KECA donation funds habitat work

The Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC) announced on Tuesday afternoon that it had purchased a new 15-foot Brush Hog mower with $20,000 donated to the organization by the Keystone Elk Country Alliance (KECA). The mower will be used to maintain between 275 and 300 acres of State Game Lands in the Benezette area. KECA President Rawley Cogan explained that the group, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, raised the funds through its banquet program. "We went to the Game Commission and said 'what is your greatest need?' and they said their greatest need was to purchase this piece of equipment," Cogan said. According to representatives from the Game Commission, the new mower is expected to cut mowing time of the area in half. With their previous mower, a 10-foot Brush Hog, it took about 19 shifts to complete all of the necessary mowing work. PGC Land Manager John Dzemyan indicated that the organization first started purchasing larger tractors, such as the John Deere machine currently in use, about 10 or 11 years ago."Before that, we still had the International 44s with no cab on them and a six-foot mower behind them," Dzemyan said. "We probably mowed a hundred acres down here back then."Pick up a copy of the Wednesday, June 22, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.