Habitats

In 1941, most of the lands of the Depot had been in agriculture, although there were a few pockets of woodlots. The habitat of the Depot was basically a monoculture of fields. Over time however, the US Army and the New York State Conservation Department, now known as the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, began to better undertand the interaction between wildlife and habitat. Thousands of conifers were planted for species diversity, fields were allowed to grow and ditching of the land also promoted the development of wetlands.

The interaction between the US Army and the Conservation Department, especially in understanding deer management, made the research done at the Depot critically important to other states trying to manage their herds of deer. The Depot eventually became known as the birthplace for whitetail deer management in North America.

Today, the Depot represents a tremendous variety of habitats; from mature forests at the south end of the Depot to grasslands in the Q area. This great diversity of habitats, some man made but most due to natural succession, have resulted in a great diversity of wildlife and birds who call the Depot their home.

In spring, fawns abound in the Depot. Sanctioned deer hunting takes place each year. (Photo © Brad Carlson)