Dear Friends of Seneca White Deer,
The photo above represents the two main attributes of the Seneca Army Depot – the white deer and the igloos which housed various forms of weapons for many decades. Now that it is official that the Army is leaving in 2015, there is an increased urgency to protect these elements and keep alive the idea that the former depot should be available for all Americans to come and enjoy. The depot has both military and wildlife resources which, if properly managed and conserved, could be turned into a world class tourism attraction. Such an attraction would not only generate jobs and revenue but also continue to protect and manage the world’s largest herd of white, whitetail deer!
One way you can help is by participating in the hearings for the New York Open Space Plan. The purpose of the Open Space proceedings is to purchase unique land and water resources for New Yorkers to come and enjoy. Money for property acquisition is provided from the Environmental Protection Fund. The depot property is listed as a priority area for NYSDEC Region 8 to be considered for such funding. However, the depot will be going against other properties throughout New York State for the same funding so…your participation in the Open Space hearings will be crucial IF we are too be successful. With the Army leaving in 2015 and the next Open Space program not even scheduled for many years from now, this is our last chance to protect a significant part of the depot. Hearings will soon be conducted across the state and you can attend those hearings and participate or send in letters of support for the depot no matter where you live in New York. Please check with your local DEC office for dates and times for the hearings in your area. SWD will also post them on our website. This is the 11th hour for the depot so let’s continue to do our best to protect this potentially great resource.
Seneca White Deer, Inc. (SWD), as you know, has been working very hard for many years to preserve the resources of the depot. We will continue to keep you posted with any significant happenings. In 2013 SWD accomplished several exciting activities. First, SWD realized it needed to make more young people aware of the depot and its wildlife so SWD partnered with the Seneca Falls Rotary Club to provide books and book markers on wildlife to young children in the Seneca Falls school district. SWD also worked with the Hillside Children’s Agency to build blue bird boxes at their Varick campus and engage some of their students to become interested in conservation projects. These partnerships are continuing this fall and into 2014. SWD is excited to say that this program will also be expanding into other schools in Seneca County.
The development of a Master Plan map showing how the depot could be configured into a world class tourism and education center was our second accomplishment this year. This beautiful full color map shows the ‘potential’ of what the depot could become. For example, the map shows a wildlife education center, camp grounds, food plots, a Welcome Center to name just a few of the potential ideas for the depot project. The map can be found at our website, www.senecawhitedeer.org. Check it out – you can zoom in on the map and see details like the white deer, turkeys, geese etc.
Finally, SWD has recently released a new three minute video with great footage showing the depot property, igloos and wildlife. The mission of the video is to once again notify the public that time is running out and SWD needs your help in keeping the idea viable. The video can be seen both on our website and You Tube. Please check it out and tell your friends. The more people who see this video and support us the better our chances for success for all of us.
Seneca White Deer did not have any fund raising events this year. We felt we needed to become more active in the public eye by spending money via the activities previously mentioned. Please support our continued efforts with a donation to Seneca White Deer, Inc. All donations are tax exempt since SWD is a 501© (3) not for profit organization. Your donation will help fund the efforts of our volunteer, non-profit group to continue this important endeavor. Checks should be made out to Seneca White Deer, Inc. and mailed to 4780 Deuel Road, Canandaigua, NY 14424. Donations can also be made through PayPal from our website, www.senecawhitedeer.org. Any one donating $100 or more will receive a copy of our new and beautiful photo book!
Thank you for your interest and your continued support of Seneca White Deer. The Depot was built and is still maintained with public money. It belongs to all of us and we all should have access to the beauty lying “Beyond the Fence”.
Dennis J. Money
President, Seneca White Deer, Inc.