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. Frank Krueger says

    The trails at Whiteface are already too wide. It’s more fun and better skiing on narrower trails. The wide trails are exposed to the wind and become icy and hard. Often the wind blows the powder off the wide trails into the woods. There is also better visibility on more narrow trails making better and safer skiing in foggy conditions and precipitation.

    • Adkskibum says

      Agree with you Frank. But keep in mind that it often seems that ORDA and Whiteface management view the Mountain as a ski racer training and racing facility rather than a recreational skier’s facility. This trail widening is being done to make the trails conform to FIS standards.

      They’ll bend over backwards catering to a few hundred racers, while giving the tens of thousands of recreational skiers the shrug of the shoulders.

      It’s a bit of Catch 22 situation to be sure.

  2. Peter Bauer says

    To be clear, as our submitted comment letter stated, Protect the Adirondacks believes that ORDA is managing the Whiteface Mountain alpine ski area within the limitations set by the two Article 14 Constitutional Amendments that set out ski trail mileages and trail widths. Because of those two amendments, ORDA can cut as many trees as it sees fit to maintain its ski trails as long as it does not go beyond stated mileage and widths in the amendments. These amendments allow ORDA to cut lots of trees in order to manage an alpine ski area.

    Our concerns were about the high elevation hiking trails and mountainbike trails. These trails enjoy no exemptions from Article 14 through amendments, but must conform with Article 14 law. In the draft UMP for Whiteface, ORDA talked about very wide hiking and mountainbike trails that would require cutting of thousands of trees and using various crushed stone and other things to surface these trails. These plans raised Article 14 issues to us.

    In the final plan, ORDA bowed to reality and said it would comply with new state trail standards once the DEC completes that work and releases these to the public. We do not see how the APA can make a decision about compliance with the State Land Master Plan for hiking trails or mountainbike trails without knowing the trail design, widths, and tree cutting. By approving this UMP without any information whatsoever about the issues above, the APA is basically saying that it will blindly trust ORDA and the DEC, thereby, once again, lazily failing to act as an independent agency that is responsible for holding the DEC, and ORDA, accountable.

    Here’s the comment letter from Protect the Adirondacks: https://www.protectadks.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/220411-APA-Whiteface-UMP-Amendment.pdf

  3. Travelin says

    This is great news. Nice to see the investment in MTB!!!! Well done to everyone involved. Standby for the Pete Bauer suit.

  4. Travelin says

    Pete. Give and take. I am all for the protection efforts your agency has put forth but I promise more donations and support would be given if Protect the Adirondacks gave just a little bit back in terms of recreational activity. It is hard to support tax dollars used to acquire more and more land that won’t be used. Give a little ground and gain support for the broader picture. Land acquisition is an important part (I believe) of the big picture. Let’s get the general public behind more land grabs and offer something back. Mountain biking is growing in popularity and I don’t believe Protect the Daks wants growing opposition.

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