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. ADK Camper says

    A thumbs down from Gwen’s two go to’s for quotes (Adirondack Council & Pete Bauer) means that Ernst is actually doing a good job.

  2. Ralph Cossa says

    I wish the author had come to me for a comment.
    Ernst said not every project merits an adjudicatory hearing. True, but his performance to date suggests he really believes no project deserves one. In the White Lake Quarry’s case, I pleaded with Ernst (via Email) to ask the APA staff one simple question: “Has the criteria for an adjudicatory hearing been met?” Instead, he focused on how to avoid one. I also documented a significant number of errors in the staff’s presentation to the Board on day one of the two-day review process (since the public was not allowed to comment until the Board made its final decision). No effort was made to address much less correct the mistakes. He won’t even allow a motor boat on his private lakes but allowed a mine to operate within 900 feet of our spring-fed lake. An adjudicatory hearing would have revealed why the APA Staff should have never marked the application complete in the first place. They would have been compelled to testify under oath regarding the misinformation they spouted in defense of a flawed application.

  3. Peter Tamburro says

    I can agree that not all cases warrant a hearing, no hearings sends a very strong negative message that says why bother.
    White lake residents in large numbers got involved, did their homework and presented a cogent case without emotion. No gaslighting on our part. A hearing is warranted

  4. Deborah Dempsey says

    “I just wanted to try and freeze it, preserve it,” John Ernst said. “Strange things are happening in the world, and it may not always be going the way you want it, but this place will look the same.” An interesting comment from someone who supports granting a permit to mine granite in a lakeside residential Adirondack community with no regard to the impact on landscape, habitat, noise, and nearby residents. John Ernst has not been a friend to the Adirondacks as demonstrated by his voting and should reconsider how he spends his retirement. His family may have an extraordinary legacy but John’s long lasting impact may tell a very different story in years to come.

  5. Sarah Cotter says

    I wonder how the Ernst family would feel if the APA approved a permit for a granite quarry within yards of their beloved Elk Lake.
    Are protections from such encroachments only available to those with a magnate’s wealth and ability to purchase thousands of acres?
    Apparently even an adjudicatory hearing is not warranted to protect the small property owners at White Lake.

  6. Joseph Foley says

    John Earnst is a fake! Hundreds of letters were sent to the APA from the residents of White Lake against the quarry. Their voices were not heard. No hearing from the APA. What do they have to hide? It would be a different story if the quarry was on John’s lake where his home is. John Earnst is not protecting the Adirondacks.

  7. Barbara Spring says

    As a 56 year summer resident at White Lake living in a 100 year old waterfront camp, I am angered by Ernst’s comments regarding his responsibility toward the Protection of the Adirondack Park and his disregard for the people who cherish their property and life in the park as much as he enjoys his two lakes and acres surrounding them.

    White Lake has approximately 150 waterfront owners and a community of another approximately 100 land owners. Experts and lawyers have reported on environmental concerns, residents have submitted paperwork, this information deserves consideration in an adjudicatory hearing.

    Five questions come to mind after reading the article in the Adirondack Explorer. What are Ernst’s criteria for an adjudicatory hearing? How is allowing a granite mine in close proximity to White Lake the right thing to do? Why isn’t the resident’s concern, property and way of life as important as visitor use management for the park? Why is the resident’s requested adjudicatory hearing such a hardship for the APA Board? Why is the decision to not hold an adjudicatory hearing the best decision for the park?

  8. Tammy Riedman says

    Ernst’s and the APA’s decision to grant a permit for Red Rock Quarry Associates granite mining in the close proximity to White Lake, in the middle of a tourist area, was wrong and not in the spirit of protecting the Adirondack Park. Devan Korn, an environmental program specialist for the APA, said the agency received more than 300 comments during the official comment period. The agency also received more than 1,400 letters questioning the numerous environmental, safety and quality of life concerns and more than 1,400 petition signatures against the project. These concerns were not seriously addressed by Ernst and the APA. The public opposition and numerous valid concerns by the surrounding community warranted an adjudicatory hearing. The APA has not had one of these hearing in over 10 years, it makes you wonder what is really going on with the APA and what are they afraid of?

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