George Melendez Wright

George Melendez Wright

Birth
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Death 25 Feb 1936 (aged 31)
Deming, Luna County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Unknown
Memorial ID 42590577 · View Source
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GEORGE WRIGHT
Wildlife Preservationist

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'THE GEORGE WRIGHT SOCIETY' was
founded in 1980. It is dedicated
to the preservation and protection
of National Parks (and equivalent
preserves) around the world.

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GEORGE WRIGHT was SON to
* FATHER -John Tennant Wright
(a native New Yorker)
a wealthy sea captain
* MOTHER - Mercedes Melendez
(from a prominent El Salvador family)

George was reared by his
Aunt Cordelia Ward Wright
in San Franscisco, Calif.
when his parents died.
The Bay area's plants and animals
became very familiar to the
out-of-doors oriented youth.
He was a member of the 1920
Lowell High School Graduation Class.
Then, Wright received a degree from
the University of California at Berkley.

George Wright became the
'Assistant Park Naturalist'
in Yosemite Valley in 1927.
The park's 'Wildlife Practices'
alarmed him! There was a notable
disappearance of Tule elk.
Tame mule deer were found in
alarmingly vast numbers.
The black bears were almost being
trained to seek food at garbage
sources. Predator animals were
only found in small numbers.
Hunting and trapping, near the
park's boundaries, was rampant.
Wildlife Conservation and Management
had not yet become a part of the
U.S. Park's Management.

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George was HUSBAND to:
WIFE - Bernice 'Bee' (Ray) Wright

They were wed on Feb. 2nd, 1931
(The wedding ceremony was held
in a Phoenix, Arizona hospital.
Wright was recovering from a bout
of malaria.)

The couple were parents to
two daughters
(1) DAUGHTER -
Charmaine 'Sherry' Wright
(2) DAUGHTER -
Pamela Melendez (Wright)Lloyd

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Wright established a
'WILDLIFE SURVEY PROGRAM'
in 1929 (which he personally funded)
for the National Parks.

He became the first Chief of the
'Wildlife Division' of the U.S.
National Park Service in 1930.
He deemed each park should survey
the status of their park's wildlife
and to identify problems.
Restoration proposals were created.
Endangered species were given special
attention. The material gathered
was used in the publication of his
1932 book, titled: 'FAUNA.'

Wright worked on conservation
projects in areas that were not
parklands. He pushed for a national
planning of recreation areas and
public parklands. He was appointed
to a 'U.S. / MEXICAN COMMISSION',
working to identify and establish
preservation regions along the
international boundaries.

Wright had a great understanding
of ecological problems:
*Long-term human interactions
with the parklands;
*Wildlife and plants need
contual study;

He stressed a holistic approach
to solving research and management
problems. This is rather than
separating them into mutually
exclusive natural and cultural
resource categories.

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George Melendez Wright received:
- in 1936 -
'THE CORNELIUS AMORY PUGSLEY
BRONZE MEDAL AWARD'

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George Wright was mortally injured
in an automobile accident near
Demming, New Mexico while traveling
to the Ajo Mountains in Arizona.
Fellow park employee, Roger Toll
was also killed in the mishap.

Wright, who was 31 years old,
was buried in Washington, D.C.

Although George Wright was
only 5'4" tall,
he cast a looong shadow.

Today, 'this formerly unsung hero'
is remembered as one of the
forerunners of the
American Conservation Movement.

Two mountains were named after him;
(1) a mt. in DENALI NATIONAL PARK
(2) a mt. in BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK
(where there is also a 'Mount Toll')

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***MEMORIAL WORDS ***

"Always on my mind;
Forever in my heart."

Author - UNKNOWN

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This biography is
humbly presented by
Audrey Burtrum-Stanley / Arkansas

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Family Members


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  • Maintained by: NJBrewer
  • Originally Created by: Someone Who Cares...
  • Added: 1 Oct 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 42590577
  • LaDene
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George Melendez Wright (20 Jun 1904–25 Feb 1936), Find A Grave Memorial no. 42590577, ; Maintained by NJBrewer (contributor 47097113) Unknown.