Tom Jasikoff, Tom_Jasikoff@fws.gov, (315) 568-5987
Tylar Greene, Tylar_Greene@fws.gov, (413) 253-8329
Residents and visitors to upstate New York now have greater opportunities to experience wildlife in its natural habitat, thanks to the recent addition of more than 190 acres to Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
The newly-added acreage includes a variety of habitat, such as seasonal streams, wet woodlands, wooded hillsides, small fields and one small pond. The acquisition is funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which provides money to federal, state and local governments to purchase land, water and wetlands.
“Nations are defined by the natural and cultural heritage they choose to preserve, which is why the Land and Water Conservation Fund is such a vital conservation tool,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe. “It’s fitting that as we mark the 50th anniversary of this conservation milestone, we do so by protecting important habitat here at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and across the nation for current and future generations of Americans to enjoy.”
Montezuma National Wildlife refuge provides resting, feeding, and nesting habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. Montezuma is situated in the middle of one of the most active flight lanes in the Atlantic Flyway. The refuge is located at the north end of Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. The refuge contains 9,809 acres and is situated in Seneca, Wayne, and Cayuga Counties.
This protected habitat will primarily benefit waterfowl species like mallards and pintails, migrating shorebirds including sandpipers and plovers, and other wetland-dependent species. The upland areas will also provide habitat for winter raptors such as the short-eared owl.
September 3 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the LWCF. Lands purchased through the fund are used to provide recreational opportunities, protect clean water, preserve wildlife habitat, enhance scenic vistas, protect archaeological and historical sites and maintain the nature of wilderness areas.
Although public use of the newly-acquired acreage will depend on a review to determine what activities are compatible with the wildlife conservation mission of the refuge, added habitat protections will benefit species that share adjacent parts of the refuge currently providing public access – as well as other nearby public and private lands.
“Refuge lands like these will serve as the cornerstone for landscape-level conservation efforts in the Finger Lakes landscape, helping us bring together our State wildlife agency counterparts and other key partners to achieve greater benefits for wildlife than any organization can accomplish alone,” said Ashe.
The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit www.fws.gov.
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