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. Todd Eastman says

    ‘ “It is shameful for any non-profit to attempt to use an outdated, self-serving political and social feudalism document to discriminate against people who only want access to land that their taxes helped purchase and maintain,” Wells wrote.’

    These people can have all the access they want, by walking! It’s an amazing way to travel and far better than the brachiating shuffle used by other primates…

    • Bill Keller says

      “These people can have all the access they want, by walking! It’s an amazing way to travel and far better than the brachiating shuffle used by other primates…”Really
      ,”these people” the increase in road mileage is only due to the CP3 roads which the majority of those miles court ordered in 2001 (26 out of 33). Those roads were opened to allow for the physically challenged citizens to have access to beautiful wilderness areas.

  2. Walter Linck says

    In all of the relevant background history that the APA Board has not been well informed about by current APA staff during this decision-making process, here’s the most important thing – and the most stunning omission: they have not been informed that APA already formally interpreted “basic guideline #4” to mean that these “CP3 roads” DO fit the State Land Master Plan’s definition of roads open to public use, and so their mileage must “count,” so to speak. This interpretation was properly made and conveyed to top DEC staff by the top Agency staff as “advice” in 1996 as per the formal process set forth within the inter-agency MOU for interpreting the State Land Master Plan. DEC declined to object to the interpretation and take recourse by elevating the interpretation to the APA Board level (the option afforded them by the MOU), and so, this legal interpretation must be seen as having stood for more than 25 years! (After having been made under the most pressing of circumstances, I might add.)

    Can the APA Board now change the interpretation – and do so without DEC formally claiming their objection to the long-ago, top-level-staff interpretation and requesting it be made by the Board as recourse? Possibly…

    Possibly not (for a number of reasons). It can’t help that this Board doesn’t appear to even know they would be CHANGING the interpretation, rather than making it for the first time.

  3. Craig McGowan says

    “Additional comments show the deep divide between those who want to protect wilderness and those who want to promote access.”

    Consider careful use of the word “access.” The entire park is accessible. What is really meant is “driveable” or something like that.

    After all, only a minuscule percentage of the region is more than 3 miles from a road and most of us can comfortably walk that kind of distance in a day.

  4. Bill Keller says

    So there has been no material increase of roads since 1972 if you don’t add in CP3 roads that were required by the court decision under the ADA laws (26 miles of the 33 total CP3 miles were court ordered). CP3 are roads and must be included in the allowed mileage because they are also used by the public. So in 50+ years the only increase in road mileage was for people with disabilities with the majority of the added miles court ordered. Yet we will continue to waste time and tax dollars on this.

  5. JL.Storms says

    One thing is clear: these are not forward thinking ideas or policies. The Heart Lake road was deemed 1 of the 20 most destructive roads to wilderness in the nation. That was 1998.
    I highly suggest to those interested in what is happening in the Adirondack Park to perhaps read carefully… “A thing is right when it tends to maintain to integrity, stability & beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.”
    There is little evidence to reasonably conclude that anyone is aware of or is willing to admit the epic failure that the high peaks region represents. For years cars were allowed to park for miles upon miles of road without any warnings or repercussions. Now, we are supposed to put that genie back into the bottle?…and all the while appeasing everyone’s sensibilities? We’d rather complain about who sits at the head of the table, than admit we should just get a round one. That is to say, we have enough beauty (we are obsessed with our “access” to it.)
    Unfortunate the land and the people who live here inherit the wealth of man which rarely leads anywhere near stability or integrity…

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