Almanack Contributor Gwendolyn Craig

Gwendolyn Craig

Gwen is the environmental policy reporter for Adirondack Explorer.


Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Following NYS’s budget priorities

CuomoLast week was a whirlwind of Gov. Andrew Cuomo press conferences. He gave not one, but four State of the State addresses.

In case you missed it, green energy topped his third address, and we wrote an overview about his first address. One thing of note: Cuomo did not mention renewing the call for a $3 billion environmental bond act. It seems unlikely, based on the fact that New York is about $15 billion in the hole.

But we did hear some legislators reference it last week, so it could come back. Assemblyman Steve Englebright, who chairs the state Assembly’s environmental conservation committee, had suggested the bond act would be revived. He brought it up during a committee vote on changing the state constitution’s bill of rights to include the right to clean air, water and a healthful environment. I wrote about that, too, if you missed it.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Adirondack Report: State of the State and other updates

This week, I listened in on Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s four State of the State presentations (click here for article about Monday’s address). Next week, we’ll get Cuomo’s budget presentation for 2022. That doesn’t get passed until April, but it will be interesting to see how the state fills this $15 billion hole.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve had a few stories posted online for you. In case you missed them, one was about a new connector trail between the Town of Newcomb’s beautiful High Peaks Overlook park and Goodnow Mountain. The trail isn’t 100% finished, but the hope is it will be next year. Read more about that here.

There’s more news, too, about the Town of Lake Luzerne’s request for a map amendment to the Adirondack Park Agency. Through the public comments that I filed a Freedom of Information Law request for, we found some preliminary information about a homeowner looking to develop his property in the area. We also found a number of neighbors against the map amendment, but a few local business owners in favor. Read more on that here.

» Continue Reading.


Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Chad Dawson resigns from the APA

Last week’s Adirondack Park Agency meeting was a humdinger.

Board members, state Department of Environmental Conservation staff and APA staff all discussed two major projects that have led to plenty of passionate public comment. Those included visions for the Debar Mountain Complex and some changes to the Essex Chain Lakes area.

About three hours into this meeting, with the above-mentioned projects taking up the majority of the time, board member Chad Dawson announced his resignation. Dawson (pictured here) has been a wilderness advocate on the board, whose membership leans toward local government and economic development.

» Continue Reading.


Monday, December 7, 2020

On late-season toxic algal blooms

Recently, I wrote a follow-up to my colleague Ry Rivard’s coverage of harmful algal blooms. Lake George has had a few late blooms this fall.

This topic holds a special place in my journalist heart. When I worked in Auburn, Owasco Lake, which is the drinking water source for a large part of Cayuga County, had harmful algal blooms (more accurately called cyanobacteria) near the City of Auburn’s drinking water intake pipe. Nearly every day in the summer and fall I was writing a story about whether the water was safe to drink and safe to swim in, not just for people, but for pets, too. I wrote about dogs that had died from ingesting the scum. Some cyanobacteria blooms have liver and neurotoxins that are fast-acting and kill pets, waterfowl and other animals.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, November 28, 2020

Revolutionary War remains on Lake George

digMy first newspaper job was at The Citizen in Auburn, New York. We got a tip one day that said someone had dug up human bones in their backyard, along with the address. My editor asked if I could go check it out.

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Saturday, November 7, 2020

Adirondack Report: Good news for Lake George; historic mansion for sale in Newcomb

milfoil matsLast week we had a couple of Lake George-area stories, in case you missed them.

One was about Dog Beach, a public area next to the state’s Million Dollar Beach at the southern end of the lake. If you’ve walked by there lately, you may have noticed the construction equipment. Dog Beach is getting turned into a stormwater filtration project. Some of it will go back to open, public space, but it will be smaller than before. The goal is to filter out nutrients, bacteria and sediment.

We also saw some benthic mats, once used to control Eurasian watermilfoil, removed from the lake. David Wick, director of the Lake George Park Commission, said this was the way the commission used to treat dense beds of milfoil, but these mats are now just trash sitting on the lake bottom. Divers helped remove them last month.

» Continue Reading.


Saturday, September 5, 2020

High Peaks hiking can be rough, but rewarding

Hello from my apartment, where I am enjoying sitting after 17 miles of hiking on Sunday. I’m looking at my boots caked in mud. They’re airing out on my porch.

Just before 7 a.m., my boyfriend and I arrived in Keene to hike two more High Peaks, Dial and Nippletop.

» Continue Reading.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

Bond Act becomes another casualty of pandemic

In case you missed it, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced last week that he would not be putting the $3 billion Restore Mother Nature Bond Act on the November ballot this year.

Cuomo said he was postponing it, due to the state’s dire finances. Though the bond act passed the state Legislature this year, a provision in the state budget said if finances were poor, the state budget director has the authority to pull the bond act from a public vote. That move, however, effectively kills the bond act.

» Continue Reading.



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