About Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is an award-winning journalist covering environmental policy for the Explorer since January 2020. She also takes photos and videos for the Explorer's magazine and website. She is a current member of the Legislative Correspondents Association of New York. Gwen has worked at various news outlets since 2015. Prior to moving to upstate New York, she worked for a D.C. Metro-area public relations firm, producing digital content for clients including the World Health Organization, the Low Income Investment Fund and Rights and Resources Initiative. She has a master's degree in journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. She has bachelor's degrees in English and journalism, with a concentration in ecology and evolutionary biology, from the University of Connecticut. Gwen is also a part-time figure skating coach. Contact her at (518) 524-2902 or gwen@adirondackexplorer.org. Sign up for Gwen’s newsletter here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Vanessa says

    Yikes, that’s a lot of cool local folks all disagreeing with each other. This is a tough one. What if one agrees with everyone in principle? I’m totally for limiting or eliminating motor vehicle use, but sustainable foot trails are also super necessary, or hikers will do the damage themselves. Please keep us updated, Gwen!

  2. Dominic Jacangelo says

    “What a tangled web we weave ……” In court a certain person quoted here agreed to give up the focus on snowmobiling but every time it is discussed snowmobiles tend to be the leading evil villain to pick on. The Adirondack Master Plan has been presumed to be Article 14 compliant since it adoption in the 70’s. It allows for snowmobile us. It also allows for the use of horses in every land classification. I am sorry but you cannot have a horse trail without cutting trees.
    The Class II trails are supposed to be multi use trail for a variety of recreational uses. The continued focus on hiking trails many of which have done extensive damage to the wild character of the forest, is an extremely idiosyncratic view of the publics enjoyment of those lands we all helped buy.
    There is no argument that these trails do not belong everywhere but in this case they have been carefully planned to not create ever expanding damage to the forest preserve. Too bad we cannot say that about many hiking trails.

  3. Eric says

    It took me five minutes to open a book on a shelf behind me and find the following quote from Verplanck Colvin describing the area between Redfield and Cliff mts: “…lots of trees but almost no timber”. I think it’s pretty clear that to the people who amended the state constitution that trees and timber are two entirely different things. The constitution protects timber.

  4. james j kuhn says

    People have to live and make money in the park.
    Hiking and snowmobiling produce income.

    There has to be a compromise. You cant shut everything down and put people on welfare.

  5. LGS says

    It’s obvious that the objections to the trail proposals are not about saving trees but limiting access to just a few activities. I believe that building and maintaining a system of trails that interconnect Adirondack communities is a good thing for the Park’s entire ecosystem. I don’t snowmobile, but I do favor construction of trails that can also support this activity. It is much safer to manage its impact – on the environment and the user – to confine it to a designated trail system. The Park system will only survive and prosper if we find the right balance between economic activity and resource protection. Restricting trail construction and maintenance because of tree diameter limits is not the right approach.

  6. Ron Viehmann says

    I agree with the use of 2 definitions:
    Commonsense Trail work will work for ALL parties involved
    Blue Line Community’s need Income Resources to Support ALL Recreational pursuits
    It’s 6 Million + acres of
    Trails are Minimal encroachment

  7. marc says

    And here we are after 7 years of litigation… debating another well thought out law to save the park…. what is a “tree” anyway ? Cant wait to see what happens in another 10 years when all the scholars will be attempting to determine what “clean” air and “clean” water is and who has a “right” to it. Maybe its too clean, maybe not clean enough. Is a water glass a valid sample or should it be 5,000 gallons, are we talking about inside air, outside air or all air. How many fire pits in the State Parks are allowed to burn on any given weekend, what if the smoke rolls over to the site “I” paid for… Maybe the State could issue a limited number of “Fire Pit Passes” at $5.00 each, once the quota is reached…oh well, no fire for you this weekend Mr. Taxpayer. I must admit, it is nice to see the “Park Savers” legislate themselves into a corner and have to eat their own to get out….

  8. Jon says

    Peter Bauer, executive director of Protect the Adirondacks you are sorely mistaken. Your lawsuit has and will continue to hold up or permanently eliminate many trail projects. All projects that I know of are in the Catskills and have nothing to do with snowmobiles. This litigation has everything to do with all forms of recreation. New leantos, moving or rebuilding eroded foot trails, building new trails, brushing trails, keeping vistas open, building new footbridges, expanding or adding parking lots all and more have been affected. Land mangers do not want to get into any project that involves cutting so much as a seedling.
    Thank you very much for your extremists strategies, they have worked and all those who recreate will suffer.

  9. John says

    The Forest Preserve is intended to be just that. Recreation is an incidental use. The Forest Preserve is intended to be here long after we and our arguments and our trail builders are gone. I’m afraid that if we continue in the direction currently traveled by DEC, ADK — the Recreation at All Costs School — the Preserve will be gone. Boots can do as much damage as chainsaws; when one serves the other, the result seems pretty clear.

  10. Robin DeLoria says

    Talk about PROPAGANDA…..! The tree depicted in the photo was snapped of in a windstorm and cut down for safety reasons. This type of reporting demonstrates why the Explorer can not be trusted to promote access to all. Using this photo was deliberate, and was an attempt to convince its readers that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was cutting down the protected TIMBER in the Adirondack Park. SHAME ON ITS EDITORS.

  11. Mr. Robin T. DeLoria says

    This article is pure PROPAGANDA. The “timber” depicted in the Explorer choice for capturing the readers attention is not the “3 inches at breast height” size the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Department is cutting. That particular tree was broken off during a wind storm, and was cut for safety reason. Such use is a clear indication, the Explorer Editors have an agenda. What’s next, no more night crawler harvesting, human bathing in our Parks waters? Timber by definition alone constitutes dismissal of the lawsuit.

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