THIS MOMENT OF NATURESeneca, New York is located in The Finger Lakes Region of New York State. And they have something very special there, the Seneca White Deer. The Seneca White Deer are a rare herd of deer living with in the protected fenced grounds that was home to the (former) Seneca Army Depot.
The 10,000 plus acre depot was created in 1941 and is protected by 24 miles of fence. When the fence was erected it isolated a herd of White Tail Deer that (of some) had white coats. They are not albino, they carrier a recessive gene. Because of the fence that isolated the herd, inbreeding created the very white fur on many of the deer. Not all of the herd is white, at last count there was approximately 700 deer with about 300 in the white fur. In the 1950's the depot commander forbade the hunting of the rare deer and the herd grew and flourished. Since they are protected by the fence they are also protected for predators. A "normal color" White Tail Deer would have camouflage but the White Deer do not.
Since the depot has closed a group of concerned people has formed Seneca White Deer Inc. (SWD);
and they are active in raising capital to purchase the land, which is for sale. They also have had promising meetings with NYS DEC and NYS Parks and Recreation representatives. The group has also offered tours to see the deer, which quickly sold out. The hope is to create a eco-tourism and recreational space.
The Finger Lakes Region is a well visited area of NYS with the natural beauty of the lakes, historic cities and towns, wineries, agriculture, shopping, culture and out door recreation. The plans for the former depot would fit in nicely. And the White Deer do have there own mysticism. They are in stories, folklore and legends of Native American and Asian cultures. And of course there was the endless search for the White Stag by King Arthur.
And the deer isn't the only reason to visit the former depot, take a look at some other things of interest.
Many remaing military installations.