Save the rare white deer of Seneca
This petition had 67,984 supporters
The white deer of Seneca Depot,in Seneca County NY USA, are stunningly beautiful and only number about 200. For decades they have thrived and wowed the locals. But, the Seneca County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has announced that it will soon start accepting bids on the depot’s 7,000 acres. If the wrong developer offers the highest price, this herd of white deer could disappear.
In all of the previous plans for the depot, a permanent conservation area was designated. However, it seems as if no such concessions are on the table this time. The conservation area would most likely be approximately 1500 acres, with a 60-acre pond, and would provide a secure, natural setting for the herd, as well as other native flora and fauna. We think this concession must be included in any sale.
Please join the Seneca Depot Conservation Alliance ( SDCA) in asking the IDA to require any bidder to set aside adequate habitat for the herd to thrive without disruption. These deer are part of our New York heritage, and should be protected so many more get a chance to see just how amazing they are.
The IDA is eager to see the depot returned to the tax rolls, increasing the county’s tax base and serving as an economic asset. This is understandable, but the fact is, a dedicated conservation area could be a boon rather than a burden -- for years now, tours of the Seneca Depot have been mostly closed, and many of the hundreds of thousands of tourists that visit the area annually have been turned away when they’ve sought to see the white deer herd. This is cold hard cash that isn’t going into Seneca County’s coffers. The costs of keeping a conservation area would be easily covered by charging entry and providing outdoor recreation opportunities for the tourists that come to the Finger Lakes annually for wine tasting, boating and the famed Watkins Glenn State Park.
This area is not only the home to the white deer, but is designated an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society for its many Bald Eagles, Northern Harriers, and Short-Eared Owls. Moving ahead with a sale without designating a conservation area will doom the white deer and the other unique species.
Please encourage the IDA to protect this unique habitat and Seneca’s rare white deer. Sign my petition and make sure these animals live on for years to come.
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