The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge has cultivated several strong partnerships that have furthered the mission and management goals of the refuge and have created an efficient and effective culture of on-the-ground conservation and education. The most active and interactive partnership is that formed by the Montezuma Wetlands Complex (MWC, Complex). The Complex is an effort by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Ducks Unlimited, The Nature Conservancy, and private landowners to protect, restore and enhance wildlife habitat. It encompasses approximately 50,000 acres (20,242 hectares) in Seneca, Cayuga and Wayne counties in upstate New York and includes the federal Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, the state Northern Montezuma Wildlife Management Area, and lands owned by conservation groups, farmers, and other private landowners. Public lands and some private lands are managed to provide habitat for wildlife and recreation and education for people.
Each year, the Montezuma Winery hosts a Wildflowers & Wine event to promote conservation efforts on the refuge, and donate part of the proceeds from this event to the Friends of the Montezuma Wetlands Complex. These funds are used for conservation and outreach on and about the refuge. As a refuge neighbor, the Winery also spreads the word to their customers about visiting the refuge.
The refuge is part of and staff sit on the Board of Directors for the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway. Officially designated a New York State Scenic Byway in 2002 by the New York State Department of Transportation, the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway surrounds Cayuga Lake, with Montezuma situated at the north end. The route, themed around Cayuga Lake, features scenic views of the lake and its shores, rural and woodland landscapes and numerous intrinsic recreational, natural, tourist and cultural attractions. The Byway is managed by a not-for-profit, Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway, Inc., with a Board of Directors made up of business and governmental representatives of the adjacent counties of Cayuga, Seneca and Tompkins. This Board meets on a regular basis at different regional locations around Cayuga Lake to oversee the development and implementation of the Byway’s Corridor Management Plan. Enjoy the ride!
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Today, Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge boasts six active bald eagle nests. The infamous trio's nest can be viewed from Armitage Road, located off of NY State Route 89. The trio has nested on the refuge since 1987; the two males are from a reintroduction program conducted in the late 1970s.