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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sat through a brief presentation two nights ago night. I knew the deer existed and have seen a few at the fences but was un aware the property is in danger of being opened and developed. That will mean the end of the largest White whitetail deer herd in the world.

I am not sure if all of you even know about the Seneca White Deer. They are products of a recessive gene (not albino). They developed inside a 10,000 acre enclosure at the Seneca Army Depot. The depot was constructed in the 40's and the entire area fenced in. Through the Cold war it housed a large compliment of Nuclear weapons. Fast forward to today.

The Army is done with it and clean ups have taken place. It is being turned over to the IDA (Industrial Development Agency) for that county. They want it developed and put on the tax rolls. I feel that if ever there was a area that needed to be managed and preserved it is this one.

I am including a link to a groups web site that is trying to gain traction, bring political pressure and find some way to have the State but it and manage it, either through DEC or the Parks Department. I know everyone if focused on the Unsafe act with their letter writing campaigns but this truly is a resource that once it is gone us, our kids and grand kids will never see the likes of it again. It should be maintained, managed and available to the public to view, not only the White deer but the other wildlife that currently calls the Depot home.

There are funds available to do this. The same 'Pot" that was used to purchase the 8,000+/- acres from Monroe County surrounding Hemlock and Canadice Lakes. I know this is a topic that some may feel is worth some effort while others see no value. I thought it would be worth the read. Many do not know they even exist unless you are from the area.

Seneca White Deer, Inc. | World's largest herd of all-white, white-tailed deer (Seneca Army Depot, NY)
 

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R.I.P. to our friend PY-3-21-2016
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Well, I've seen them. But the genetic mutation that made them was due to their man made enclosed environment much like being isolated on an island. I would think that the mutation will become rare again once they begin to mix with outside populations but would not that be the case anyway if man had never isolated them in the first place? So is it better to let nature resume it's course or keep them penned up somewhere like a zoo animal?
What's better for the deer? I would support a ban on shooting white deer. Except for the winter months they would be at a severe disadvantage against their major predator-------man.
 

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get a collector's permit, breed em and sell em to game farms.

they are still just white tail dee,r so I can't imagine getting a big push to preserve the habitat vs putting it on the tax rolls, creating industry/jobs.

maybe if you can get to know someone at the dec in that region, maybe a group could capture some to breed or for a game farm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I've seen them. But the genetic mutation that made them was due to their man made enclosed environment much like being isolated on an island. I would think that the mutation will become rare again once they begin to mix with outside populations but would not that be the case anyway if man had never isolated them in the first place? So is it better to let nature resume it's course or keep them penned up somewhere like a zoo animal?
What's better for the deer? I would support a ban on shooting white deer. Except for the winter months they would be at a severe disadvantage against their major predator-------man.
It isn't a mutation. It is a recessive gene, just like having blue eyes. I would like to see a ban on shooting the white deer, other states that have them have that ban in place. Unfortunately predation would cause heir demise in a totally natural setting. I guess to many they just aren't as glamorous as say a white tiger. Still there must be a pretty good draw and interest since the unadvertised tours were so popular
 

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I think they look awesome. What benefit is having a large herd of them? This recessive gene can still result in the phenotype showing in the wild... It isn't as if these beautiful white deer will be gone forever, they just will be rarer.

I do like the photos on the website, and seeing them interact with the other deer is pretty cool.
 

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I grew up in with in a couple miles of there and don't live that far away. They do allow hunting of them, but it is regulated. I forgot they exact rules for being able to hunt in there.You used to have to be a Depot employee or family member or military or retired military I think. Then they held a raffle.In the raffle for tag's. Some people would get a tag to shoot a brown doe, or brown buck, or a white doe or a white buck. You could only shoot the deer that you where selected for. Also when it was a army base, they told you where you could hunt and put you in a spot, and that is where you stayed.If you shot a deer you had to wait till them came back for you to recover it.
 

