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. upstater says

    The obnoxious noise makers were flying in May (day and night) at Indian Lake over the Siamese Ponds Wilderness on a canoe camping trip. The night flight was around 10:30 pm. In mid June they made repeated flights, some below tree top heights over the water on LittleTupper Lake (got a picture of that), in the Whitney Wilderness.

    Why does DEC allow training flights over Wilderness?

    How about sending them over the middle of Lake Ontario instead? Or how about the Hudson Valley near NYC, or the Potomac in DC so they can appreciate the troops? Or even better let NATO countries or Japan (free riders) host them?

    While at it, send the noise making F-35s back to Lockheed Martin as returned defectives for a full refund.

    Demobililize the 10th Mountain Division. Hire the former soldiers to fix rotted infrastructure and heal the environment. Enough lost wars, war games, spending, disability and death.

  2. Sailboat Scotty says

    Please have some understanding, upstater. The price we pay for our freedom comes at a cost. It may not make your day, (or night) and it may go against your core beliefs, but it does keep you free.

    • Edward Visconti says

      Good for you Sailboat on your response to the tree hugger above. I spend much time trout fishing remote ponds for brook trout in the Adirondacks and enjoy every minute of it!! We see numerous military jets doing maneuvers over wilderness areas and to tell you the truth I enjoy the thrill of seeing it and knowing that these guys are on our side and keeping us free to fish and camp in America. Typical liberal wants to defund the police and military! Good luck when that happens to doing what we enjoy!

      • Bill Ott says

        P I am right with you, probably in several ways. First, I am a Viet vet, and there was a lot of air over there. Second, once when I camped atop Cat Mountain off Cranberry Lake, a flight of A-10s flew in way below me , just over the tree tops. I go to the woods to get away from it all, but all I remember from that trip is loving those beautiful Warthogs.
        P I flew in many Hueys, and the pilots would take us at maybe 70mph ten feet up, pulling up to clear hedge rows and tree lines. It was better than any roller coaster ride I had as a kid, and I loved it.
        P So when I am in the woods alone to get away from it all, I do a silent cheer for those training to protect our way of life. I now realize that training never stops. One might train in the military for many years for just that one moment when it all counts, or perhaps to never use it but be ready at all times.

    • Jack Carney says

      Please, Scotty. The 1Oth Mountain Div fighting in pointless wars imperils my liberty by enabling those who make these decisions to fight pointless wars to rationalize them and continuing to have our young people fight them.
      Another act of duplicity –Turns out the ad hoc committee named this Spring to work out an agreement between the DEC and the Army re the Army’s use of the Adk. forest for trainingpurposes was essentially a beard, providing cover for the DEC and the Armyto work out their own deal. Classic duplicity by those with the power and upper hand.

  3. proADK says

    These army helicopters are exceedingly noisy as are the fighter jets that fly over the Adirondacks! How can they not have an environmental impact? Brief, transitory disturbances are in fact disturbing to wildlife at the decibels created by military aircraft.
    These flyovers are very clearly inconsistent with the forever wild requirement in the constitution.

  4. Donald Braunius says

    Feel free to drill whenever and wherever you feel is necessary. Pay no attention to these whiney freeloaders who probably have never had to sacrifice so much as a stubbed toe for their freedom

    • John says

      Sorry Donald. Not buying the “keeping you free” rhetoric that vets frequently use. I know they cling to the belief that their “sacrifices” made sense. Vets are unwitting victims not heroes.

      BTW They should do their flight training somewhere else.

  5. Kevin Mullarkey says

    I bet those complaining wouldn’t have a problem with those flyovers if the forest was on fire or their son or daughter hiking in the wilderness needed rescue off a mountain top. Give our sons and daughters who are willing to risk their lives to save them a break.

  6. Army says

    Wow, would love to hover over your house for an extended period of time, pray conflict never arises on our soil, your concerns of preservation will be entertained I’m sure. Go play

  7. Susan says

    I for one, want to thank those participating in these needed exercises. If it were not for those individuals stepping up to work for the defense of our nation, we would be just another third world banana republic. Without these needed exercises, our pilots would not have the expertise to perform when it really mattered. We should all lookup as they pass overhead and say “thank you for protecting my freedoms”.

  8. Boreas says

    Do commenters above really think “complainers” simply don’t want the military to train? That is an absurd diversionary argument – especially when some of these condescending defenders of the Flag may not even live in an area targeted for maneuvers or even within the Park. What people HAVE been complaining about is training in/over the Forest Preserve vs. private or public land elsewhere. The people defending the actions don’t mention this distinction – either through ignorance or lack of environmental responsibility. There are many state and county forests throughout the state – even close to Fort Drum – which are not FP lands. Same with large private tracts. I don’t see many private citizens or corporations inviting training and flyovers to their property, although I would like to believe some have.

    My hamlet has had daily direct flyovers at least twice/day of F-35s out of BTV. It gets old. It disturbs both animals and people. They are both extremely loud – much louder than passenger jets – and routine. I moved to the Park 20 years ago thinking it would be a quiet place to live. Between the previous F-16s and current F-35s, I made a serious mistake. I pay the same taxes as anyone else in the state and should be entitled to the same right to “quietly enjoy” my private property as anyone else. But my property became essentially a military runway. Now, myself and some neighbors are looking to move away.

