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Animals for Adoption

These animals and more are available to good homes from the Logan County Animal Control at 1515 N. Kickapoo, phone 735-3232.

Fees for animal adoption: dogs, $60/male, $65/female; cats, $35/male, $44/female. The fees include neutering and spaying.

Logan County Animal Control's hours of operation:

Sunday    closed

Monday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Tuesday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Wednesday    8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Thursday  –  8 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Friday  –  8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Saturday  –  closed

Warden: Sheila Farmer
Assistant:  Polly Farmer
In-house veterinarian:  Dr. Lester Thomson

Big to little, most these dogs will make wonderful lifelong companions when you take them home and provide solid, steady training, grooming and general care. Get educated about what you choose. If you give them the time and care they need, you will be rewarded with much more than you gave them. They are entertaining, fun, comforting, and will lift you up for days on end.

Be prepared to take the necessary time when you bring home a puppy, kitten, dog, cat or any other pet, and you will be blessed.

[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  

Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Polly Farmer,
look forward to assisting you.

[This sweet 6-year-old bulldog mix is looking for
a little TLC.  She is a very sweet and loving
and would be a great addition to any family.]

[This 3-month-old puppy, a cattle dog,
is looking for the right family to take her home.
She is very sweet and energetic and will add
a lot to the family that takes her home.]

[This 8-week-old puppy, a cattle dog,
is very sweet and loving.
Bring a little love home and adopt her today.]

[This little girl is as sweet as she looks.
She is 4 or 5 years old and would love to go
to a real home and become part of your family.]

Ten reasons to adopt a shelter dog

 1.  I'll bring out your playful side!

 2.  I'll lend an ear to your troubles.

 3.   I'll keep you fit and trim.

 4.   We'll look out for each other.

 5.   We'll sniff out fun together!

 6.   I'll keep you right on schedule.

 7.   I'll love you with all my heart.

 8.   We'll have a tail-waggin' good time!

 9.   We'll snuggle on a quiet evening.

10.   We'll be best friends always.


[Logan County Animal Control is thankful for pet supplies donated by individuals and Wal-Mart.]  

Warden Sheila Farmer and her assistant, Michelle Mote, look forward to assisting you.

In the cat section there are a number of wonderful cats to choose from. There are a variety of colors and sizes.

Farm cats available for free!

[This domestic shorthair cat is looking for
a farm to play on. He is 8 weeks old.]

[This 2-year-old domestic shorthair cat is itching to track down some mice.  She wants to come live on your farm and help you with the farm chores.]

Part 2

Spunky Bottoms — a wetland
returning to its natural rhythm

[OCT. 13, 2001]  "I never drive along the river but I remember how it used to be," says Dora Dawson of Meridosia. "I remember when it was wetland black with ducks. I remember the bottomland hardwoods oak, pecan and walnut trees."

[Click here for Part 1]

In the last hundred years, people have made great changes in the nation’s rivers, pouring human and industrial waste into them, building locks and dams, separating the rivers from their flood plains by levees.

In the early 1990s, the National Research Council identified the Illinois as one of only three large flood-plains river ecosystems in the United States that have a chance of recovering from man-made damage, and the Nature Conservancy began thinking about a campaign to restore some of its wetlands.


Last year, the conservancy made an ambitious purchase, when it bought the 7,527-acre Wilder Farm near Havana, where the Spoon River joins the Illinois. The huge property, now called by its ancient name Emiquon, is still being farmed, but plans are already under way for its restoration. The Nature Conservancy is meeting with advisory groups, both scientists and local citizens, to decide how to manage the land, which will be a mix of forest, prairie and marsh. The work being done at Spunky Bottoms will be a guideline as well.

"This is a laboratory setting for what is going to happen at Emiquon, which is so much more extensive," Blodgett says.


He also says the conservancy wants to be a good neighbor. Although there are plans to open the levees and reconnect the bottoms to the river, care will be taken not to flood adjoining farmland. Local people will be given the opportunity to hunt and fish again in the restored wetlands, though on a limited basis so as to keep the wildlife abundant. On non-hunting days, bird-watchers will be allowed into the blinds for waterfowl viewing.

"We want people to see that having the Nature Conservancy as a neighbor is a good thing," Blodgett says.


[to top of second column in this section]

The Spunky Bottoms tour was on a perfect early fall afternoon, a day not too warm or too cool, with an almost cloudless blue sky. An occasional grain truck rumbled along a distant road, but otherwise civilization seemed remote. More immediate were the waving prairie grasses, the northern harrier that flew low across the marshy bottom, hunting for mice or frogs, the grasshoppers and the occasional butterfly, and the pair of deer that splashed through a pond in their effort to get out of sight of the visitors.

