today they are the big story in major news outlets. Reporters are struggling with names likes Bears Ears, Grand Staircase – Escalante, and Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. What put these places in the headlines was the new administration’s signature on an Executive Order authorizing a review all National Monuments designated since January 1, 1996 and specifically those over 100,000 acres. The rush is on to learn more about national monuments.

Looking for Detroit’s Urban Landscape: My Experience on the George Wright’s 2016 Park Break

Geo-referenced map showing locations of The Bluebird Inn, Motown Records, Submerge Studios and United Sound Systems
Credit: Ariel Schnee

Detroit is a place indelibly marked by the highest highs and the lowest lows of American history. Its crumbling buildings and forgotten factories are the tangible evidence of economic booms and busts, the rise and decline of American manufacturing, and the after-effects of WWII, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, racism and classism, as well as decades of local mismanagement and corruption.  It also has a rich urban cultural heritage that is still visible on the landscape, if you look closely enough. Read about one student’s experience seeking this heritage as part of the George Wright Society’s Park Break program, which in 2016 focused on implemtning the National Park Services Urban Agenda.

What’s in a (Public Lands) Name?

By Eleanor Mahoney April 27, 2017
Agricultural land, Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve

Public lands in the United States go by a variety of names: Parks, forests, monuments, historical parks, recreation areas, seashores, refuges and more. Though confusing to the public (and even, at times, to agency employees!), each appellation has a “genealogy” of sorts, a history that, if traced, offers insights into the goals and motivations of those who initially pushed for the creation of different types of protected areas. I recently visited the two of the three “National Reserves,” Ebey’s National Historical Reserve in Washington State and the New Jersey Pinelands National Reserve and began to wonder when that term first came into use (NB: Both are Affiliated Areas, not National Park units)