Dozens of rare white deer will be available for public viewing

The deer are a genetic variant of white-tailed deer.

— -- Only a few glimpses of rare white deer had been possible in upstate New York, until now.

Inside the 24 miles of chain-link fence that protect the former Seneca Army Depot, dozens of white deer have grown to become what the nonprofit Seneca White Deer Inc. (SWD) says is the largest herd of its kind in the world.

Dennis Money, SWD's president, announced Monday that preparations are in place for the new tour program, a welcome center for visitors and a website that will list available dates and times.

"We're thrilled to be able to offer tours beginning this fall," he said. "These white deer are a real treasure, and to make them accessible to the public is a dream come true."

SWD works to preserve the dozens of white deer as well as the military history of the former depot through conservation and ecotourism. Money said the organization, along with Earl Martin, the depot's owner, will launch the project later this year, when crowds arrive in the Finger Lakes area for the fall foliage and wine tour season.