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. David Gibson says

    Thanks to two decades of tireless research and data collection and interpretation by Drs. Glennon and Kretser, et. al., we know that plunking down houses and cutting new driveways through previously undeveloped Adirondack woods affect certain sensitive wildlife and bird species primarily because of the effects and frequency of human presence and multiple uses, such as noise, lights, pets. It is therefore not all that surprising that spreading out our human footprints by promoting and directing foot traffic away from popular trails to less traveled trails might have similar impacts on sensitive wildlife and birds in the less traveled areas. The use and application of conservation science to more smartly design human development on private lands in the Park in order to have least impact on sensitive wildlife should also apply to better user management of the public’s Forest Preserve.

  2. Boreas says

    I hope this study will be important in directing DEC policy in the future. I was once an advocate for spreading hikers out throughout the Park to minimize damage to the HPW, but now realize that while this may be good for hikers and preserving terrain damage in high-usage areas, it may indeed have significant negative impacts on wildlife in the areas we are hoping hikers will use in those other areas. Perhaps classifying and managing the HPW as a high-usage area instead of a Wilderness area is better in the long run.

  3. Chris says

    Bravo and thank you for this work!

    I recall a study about how noise at even low levels affects wildlife. That would be interesting to correlate in addition to mere presence. It’s always surprising how far voices carry.

  4. ADKBCSkier says

    This is an excellent article, although a bit frustrating that as with seemingly all articles about the ADK/High Peaks region, somehow the Council’s opinion needed to be inserted into it. They are not the representative or end-all voice of the ADK, nor are they the arbiters of scientific research in the region.

    Next question: Are these cameras oriented in such a way that they’re catching passing hikers as well? Just curious for a variety of reasons.

  5. Mark says

    I have an idea, maybe NYS should start charging people from out of state that use the adirondack park and catskills. A permit fee charged yearly for hiking and parking and we can generate some revenue to help protect these areas of over use. Seems to me NYS has the best resource in the country and it is getting taken advantage of by people who dont even live in the state and pay taxes. It would be like a hunting license but for parking on trail heads and using trail systems. I met a trail crew working under a DEC Forester named Tate who is doing some amazing work in the Lake Placid region on sustainable trails. If we could fund more groups like this maybe we could bring back this natural habitat without everyone walking around mud holes created from over use and canyons trails formed from degrading soils. Someone needs to stand up and take charge of a funding source to help the DEC continue a sustainable Park. Thank You for your efforts in your research but i find the problem is to much talking about a problem that has been going on for a long time and not enough funding where it is needed. DEC has always been there, lets get a permit system in place to keep the funding for the state preserve.

  6. Adirondack Jack says

    I believe the wildlife would be better served if the parks were closed off; with only a special lottery allowing a select few into the park during times of the year that would be the least intrusive. Revenue can be generated by allowing those seeking to enter to pay a non-refundable fee with a special additional fee for out of state users. This would cut down on park traffic significantly, protect the wildlife, and get the people using the park to stay home so they can protect everyone from the covid germs.

  7. Mark McGarry says

    I applaud the premise of this article….well said and well done. Humans in general are reckless when it comes to the outdoors…no fault of their own. I’m an older person and I truly lament the lack of educating not only our children but everyone in general concerning nature. It really is the journey not the final destination. There is way too much to speak of here but when your hiking that next trail take the time to look what the surroundings hold, most don’t even look behind them. Education and having mentors are big players in this complicated issue. Keep up the good work, gratefully yours Mark McGarry

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