Bill Avery

Bill Avery, a volunteer from Wilcox, splices fencing together on the new fence cribs protecting hobblebush at Clermont.

KANE — It’s been almost a year since the idea was hatched, the plan was completed, and the funding was raised, but now the final leg of a 10-year wildlife habitat improvement project is nearing completion just east of Clermont in McKean County.

The Ruffed Grouse Society Chapters (Allegheny, Upland Bird Hunt, Bonasa, and Red Brush) cooperated with Hancock Forest Management to develop, plan, and fund this decade-long project to improve habitat for grouse, woodcock, and songbirds on the Clermont property. This final project involves constructing eight-foot high deer fencing to exclude deer from eating the small, native shrubs trying to get a foot-hold in the understory.

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Dan Johnson Contracting, John Dzemyan, and volunteers from the local Allegheny Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society are installing the fencing. The fencing was supplied by Generations Forestry, Inc. of Kane. Work is expected to continue through the summer of 2019. Any volunteers interested in helping to finish this project should contact John Dzemyan at

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