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. Deborah Sheehan says

    There is federal money available, but the North Country Republicans won’t ask for it. And, no cell tower application has ever been denied by APA. Obviously Stec doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  2. 54 says

    That’s what happens when you have excessive regulations. Stealth deployed cell sites also are prone to service and interference issues due to their constrained deployments. As well as the substantial cost increase to deploy them. It isn’t worth it in the end to the cell companies.

  3. Elizabeth Jones says

    The regulatory programs person addressed this in his report before the senator arrived. They approved 12 out of 12 applications in the last 4 months alone with an average review time of 15 days. There are only 3 new tower applications in front of the agency, 1 of which is about to be approved. What is he talking about? The APA doesn’t manifest cell towers out of thin air.

  4. Anne says

    As if, this is something new to these so called politicians in this area. We have complained of coverage for years. Seems people here commenting know more about how to apply than Stec. Nothing knew.
    There was a bill passed for this issue as the first commenter mentioned. Where was Stec during this?

  5. 54 and 9 months says

    The state needs to share their mountain top radio tower sites for the better of everyone. Outdated rules need to be changed so this can happen.

  6. dwgsp says

    This article leave me a bit confused. Is Senator Stec suggesting that the only reason that the park is not already blanketed with cellular phone coverage is that the APA won’t let the cellular providers install more towers? The article does not clearly explain his position. The article also does not present any background information that would support (or not support) whatever position the Senator took during his presentation.

    Hopefully the Explorer will follow up with a more complete and comprehensive article.

  7. Mark says

    Minor tower modifications (addition of antennas) may be approved in 15 days, but new tower applications drag on for months. The US Forest Service regulates a lot fo Colorado, but cell coverage is so much better. Ski areas operating on USFS permitted land offer excellent coverage. The average hiker would rather see towers than have no emergency calling capability. This problem has improved little in the last 15 years.

  8. Christopher D Hilbert says

    Here is my suggestion to help improve coverage. At every Volunteer Fire Co in the Adirondacks place a cell tower at each one. This benefit would be twofold. The revenue from the cell tower placement could be used to assist local fire depts budgets and the cell tower would improve the cell signals in the surrounding communities. I realize this is not going to reach everyone but it’s a start. Just my 2¢ .

  9. John H. Wolfe says

    I called the Senator’s Albany office today (5/16/23) with the suggestion that cellular service antennas could be concealed within ersatz fire towers on mountains within the Adirondack Park. If the shelter at the top were made if fiberglass or some other radio transparent material, they would conceal the cellular antennas while presenting an iconic Adirondack appearance to the traveling public.

  10. Erich G says

    In one part of the reading ,it said. towers were put up before university games ,after the games they were gone.are they disconnected? ..their are thousands of motorcycles riding the Adirondacks every year.and better cell service would be useful

  11. cynthia corrow says

    In Raquette Lake they have 2 cell towers and now they trying to put Lithium Battery Farm 300 feet behind it, within 800 feet of village residents.

  12. Joan Grabe says

    Politicians are so stuck on themselves that they risk exposing themselves as dumb. People have been complaining of poor cell coverage for years. Dave Wolff and AdkAction have been in the forefront of this fight for improved cell coverage since 2010. Dan Stec is Johnny Come Lately but he did garner 11 responses………… The use of fire towers used as a disguise for cell towers is brilliant. Our church in Southport, Ct. is doing the exact same thing with our steeple. But, of course, our steeple is easily accessible and well maintained. The fire towers are neither.

  13. 54 and 9 months says

    It becomes obvious reading the comments that the state and in particular the DEC and APA needs to educate the public regarding the rules of land classification and use. There are many official reasons you can’t use a fire tower or “just put up a tower” . Areas that are off limits to towers need to be well defined. After definition you may find there isn’t much left except existing towers. Companies like Verizon , generating revenue and profit are not allowed to build a tower in dead zones unless it’s on certain types of land classification. Short cell towers just means you need more towers which ups the geographic challenge. Your never going to solve this unless everyone understands the hurdles up front.

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