The George M. Wright papers consist of field notes completed throughout the United States and Canada between 1926-1933. There
is also a folder of biographical materials containing an issue of
The George Wright Forum, the George Wright Society's journal.
George M. Wright (1904-1936) was born in San Francisco. At UC Berkeley, he studied both forestry and vertebrate zoology and
worked with Joseph Grinnell. Not long after graduating, he served as a ranger and junior park naturalist with Yosemite National
Park. In 1929, Wright, Joseph Dixon, and Ansell Hall began work on a wildlife survey program for the National Park Service,
which Wright initially provided funds for. As a result of this work, the first two monographs with the series title
Fauna of the National Parks of the United States were published in 1933 and 1935. These publications, co-authored with Joseph Dixon and Ben Thompson, provided both detailed
information about park vertebrates and policies for the National Park System that were ecologically sound. Wright also contributed
Journal of Mammalogy,
The Scientific Monthly, and the
National Park Service Nature Notes series. In 1933, Wright was selected as Chief of the newly formed Wildlife Division of the National Park Service. In this
role, he hired biologists and looked into new national park locations. And in February 1936, Wright was selected to be part
of a group that was to plan the development of parks, reserves, and refuges along the United States-Mexico border. Not long
after, he was killed in an automobile accident near Deming, New Mexico. In 1980, the George Wright Society, an organization
made up of individuals working to improve conditions in protected areas, was formed.
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