A new interactive map from Seneca White Deer provides a look into the interior of the Depot and allows viewers to zoom in on any area to see an amazing level of detail. We developed this new Tourism Master Plan map to show the potential tourism facilities that could be developed on the former Depot.
Possible tourism facilities are shown as an overlay on the map, highlighting the former Depot’s potential as a contributor to the local economy. One option to return the bulk of the vacant facility to productivity is to develop it as an ecotourism park that would draw tourists from around the world.
All 519 of the former Depot’s earth-covered igloos are faithfully represented on the map. Other structures throughout the 10,000-acre site are realistically recreated in their exact locations. Information from aerial photographs and other public records were used in drawing the map.
The map also includes both white and brown deer, turkeys, geese and other wildlife. Using the zoom buttons in the lower right corner of the map, viewers can see the triple fence that surrounds the high security area where nuclear weapons were once stored and even find concrete personnel shelters tucked between the igloos.
Seneca White Deer has proposed redeveloping a major portion of the former Depot as a tourism facility to protect the white deer and preserve the military history that remains on the site. The Seneca County Industrial Development Agency, which is responsible for redeveloping the now vacant former Depot, recently discussed the need to plan for managing the former Depot when the Army Corps of Engineers finishes its cleanup of the site in 2015.
This type of development would boost the region’s thriving tourism industry, as well as provide a means to manage the unique white deer herd and maintain the fences and habitat that are essential the survival of the deer. Revenue from the tourism operations would provide the resources needed to protect the white deer herd on the Depot and make it more available to the public through public facilities and tours.
Tourism facilities at the former Depot could include a welcome center with exhibits and meeting rooms, routes for bus and self-guided tours, wildlife observation blinds, horse-riding trails and facilities, as well as wildlife food plots and research facilities. Accommodations for visitors would range from a sustainable-technology hotel and conference center to a “bed and bunker” where visitors with a taste for adventure could spend a night in one of the former weapons storage igloos.
The map was developed by mapformation, LLC. The illustrator, Michael Karpovage, is a Waterloo native and author of the novel Crown of Thorns, which is set partially on the former Depot.