Earl Martin, the owner of the former Seneca Army Depot land, is working to preserve the rare Seneca white deer herd.
At the end of 2015, there were major questions regarding the future of the famous Seneca white deer herd. The U.S. Army once protected the herd, but after selling the Army Depot land, conservationists were worried for the fate of the deer.
Well worry no longer because Seneca Iron Works owner Earl Martin, according to the Finger Lake Times, “has planted 15 acres of soybeans to improve [their] diet” and he is “working with a nonprofit group to develop 1,500 acres of the 7,000-acre site as a wildlife preserve and ecotourism park.” Martin won the land with a bid of a staggering $90,000 and plans to create about 200 jobs with his business model.
The Seneca white deer herd isn’t a group of albino deer, but rather mutated whitetail deer. The herd was able to continue its gene pool for years following World War II, protected inside the 24-mile fence of the land. While eight years ago, there were 200 deer, today there are only 75 or so.
Martin plans to improve the habitat and food available for the herd in the region in hopes that the rarity will continue. They are hoping that the ecotourism park will be set for 2017.