The peaceful atmosphere itself seems reason enough to preserve these "Last Great Places," but there are others just as convincing.


"One of the greatest reasons to preserve biodiversity is that it holds the answers to many of the questions that we haven’t been smart enough to ask yet," Blodgett says. "Medical information, for example. We may find cures for diseases in some of the plants we save. Some of them might have great commercial value.

"But also, we can better understand our relationship with the environment by understanding the relationships of other organisms to it. If an animal goes extinct and we don’t understand why, we may run the risk of going extinct for the same reason."

And Dora Dawson and others who grew up along the Illinois will be able to see wetland black with ducks again.

[Joan Crabb]

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Part 1

Spunky Bottoms — a wetland
returning to its natural rhythm

[OCT. 12, 2001]  "I never drive along the river but I remember how it used to be," says Dora Dawson of Meridosia. "I remember when it was wetland black with ducks. I remember the bottomland hardwoods oak, pecan and walnut trees."

The river Dora remembers with such nostalgia is the Illinois. The wetlands she remembers along that river are mostly farmland today, producing the ubiquitous corn and soybeans. The river landscape she remembers from when she was a girl growing up in the small river town about halfway between Springfield, Ill., and Hannibal, Mo., disappeared many years ago.

Beginning in the 1920s, all along the Illinois, and along most other Midwestern rivers as well, the rich bottomland was drained by building earth levees and installing pumps so row crops could be planted.


"The sad part of it was, often they didn’t get a good crop off it. Still, they went ahead and farmed it," Dora remembers.

But Dora and others can now see time turning backward in a few places along the Illinois. Spunky Bottoms, 1,157 acres not far from Meridosia, is already beginning to find its old rhythm as a wetland, thanks to the Nature Conservancy. This organization is dedicated to restoring natural communities by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Funded almost entirely by private contributions, its motto is "Saving the Last Great Places."


The conservancy bought the 1,157 acres of farmland on the west bank of the river back in 1997, spent several years researching what the land was like a century ago and then began restoring it. They called it Spunky Bottoms because it was just below a place historically known as Spunky Ridge. "Spunky" in this context means an area that has a lot of springs and other natural water.

Volunteers from neighboring high schools and colleges, 350 strong, helped the conservancy plant about 6,000 trees, including burr oak, linden, black walnut, sycamore, pecan, chinquapin, river birch and Kentucky coffee trees, all species that had once grown in the wetlands along the river.

The volunteers also helped plant hundreds of pounds of prairie seeds, all gathered within 150 miles of Spunky Bottoms so the plants would be the local species that once grew here.


But many of the plants that are returning are doing so without the help of humans. The seeds of natural vegetation that were lying dormant in these soils for as long as 75 years, like big bluestem, Indian grass and wild ryes, are coming back on their own.



[to top of second column in this section]

On a recent tour of Spunky Bottoms, sponsored by the Illinois Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, about 50 members and visitors saw some of the changes already underway.

The essential element to bring it all back is water. Because the water table is so high, the conservancy didn’t need to take down the levees to begin wetlands restoration, explains Douglas Blodgett, Great Rivers Area director. Just turning off the pumps was enough to produce shallow lakes and waterways, which this year provided a stopping place for an estimated 16,000 migrating ducks. Water lilies are growing where corn used to be.


An upland prairie, where Indian grass and rudbeckia (black-eyed Susans) grow instead of soybeans, attracted at least six rare Henslow’s sparrows, which require this very specific environment to survive. Bald eagles, white pelicans, and the shy and secretive black rail have returned to the area.

Not only birds, but fish and amphibians are also returning. John Tucker of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources showed visitors a collection of turtles that can live in the area painted turtles, red-eared sliders, common and the false map turtles, both smooth and spiny soft-shells (the spiny one always bites, he notes), the stinkpot and the endangered Blandings turtle, which the conservancy hopes to re-establish at Spunky Bottoms.

Black bass, white crappies, green sunfish, brown bullheads, carp and bigmouth buffalo are among the fish that will make their homes at Spunky Bottoms. At some point, the levees will be opened in places so fish can come into the bottoms to spawn.


"The Illinois River has been historically very productive," Blodgett told the visitors. "It has a large flood plain, as much as 7 miles wide some places, because at one time what is now the Mississippi flowed through here."

The last glaciers pushed the Mississippi over into its present location, and a smaller river, which became known as the Illinois, began draining the old Mississippi river bed.

"For 500 generations Native Americans lived along the Illinois river and its large backwaters," Blodgett said. "It was a very productive habitat, a good place for people to live."

(To be continued)

[Joan Crabb]

[Click here for Part 2]

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