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It is a fascinating and historical site and the deer population is an interesting footnote to it. I'm not sure I would support NOT returing this land to the tax rolls though. Perhaps a solution could be found whereby the fence that isolates them from predation and other deer was maintained in perpetuity and they were not hunted beyond the percentage required to maintain a safe population? Deeds have restrictions all the time.

What are deed restrictions?
Real estate deed restrictions restrict the way in which a property, such as a house or condominium, can be used. Written into the deed for the property, they can take the form of conditions, covenants and restrictions (CCRs), and are often imposed by the property's present or former owners, the developer or builder, the neighborhood or the homeowner association. They are usually aimed at ensuring that there is aesthetic uniformity between the property and neighboring properties and that certain activities are curtailed. The intention of the people that impose the restrictions may be to maintain the value of the property or to promote good relations within a residential community.
 

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It is a fascinating and historical site and the deer population is an interesting footnote to it. I'm not sure I would support NOT returing this land to the tax rolls though. Perhaps a solution could be found whereby the fence that isolates them from predation and other deer was maintained in perpetuity and they were not hunted beyond the percentage required to maintain a safe population? Deeds have restrictions all the time.
The problem is, you can't develop it at all, otherwise you destroy their habitat, and run the risk of killing the herd.
 

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The artist formerly known as jhm8071
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It isn't a mutation. It is a recessive gene, just like having blue eyes. I would like to see a ban on shooting the white deer, other states that have them have that ban in place. Unfortunately predation would cause heir demise in a totally natural setting. I guess to many they just aren't as glamorous as say a white tiger. Still there must be a pretty good draw and interest since the unadvertised tours were so popular
I'd be fine with a ban on shooting them. Other than humans and coyotes praying on the young, deer don't have many natural predators around here. Unfortunately, over generations, the brown colored gene will return to be dominant, and there won't be nearly as many white deer.
 

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The problem is, you can't develop it at all, otherwise you destroy their habitat, and run the risk of killing the herd.
It isn't like they are going to pave the whole thing. The deer were fenced in in 1941 and contended with the base all through WWII and the cold war. There are plenty of sustainable deer herds in much smaller enclosed places. The land started out as farm lands purchased from the public and IMHO it should be returned to the tax rolls now that the Federal government has no use for it.

Prior to the acquisition of the land and construction of SEDA in 1941, the property was privately owned and was used principally as homesteads and for agriculture and farming. Between 1941 and 2000, SEDA was owned by the United States Government and operated by the Department of the Army. The Depot began its primary mission of receipt, maintenance, and supply of ammunition in 1943. After the end of World War II, the Depot's mission shifted from supply to storage, maintenance, and disposal of ammunition. SEDA was selected for closure by the Department of Defense (DoD) in 1995, and SEDA's military mission terminated in September 1999 and the installation was closed in September 2000.
ERROR page | Superfund Information Systems | US EPA

Site Description
The Seneca Army Depot Activity (SEDA) site encompasses 10,587 acres. It lies between Cayuga and Seneca Lakes in
the Finger Lakes region and abuts the Town of Romulus. Approximately 1,000 people obtain drinking water from private
wells within a 3-mile radius of the depot. The Army has stored and disposed of military explosives at the facility since
1941. As a result of Base Closure, SEDA has downsized significantly from 1200 to 7 employees. Following
recommendation by DoD, approval by the Base Closure Commission, the President and Congress, SEDA was approved
for the 1995 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) list in October 1995. SEDA formally closed and moved to a
caretaker status on September 30, 2000. Current reuse plans project that most of the property will be transferred for
conservation/recreational purposes; some parts of the base had been transferred to various prison and correctional
authorities, as well as the Local Reuse Authority (LRA).
Site Responsibility: This site is being addressed through a Federal Facility Agreement between the Army, EPA and the
State of New York.
Threat and Contaminants
The groundwater is contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including trichloroethylene (TCE),
1,2-Dichloroethene, vinyl chloride, and metals. Soils are contaminated with heavy metals, VOCs and SVOCs.
www.epa.gov/region2/superfund/npl/0202425c.pdf‎

I think a solution could be found to preserve the deer and restore the land to useful service for the people of the Town of Romulus.
 

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