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

    My questions would be: What types of sound/percussion mitigation infrastructure could be used? Could the cannon be mounted inside a sound-insulated structure? Could the percussion from the muzzle blast be directed upward instead of outward? Does the projectile break the sound barrier and cause it’s own sonic boom? Would a rock “berm” built up around the cannon be sufficient to mitigate some of the blast noise?

    To me, these sound-mitigation should be investigated thoroughly as part of the application process, and be presented to the public and environmental groups in the area since the beautiful Jay Mountain Wilderness is just a stone’s throw away from the proposed site. Firing bans during breeding season may indeed be necessary.

  2. Paul says

    It sounds like they are working on the sound mitigation issue. Not really opposed but why not just do this somewhere in the “middle of nowhere”. There are places out west that you could do this and it wouldn’t bother anyone.

    • Boreas says


      That was my initial thought, but transportation costs are likely the issue. I believe they are thinking Lewis IS the “middle of nowhere”, yet still easily accessible. My thought was something like Fort Drum or an air base where noise is a given. I live across from BTV and in the F-35 flight paths. They are like minutes-long thunderclaps many afternoons while overhead.

      Tax revenue for Lewis from housing would be a plus, but it likely wouldn’t be much, if there are only going to be a handful of test-firings every year. Probably just end up being trailers set up on-site used as-needed.

      I think it is a reasonable idea, but would want to make sure environmental noise concerns are fully fleshed-out first.

  3. Dan Canavan says

    We are responding to the article recently published about the Military cannon test range proposed in Lewis. Many of the community members are of the opinion the article was quite a bit biased in the promoting of this project.

    Many residents do have concerns about the potential of quality of life being negatively impacted by the presence of this proposed cannon range located on the east side of the Jay Mountain range.

    Despite Mr. Hopmeier resenting our questioning of the possibility of a negative environmental impact and other negative issues associated with this development; many residents of Lewis and others in the Adirondack Park are sensitive to any project or proposal that would negatively impact the Adirondack Park, the environment and our communities. There is a long history of seeking and securing the sanctity and maintaining the quality of this great Park. Whittling away at the aspects of woodlands and wilderness that make this unique park so special is at risk with this type of development. Disrupting the tranquility of a quiet town is of great concern, but especially within the blue line of the Adirondack Park.

    In the article community member James Pulsifer was prominently quoted about how the project does not bother him. The facts are that Mr. Pulsifer has benefited financially from the sale of property to Mr. Hopmeier, so I would dare say he is a bit biased about this proposed project. I also suspect that the lease agreement that Mr. Hopmeier did not want to expand on benefits Mr. Pulsifer directly. Correct me if I’m wrong. Again Mr. Pulsifer’s opinion appears to be very biased and does not necessarily represent the opinion of many of the residents. As of the submission of this comment it is our understanding that none of the residents mentioned in the article who have expressed concerns were contacted for the article other than James Pulsifer and Lewis Supervisor James Monty. Florida resident Michael Hopmeier probably will not be directly impacted by this project’s noise or potential negative impact.

    Mr. Hopmeier stated that there will always be community members against change. His “vision” of change may not be the right fit for a small community in the Adirondack Park. I’m pretty sure many community members are fine with change while maintaining the ideals of residing in a quiet close knit community. Tourism and small business are always welcome, as well as any business that would not disturb the tranquility of the area. In this case, the potential of a military industrial complex in the Adirondack Park should always require close scrutiny despite Mr. Hopmeier’s, Mr. Monty’s and Mr. Pulsifer’s perspective. It appears Supervisor Monty supports this development. He should not be swayed by the dangling of some carrot of improving the Town of Lewis with this business venture and listen to all concerns the community in which he was chosen to represent present. He is supposed to be representing “We the People” not special business ventures. As I sit here there are only a few people in the community currently benefitting in a major way from this proposed project, specifically Michael Hopmeier and James Pulsifer.

