Resource Management

Banding wood duck - Phil Bonn/USFWS.

In an effort to provide the greatest diversity of habitats, management activities primarily focus on water, grasslands, invasive species and public use. The refuge's recreated wetlands consist of diked pools of water. Water levels are manipulated in the refuge pools to create conditions that provide a mix of underwater plants, emergent vegetation, and open water. Summer or winter drawdowns (draining), gradual drawdowns and stress flooding are all water management regimes used at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.

The goals of the refuge's grassland management program are to:

  1. provide a diversity of field types;
  2. reduce the encroachment of woody shrubs;
  3. encourage the growth of a variety of grasses.

Common grassland management techniques include periodic mowing, prescribed burning and planting.

Numerous invasive species are found at Montezuma. Purple loosestrife is the invasive species that has had the greatest impact on the quality of habitats available at Montezuma. Current management of purple loosestrife primarily involves the use of biological control agents, weevils and beetles that are host-specific (feed and live exclusively on purple loosestrife). The goal of this biological control program is to establish the competitive balance between native plant species and purple loosestrife.

The public use program at Montezuma provides wildlife oriented educational and recreational opportunities compatible with refuge management objectives. Public use facilities and programs include the 3.5-mile Wildlife Drive, 3-mile Esker Brook Trail, .75-mile South Spring Pool Trail, Visitor Center, observation towers and platforms, fishing access sites, hunting programs, trapping program, educational programs and materials, guided tours and special programs. Exhibits, brochures, kiosks and programs are used to convey information to the public about the management activities and programs of the refuge as well as those of the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge has so much to offer if you would like to help give wildlife a better place to live and/or help other people like you enjoy and appreciate this special place. Volunteering can be rewarding in so many ways! Contribute to our mission to provide healthy habitat for wildlife, for their benefit and for the benefit of the American people. Meet other people who love this place and share interests similar to yours; make new friends. Have increased access to and build relationships with refuge staff; learn first-hand what goes on here. Get Involved! You’ll be glad you did!

Trapping Occurs on this Refuge.

Trapping is a wildlife management tool used on some national wildlife refuges. Trapping may be used to protect endangered and threatened species or migratory birds or to control certain wildlife populations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service also views trapping as a legitimate recreational and economic activity when there are harvestable surpluses of fur-bearing mammals. Outside of Alaska, refuges that permit trapping as a recreational use may require trappers to obtain a refuge special use permit. Signs are posted on refuges where trapping occurs. Contact the refuge manager for specific regulations. Click here for more information.