    However citizens do not enjoy the same protections provided to the Forest Preserve. The Forest Preserve is entitled by constitution to the MAXIMUM amount of protection the State can provide. These maneuvers are not emergency operations that most people would have little trouble with. These are routine training operations likely to be repeated regularly if NYS allows them the use of the FP without significant oversight to minimize environmental harm. Anyone thinking wildlife are not affected and stressed by noise has never spent much time in the woods. Stop the condescension and listen.

  9. Sailboat Scotty says

    I respect and sympathize with posters on both sides of this issue. I have been visiting the Adirondacks for 50+ years, bagged 6 or 7 high peaks plus few others (flat feet) paddled some waters, and participated in a ADK week long trail crew after my return from the first gulf war. I consider myself an environmentalist. I am long time ADK member. I have also served with the 138th tactical fighter squadron out of Hancock field Syracuse in the 80s and early 90s. Yes it was my squadron that flew A10s and F 16’s that you may have seen buzzing around back then. I did not join the usaf to be patriotic I joined to get out of the house but pay for north country college education, so no nothing special here. I have identified with both conservative and liberal policy thinking. I know how loud aircraft can be above your head. Going back to the original story I feel this was a well communicated training event during a very limited time frame. Does it impose on all of us as well as wildlife? Yes. Sadly today the word “patriotism” has become a divide for many of us. But I do want to say I feel it is our patriotic duty to support our military especially when in this particular case, it does not cause any major infringement on our daily life. Let these small things go. We are all Americans regardless of where we live or recreate. Hope to meet you on the trail… If my flat feet will survive.

  10. Charmaine says

    It’s nice to see the training. We used to watch the trucks driving up rt 28 during the summer. It’s just a good thing for everyone. Thanks.

  11. upstater says

    I wonder what all the militarism enthusiasts posting replies to my comment don’t get about the past 75 years of US history? Excepting Greneda, Panama and restoring the headchopping Kuwaiti monarchy, there has not been a single US “victory”. NOT ONE. ZERO. Only defeats by people wearing sandals and living in mud or thatched huts. What does having troops in Syria or Africa and 800 overseas bases have to do with “freedom”. Does anybody really think poking the Russians or Chinese will end well?

    Once the draft was abolished and we transitioned from a citizen military to one that is basically mercenary and contractors, the waste has mushroomed such that the cost of “all things military” exceeds any time since WW2. We spend more on the military than the next 11 countries, combined. The only invasions come from refugees and migrants created by our meddling interventions South of the border.

    The government has allowed infrastructure to rot. Healthcare and education are now expensive luxuries. There is a huge underclass that has declining life expectancy. And the COVID response speaks for itself. People that don’t see that picture willfully close their eye while wrapping themselves in the flag. That isn’t patriotism, it is jingoism.

    This is waste on an epic scale and only enriches the likes of Boeing, Lockheed Martin, lobbyists, think tanks, contractors of all sorts and flag officers that go on corporate boards. It is corruption does not defend us.

    This will not end well. Restore peace and the natural world. Peace and quiet in the Adirondacks.

  12. Mary says

    If they are preparing for war wouldn’t it make more sense to practice in queens or the bronx?

    Are not the cities where the battles would be?

    Practice following the enemy in the streets?

    Sorry but the forest preserve as the easy training not the real stuff

    There is not much reason for the enemy to attack in the adirondacks. The next wars won’t even be like what they expect… it won’t be like the hills in vietnam or whatever they think.

    Best to think space and drones

  13. John says

    Some of you complainers are worried about the “Forrest Preserve”? What you should be worried about is not the fact that the military NEEDS to train in the mountains because if they don’t, they will not be able to defend it and it could be easily destroyed, by say maybe a nuclear weapon, or whatever. Do you people have no pride in your country? Why not just ban the military from doing any training on or over USA soil? Most people I know are proud to see the military doing exercises, whether it’s on the ground, in the air, or at sea. I wonder how many people would agree with me if I said, ” If you don’t like the military training in the USA, then move to a different country”!

  14. Anita says

    John you really think a bunch of guys flying helicopters in the woods will mean anything against a nuclear weapon or “whatever”?

  15. nathan says

    personally i hate the manuevers over the park. several times pilots break the rules and sonic boom in mountain valleys and we could not hear for many minutes and ringing ears for 20 plus minutes. over the years there have been many complaints…just let them choose someother place than a nature preserve with many outdoors people to loose their hearing.

  16. Anne says

    Ah, the “SOUND OF FREEDOM!” ignoramuses are out in full force. The same ones who complain endlessly about how high our taxes are. The same ones who pretend they are aligned with the military, but who have no sympathy for their neighbors who suffer from PTSD. The same ones who CLAIM they’d take a bullet for our country, but won’t even get a shot to protect their family and neighbors. You like the sound of warfare? Well feel free to get off the internet and sign up.

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