    We do not believe this is the right business for this bucolic community located within the blue line. We have more questions and concerns than clear answers at this point. Obviously the noise mitigation and possible ground water contamination are of great concern. All of the residents in the immediate area secure clean water from wells. It is a reality of a potential negative impact on Church Brook which is located on the proposed project property and runs through several property owners lands. It is my understanding that the brook has been identified as having young salmon fry that have worked their way up from the Boquet River. Does the potential noise pollution and runoff from the site impact any other wildlife or breeding cycles?
    We ask; is the Adirondack Park really the best place for this type of business venture? There are already other established military bases and shooting ranges in New York and Vermont. Wouldn’t they be better suited locations? 15 to 20 family’s moving to Lewis to work at the site? Even the current missile silo manager and head of security don’t reside in Lewis. However it also sounds like the expanded vision that Mr. Hopmeier has for his project is much bigger than is being currently discussed. This development and future expansion could potentially alter this rural community forever. Would Saranac Lake, Lake Placid, Keene, Keene Valley, Jay, Wilmington or any other of the fine town and villages embrace this business venture? It seems at times that politicians and business persons just see dollar signs, that is fine and dandy, but this is in the Adirondack Park and there is the potential for negative change whittling away at the reason the Adirondack Park was established in the first place. We live here for a reason and many of us embrace the nature of a rural life style. Unless we can be convinced otherwise, we do not believe this is the right business for this community located within the blue line. We are just regular folks and this may just be spitting in the wind against big money, big politics and influence. If people care about the the potential negative impact of this project you need to speak up, write letters to the Adirondack Park Agency, show up to Town meetings and let your local representatives know your opinion. This is just not a Lewis Town issue, anyone who does not want to see this type of development in the Adirondack Park should speak out. We would hope that the Adirondack Park Agency, will look long and hard at this proposed project before making such a precedent setting decision.

    Dan and Lanita Canavan

  4. Barbara Delaney says

    I am also dismayed to read about the application to the APA by Michael Hopmier, a representative of the Florida based Unconventional Concepts Inc, to establish a canon testing range within the Adirondack Park.

    This proposed project goes against the mission of the creation of the Adirondack Park, which is to preserve and protect a beautiful natural resource for all. It also could open the door to establishing a dangerous president for other entrepreneurs who do not place a high priority on protecting a valuable resource.

    As a long-time Adirondack resident, hiker, paddler and author of books about the history of the Adirondacks–I would encourage the APA to vote against this flimsy
    narrow sighted project.
    Barbara Delaney

  5. Joan Grabe says

    This proposal is just ridiculous ! Unworthy of consideration! This is the Adirondack Park where we celebrate loon hatchings, possible wolf returns, look for moose, eradicate milfoil, wash boats, hike, bike, snow mobile, kayak, etc. And live and work ! No place within the Blue Line for this cannon testing range. Ever !!

  6. Matt G. says

    I live near the US Military Academy at West Point. The Cadets and visiting active units conduct periodic training on Howitzers and other platforms in the hills bordering Harriman State Park. The cannon retorts are loud and the firing is neither long nor incessant. I can understand commentators dismay over this proposal. If this is purely a private venture I’d oppose it too. However if these cannon are being tested for deployment to active duty units of the US armed forces, then a periodic reasonable firing schedule could be worked out despite the understandable NIMBY, as this benefits everyone who would like to see our armed forces well trained and well equipped.

  7. Paul B. Thomasset says

    Is there any public or private access to the land or air above those acres? If so this proposal will effectively close off any amount of land or air designated as unsafe during testing. I for one would avoid any area that could be accidentally involved. This effectively removes thousands of acres from the Park. As a visitor and financial contributor to the Park this goes against what the Park was conceived for.

    The impact of noise and missiles breaking the sound barrier cannot be mitigated in the immediate area of its track. How will this affect the wildlife as it passes through their environment?

  8. April Guilder says

    I find it interesting that being concerned about the land and homes we were born and raised on might be negatively effected by this experimental testing is call “drama” is sad. We as well are not a bunch of redneck and love our town and care about the environment and the impact this will have on our water/wells/noise/wild animals/homes values/ children. Unless you live in the town of Lewis and are anywhere near this testing site how do you have the right to judge the people that are going to be directly affected. Image it in your back yard. Do you have any idea what it’s like to have Nyco/Imery mining in your back yard already. Imaging what it’s like to have your whole house shack. And know you are putting another place that will be blowing things up. This is suppose to be the Adirondack park and be protected what are people thinking? You cant even carry a gun in the “Adirondack Park” but u can blow stuff up? Money means nothing to people who have worked there whole life to raise there family in a safe clean environment. I can’t believe that the APA would even consider this. And Iam not afraid to post my name I believe in the people of this town and hope that people stand up for what is right and putting this experiment site is a huge mistake for our town.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *