Explorer staff members share their passion for the Adirondacks
Tracy Ormsbee, Publisher
I fell in love with the Adirondacks when I was 5 years old, when my family bought a cabin on Lake Eaton in Long Lake. I got to know the region through hiking, paddling, swimming, looking for bears at the town dump, getting an ice cream at Custard’s Last Stand, and living in awe of the beauty of the mountains, lakes, and streams. Somewhere along the way, it became part of me, the place I wanted my two daughters—and someday their kids—to enjoy the way I did.
As publisher of the Adirondack Explorer, I have the opportunity to live in this place I love and do work that makes a difference. What we have here is special, the result of the great forethought of those who came before us to preserve the wilderness for the generations to come, first with the establishment of the park itself, then the forever-wild Forest Preserve, and finally the Adirondack Park Agency and its land-use plans. Many have fought since to protect the Adirondacks from misguided development and outside environmental threats.
The Adirondack Explorer meets a critical need not addressed by any other entity. It offers deep coverage of the issues surrounding the Park, and the information we report leads to awareness and real change.
Independent journalism that tells the story of this special place, that presents all sides of the issues that challenge it, is more important than ever. And I’m glad to be a part of it.
Zachary Matson, Water Reporter
I work for the Explorer because I have always been fascinated and inspired by wild spaces and the communities that surround them. My job as a journalist is to engage, inform and explore, and there’s no better place to do it than the Adirondack Park.
Mike Lynch, Multimedia Reporter
I work for the Explorer because of my passion for nature, discovery, and the opportunity to live and work in a mountainous setting. As an environmental writer and photographer, you couldn’t ask for anything more than to cover the Adirondack Park, a place where wilderness and communities intersect and conservation is a topic of daily discussion.
Jim Odato, Editor
Working for the Adirondack Explorer is a privilege: Imagine spending time with committed journalists who care about New York’s special park and imagine collaborating with these talented editors, designers, writers and photographers to deliver compelling stories about this unique territory.
Chris Radey, Customer Relations Manager
The Adirondacks are a curious place. I arrived here in February of 2020, squarely in the midst of the pandemic. Moving (even if it’s just down the street) is stressful. In our case, it was across the country from Oregon, a permanent return to the Northeast after several years of West Coast exploration. My wife and I had spent time in New York’s North Country before, but never as full-time residents. We knew the things that appealed to us: the access to wilderness, the institutional culture of environmental awareness, the quiet of non-city life. But we weren’t as certain what our social niche would be. How does one best integrate into a small, tight-knit community? How do you do it while social distancing?
Since our arrival, we have met incredibly kind people who were willing to share their love for this unique place and welcome us “into the fold.” Our knowledge of the Park—and our appreciation of all its offerings—continues to grow on a daily basis. As a newcomer, it was important to me to work for an organization that plays a role in the day-to-day management of this experimental collection of protected forest lands and residential communities. On a daily basis, I have the opportunity to speak with Explorer subscribers and directly share their passion for this unique place—a place that I have the privilege to call home.
Gwendolyn Craig, Environmental Policy Reporter
I work for the Explorer because each day is different. Some days the office is a World War II-era barge carrying me across Lake George, or the winding trails guiding me along New Hampshire’s Franconia Ridge. Some days are on my computer, sifting through records and digging into a story that no one else has discovered. Our readers are passionate about the Adirondack Park, and it is a privilege and exciting challenge to provide them with both breaking news and in-depth stories.
Melissa Hart, Digital Editor
My children are lucky to experience growing up in a small, Adirondack town. Where we know our neighbors and kids still ride bikes for fun, without adults hovering around them. Where we see a sky full of stars at night. Summers spent under the pines, listening to owls. Swimming in cold lakes.
I can’t imagine living anywhere else, and likewise can’t imagine working anywhere else. The early part of my career took me across the country, working for newspapers in Ithaca, NY, Alaska and Vermont. From there, I put down my Adirondack roots, working in nonprofit communications and freelance writing and editing. My current role is the perfect pairing of twin passions: I’m able to meld my journalism experience with a love for nonprofits, to use my skills to “do the most good.”