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

    It is a shame to lose a strong advocate for the Forest Preserve because of neglect of the APA from the current administration. Now there will be no dissenting opinion or votes. Sad.

    I wish Chad happiness in all future endeavors!

  2. Boreas says

    From the APA website:

    “Overview of APA Responsibilities and Mission

    The APA is responsible for maintaining the protection of the forest preserve, and overseeing development proposals of the privately owned lands….”

    NOTE: “…maintaining the protection of the forest preserve…”

    This phrase was placed first for a reason – protecting the Forest Preserve should be paramount, or at least equal. It is incredulous that the board is comprised primarily of people with backgrounds in development or local government. One or two conservation/preservation members pushing to even be heard blatantly illustrates the hypocrisy currently on display at the APA. I am not saying environmental protection advocates should comprise a majority, but they should AT LEAST be given equal standing at all times. Conservationists within the APA shouldn’t have a constant uphill battle and their recommendations for more study should not be blatantly dismissed given the stated purpose of the APA. The APA itself isn’t to blame. APA appointments come from Albany, and it is Albany that needs to right this wrong.

  3. Vanessa says

    Gwen, this is a great interview and clarifies a lot! Thanks so much.

    As I said on the other comment, sad to see a environmentalist advocate check out of the process. Hopefully new folks who advocate for the preservation of the park will fill his shoes.

    I am not 100% sure I agree with the idea that better policy in the past would have prevented the overuse we’re seeing right now in the High Peaks, however. That idea misses one of the major major obstacles to finding policy solutions now. At risk of being a broken record: your policy doesn’t matter if you can’t enforce it. Use limits are probably coming to the High Peaks and I’m not against them – but it’s gonna be tough to enforce them without being really thoughtful re what policy is implemented.

  4. chris cohan says

    It is a shame to lose a strong advocate for the Forest Preserve due to current administration’s neglect of the APA. Now there will be no dissenting opinion or votes.

    I hope Mr. Dawson resurfaces in another role that will help protect the Forest Preserve.

  5. Matt M. says

    Debar Pond has been one of my multi-generational family’s very favorite places to go for over 30 years. We visit Debar Pond about ten times a year, in all seasons. Anyone who makes the quick 1/4 mile walk and sits in the grass/snow under the old white pines facing the pond for just even a few minutes breathes in the stellar view and the powerful tranquility of the wilderness there. The pond, sheltered closely by its mountains, calls for all visitors to be still and reflect on the silent beauty that lives there. The abandoned old log houses scattered about add to the wonderful solitude and isolated atmosphere. My family is very concerned the State’s plans do not appreciate Debar Pond’s wilderness value and that they are moving to remove its protections when they should be conserving them. In 30 years, we’ve never seen the modest parking lot overfilled. Building unnecessary parking lots, fire pits, and gazebos, and picnics tables on the tranquil shore of a wild pond will not serve the long-term goal of environmental conservation. Inviting vehicles and crowds of people to Debar Pond will negatively impact the natural benefits of this location, severely and irreversibly. Please consider requesting the State stops the Intensive Day Use Area plans and realigns with its mission to conserve the environment. I believe there is still time left for public comment on their plans. Thank you.

Leave a Reply

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