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

    Good interview!

    He’s a little hazy on the NYCO debacle, but many of us got hoodwinked on that one. I swallowed hard and voted for the amendment. In hindsight? Wish I hadn’t.

    I think overall, Pataki had/has a better handle on the Adirondacks than the subsequent administrations. And I am a devout Democrat. Same with Rocky. I think his vision was much farther down the road than recent administrations that bend and flap in the wind. It is OK to flex, but you still need to be pointed in the same direction after the storm is over.

    • Vanessa says

      All due respect to you Boreas, but per my as-of-yet-to-be cleared longer comment – there’s some stuff that I could debate in your comment above. It’s not worth it because it might be annoying to hear the opinion of someone who wasn’t alive when many of these folks (at least Rockefeller) were governing…

      …but nonetheless I think friendly discussion is often useful. We’re all too quick to forget that the only reason we’ve all arrived at the present is thanks to the many myriad decisions made by those with power in the past.

      For now though, suffice to say I think that your opinion is totally legitimate, and that I also value perspectives that interrogate the narratives that seem to take hold only in hindsight.

  2. Contrarian says

    Pataki was better connected to the Adirondacks than any governor I can remember. He wasn’t perfect in that regard but it was definitely more prominent on his radar.

    The two best governors since WWII for the natural environment were both Republicans: Pataki and Rockefeller.

    Kind of sad that their party has devolved into slash and burn nihilism that will never be a counterweight to the Democrats, no matter how awful they are at any moment in time (such as now).

  3. Vanessa says

    So I’m a skeptic and we’re all aware of that, and therefore this comment can be taken as a bit of a skeptic’s rebuttal, but…

    …I’m just really not sure that the ADK Explorer can have it both ways in terms of how you cover current affairs that edge out of just talking about environmentalism. When you’re talking to politicians about politics, then you’re out of the realm of just an environmentalist magazine. I don’t think it’s fair, nor does this interview always try, to keep a conversation with an important politician about only “the environment.” As the Explorer is acutely aware, topics having to do with the environment bleed into other areas of current affairs in the Adirondacks all the time. You’re taking an implicit stance on the value of speaking on these other topics when you omit them from an interview.

    The Stec interview Gwen did earlier had this same tension, and to my own detriment I was too annoyed to express my point properly there. Stec has said some stuff publicly that was pretty racist and I get distressed that no media in one of my fav places in the country has ever thought to address those comments. Imagine how that feels for non-white residents and visitors.

    The punchline? When you avoid lots of interesting or perhaps edgier questions for the sake of staying neutral or “unbiased,” the result is an interview that neither hides its biases or much more critically, adds anything interesting to our knowledge of Pataki. You seemed to be looking again for the “nice guy environmentalist” angle here, and that’s all that this interview projects. Another popular angle at the moment is “aww look at the civility of our emeritus politicians,” when really, all of these “nice guy” Republicans are also responsible for the politically fraught situation we have now, through their past policies. Pataki had a lot of power, and he made decisions that caused people to, for example, decide that Trump was a better presidential candidate than he. We can interrogate all of this without being “uncivil.”

    “Civility” is a situation usually achieved within the confines of privilege. And privilege – economic privilege specifically – is not something that a lot of folks in the Adirondacks have. I think we owe it to Park residents to be more real about these types of political discussions.

    • Jaime O'Neal says

      If you are truly concerned about “civility”, you shouldn’t play with a deck in which every card is the race card.

  4. Bob Meyer says

    Along with some real accomplishment, too much hemming and hawing by Mr. Pataki. A few cheap shots at the Dems. AND, I can’t believe his ignorance on the NYCO fiasco!

    And, as a Democrat, I voted for him BECAUSE of the Adirondacks!

  5. Jim S. says

    I miss the days when Republicans were defenders of the environment. I don’t belong to a political party but will never vote for anyone who doesn’t put a priority on climate change or other environmental issues. Needless to say I haven’t voted for a republican in a long time.

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