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. Vanessa says

    Thanks for this summary Gwen – it helps me coalesce around a conclusion that I wasn’t 100% ready to draw yet: this seems like a tacit admission that present stakeholders can’t actually do that much to solve any problems. As in, they either don’t have the power or are hesitant to act. If you deliberate for a year and conclude that you still need data and a new committee, you’re still in what we call at work the “discovery phase.” Implementation is years away…

    …so we’ve kicked the can down the road, essentially. And please know that I say this not to be blindly critical. I am 100% sympathetic to the tough task and unreasonable expectations this team was operating under. Some recommendations are easy enough. By all means, get the electric shuttle and enforce parking. A pilot permit system is a lot less of a PITA than attempting to form a new govt agency. (With the caveat that I still don’t think complete enforcement for a permit system is possible.)

    But I worry that this is going to become a Groundhog Day type topic. I’m all for government solving problems – I think I differ significantly from local political leadership in this respect (Mr. Stec, perhaps) – but government should strive to be efficient. What will give the new advisory group the power to make the policy decisions that this one could not? That should be made very clear before we start down the path.

  2. nathan says

    The idea of limiting parking and using shuttles is definitely needed. The are times along certain roads where people park along the shoulders for 1/4 mile or more on both sides. destroying all the vegetation, creating wash out of road edges, and mud and pollutants flowing into streams. But it gets to where the roads are narrowed to less than 2 lanes, creating very unsafe conditions. I have come to a corner and as i come around suddenly to have both edges of road blocked and narrowed, kids, pets and blocked road. when speed limits are 55 and come around curve to slam brakes because of foolishparking and unwatched kids in road as parents unload backpacks. I have thought for years they need to tow any cars parking on edges of the road, if you cannot pull completely off road, dont park there. from Keene to Placid the road has become so over parked in areas with cars parked along road that i am amazed some kids haven’t been killed yet. shuttle buss from keene in summer, and maybe from white face parking lots. but the trails are being over used, people need to be redirected to use other trails. The trails are at point of needing to be closed a year and major fixing , log bridges, washout areas, drained and refilled.
    I absolutely hate the idea of requiring permits. But the situation is unsafe, unsustainanble. more staff is needed, maybe volunteers. enforcement at key parking lots~redirect people to shuttle lots, unload backpacks, then go to shuttle lot. If needed tow parked car from along road.

  3. Joseph says

    As the other commenter Nathan said, the parking situation along Rt 73 is a clear and present danger. Rt 73 has a 55 MPH speed limit, and the cars parking on the roadside narrow the road to an uncomfortable level. Someone is eventually going to get killed if it is not addressed somehow.

  4. Bill says

    Seems like a lot of bureaucracy and extra steps to adjust what is, at its core, a parking problem. The way you solve a parking problem is to add more parking. Hardly anyone in the high peaks is backpacking, they are just day hiking. So there’s no environmental reason to limit use. Just add some freaking parking.

  5. Anthony Russo says

    I look at this as a civil liberties issue. Are these not public spaces and/or public travel corridors? To me , this is a slippery slope when the government can limit access to public spaces because of overcrowding.

    That said, environmental degradation of sensitive areas is a very real concern, but setting a precedent of restricting access to public spaces does not seem to be the way to best address this.

    I am wondering if anyone with legal knowledge has any idea how this would play out in future challenges in the courts.

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