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

    Another ‘determine the impact AFTER the fact’ application granted – although the findings likely wouldn’t matter. Glad I don’t live nearby. Sorry for those that do.

    • Lydia says

      I once lived in a town with 2 quarries, I moved to the Adks for the quiet and beauty of the region. The sound from the quarry in my old town was heard during operating hours 5 days a week all day long. Trucks coming and going use “jake” sp? brakes to add to the sound and trucks also accidentally spread gravel on the highway. From my experience I can say get ready for noise, dusty roads, rocks in your windshield and long lines of traffic behind those trucks in the summer.
      The problems are not just confined to the quarry.

  2. JB says

    We all knew, in our heart of hearts, that today would come and go, and it would be “business as usual” for the APA. But a shudder just rippled through a good contingent of Adirondack landowners, not just in White Lake. How very far things have slipped away in the past couple of decades. Priorities and procedures are totally backwards. What will the next year bring?

  3. Stoneman says

    I wonder why DEC/APA did not require the applicant to conduct a noise impact study. Seems like that was a fair request by the public.

      • Dana says

        Extrapolation from similar mines into the test vicinity. Not rocket science. How else does one do an impact study PRIOR to a project??

  4. Mark says

    The Adirondack White Lake Association does not have jurisdiction over a region wide decision over a project they deem as harmful to their property within a private association.
    In the past they have engaged to implement restrictions on right of ways to white lake. Their cries for protection on this quarry project is one more example.

    • louane says

      Mark, The last time I checked the Adirondack Park Agency governs all of the ADK park – private and public lands. Private land owners within the park have to follow certain guidelines; so should a proposed mine which will most likely operate for 25 years in what is now a tourist/residential community. All we wanted were assurances this project would not harm our aquifer and spring fed lake or create intolerable noise levels 6 days per week disturbing both residents and wildlife. The Adirondack White Lake Association was/is not the only property owners concerned about the impact of the proposed mine. We just helped to coordinate the effort seeking answers to our questions and concerns for all peoples in the area. We never had the opportunity for an Adjudicatory Hearing which would have had experts and staff questioned under oath by a neutral third party, even though we met the criteria for such a hearing. If the mine was in your back yard, you would be concerned too.

  5. Ryan McHugh says

    I am trying to better understand the concerns raised by many of the readers regarding the APA and the public. Since 08 when the APA began rubber stamping proposals sans public hearings – can you give me some examples of projects in the Park that have gone ahead and continue to cause significant concern to the neighbors and local communities nearby? I’d like to look into these in more detail.

    • Boreas says


      The time frame you mention also entails superficial or non-existent impact studies for larger projects. These studies need to be done first, then the public should be informed of the studies and given the opportunity to comment. I agree, until the public has a chance to ruminate on the potential impacts of a particular project, there isn’t much need for public input that will simply be ignored.

    • JB says

      From DEC’s website, some of the letters of concern submitted prior to the public comment hearing: https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/permits_ej_operations_pdf/whitelkgraniteapareq60821.pdf

      As per Boreas, there are scant to none impact studies (a priori or a posteriori) for recent projects. Indeed, “impact studies” cannot properly quantify the types of protections spelled out in Article 27 (APA Act). The entire goal of the entire endeavor has always been to prevent the inevitable incremental harms of unrestricted development. When looking at the entire Park over time, there will never be single project (hopefully) that we can point to and say: “This is the one that finally violated ‘wilderness character’.” That is what makes it so paramount that the APA be beyond reproach when it comes to upholding Art. 27.

  6. Sadieann Spear says

    It’s disturbing that the APA refused an adjudicatory hearing. That would have been an intelligent, fair and responsible option.

  7. Anthony B says

    I’m glad to see the quarry get approved. Nothing like local products made locally and some jobs for people who want to work!

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