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. Boreas says

    Regarding Pete Fish:
    “There was not a person I met on the trail that I didn’t size up and talk to,” Fish added. “That was a thorough education thing.”

    Boy don’t I know it!! I saw him so often I thought of him as my hiking partner. Those days are sadly…..long gone.

    But kudos to Scott and all backcountry personnel – paid or unpaid! Several times a year I send a correspondence to Gov. Cuomo chiding him on the understaffing of Rangers while Basil Seggos turns around and paints the rosy picture the governor prefers to see. More people need to be writing both Seggos and Cuomo letting them know the importance of dramatically increasing feet on the ground in the backcountry, or they will be a thing of the past.

  2. ADK BC Skier says

    Our High Peaks region Rangers and AFRs deserve the utmost respect for the job they do to keep outdoor recreationalists safe and educated on LNT and backcountry safety. Shout out to the Catskill Rangers as well.

    That being said, it would be really nice to read a single article about the ADK without input from the ADK Council and their relentless campaign to reduce visitor numbers by turning the ADK into another permit access Instagram park (they certainly don’t shy away from using social media to promote the ADK, don’t let them fool you). Using the Council’s own method of counting cars, but doing so year round instead of just on busy holiday weekends, the number of hikers on trails comes nowhere near the region’s UMP-suggested capacity. In fact, using this metric, the High Peaks are over a million and a half users below capacity using Cascade as a yard stick for every peak in the region; in reality most summit bound trails don’t even come close to those numbers.

    Also keep in mind that less than 1% of hikers venture off established trails and herd paths. This leaves almost the entirety of the High Peaks region completely pristine and untouched by this so-called “overuse.”

    The region needs more Rangers and AFRs. This isn’t debatable. The notion that the trail system is being overused or loved to death is purely a narrative being very forcefully projected by one organization. The reason our forestry LEOs aren’t calling BS is because they know this narrative is their best shot at getting some help. While we shouldn’t blame them for this, we also shouldn’t get caught up in the Council’s rhetoric that too many people are enjoying our public outdoor spaces.

    • toofargone says

      I wholeheartedly agree ADK BC Skier. I would just include Boreas to the ADK Council folks and their ilk who post endless comments aimed at reducing visitor numbers and public access by turning the ADK into another permit access Instagram park. More rangers and public improvements are needed to ensure continued public access and safety.

      • Boreas says

        Apparently you have missed my comments on changing the HPW to intensive use and removing any parking/shuttle restrictions. I guess you only see what you want to see. At least I have offered some suggestions. And you?? Just pointless ad hominem attacks to fluff your ego.

  3. Scott says

    “The rangers have suffered for the last two decades from a slow and steady shift in their priorities toward law enforcement rather than forest preserve protection, and that is a tragic loss for the forest preserve and for the people of New York,” Bauer said. “It’s time to bring the rangers back to being first and foremost custodians of the forest preserve, and not simply another division of law enforcement.” so sad to keep trying this argument over the years. Rangers are supposed to have been doing full police duties relative to state land protection since 1912 when the ranger title was enacted. When I was interrogated by Pete Fish and he inisted on inventorying my pack a few times when he was a ranger, that felt like heavy police stuff. When I had rangers check my campsites over my early years, it definitely felt like police stuff. You can call it what you want. Ranger today seem better than some of the old timers. Rangers still are educators and rangers are still are guardians. To say otherwise is because of other agendas.

  4. Pat B says

    In order to get Gov. Cuomo’s attention, May I suggest having students hold a press conference. Case in point: In 2015, Hoosick Falls NY was battling for action with their PFOA water contamination. It took the students of Hoosick Falls to shame him into finally surfacing. On a Friday in February 2016 the students held a news conference in the school auditorium attended by all students grades 6-12 (link below). Gov. Cuomo suddenly appeared in an unannounced visit to the village on the following Sunday. https://www.innovationtrail.org/post/hoosick-falls-students-ask-cuomo-give-them-clean-water-supply

  5. David Baylis says

    A paid daily or seasonal type of badge may help ,
    But that would seem unfair to locals and those of limited income.

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