Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: The bad news about bats

As a writer who loves wildlife, I find no story more difficult to tell than the story of how white-nose syndrome is affecting bats in North America.

Letter from Birdland: Sharing a special film with friends

Birdland in November is ... warm? At least until the sun goes down. And the grass is green under the carpet of leaves.

We are tidying up after a gathering of friends, old and new, who came out for a very special launch party.

Petting Zoo, an independent film by writer/director Micah Magee, is "a story of love, sex and teen pregnancy in San Antonio, Texas."

Sidney farmer has 'em gobbling up his free-range livestock

SIDNEY — David Bane grew up with six brothers adn two sisters, so Thanksgiving rotates each year among him and his brothers.

This year he and his wife, Susan, will visit brother Ted in Lexington, Ky. If it were David's turn, he would be grilling a turkey at the Homer Lake Forest Preserve for his side of the Bane family Thanksgiving.

Ameren to finish cleanup at gas plant site by December

Ameren Illinois plans to finish removing toxins from the site of its old manufactured gas plant in Champaign by next month.

Project manager Brian Martin said crews in November and December will be removing coal tar from a 200 feet by 25 feet strip of land at the gas plant site at Fifth and Hill streets.

Letter from Birdland: Devil's Lake: A hiker's paradise

In Birdland, we're on the cusp of fall, and the west wind blows hot and cold. Today was hot, while yesterday's wind had a pleasant chill.

I'm still thinking about the hiking we did last weekend, and I promised to tell you about the trails we took.

Rob Kanter/Environmental Almanac: Bats before White-Nose Syndrome

Sometimes human behavior degrades the natural world over longish spans of time, as in the case of climate change. Other times, things we do wreak ecological havoc much more rapidly, as when we transport plants, animals and pathogens from one continent to another. Case in point: White-Nose Syndrome (WNS), a fungal infection that has killed bats in the U.S.

Tom's #Mailbag, Oct. 21, 2016

Questions for Tom? ASK THEM HERE and he'll chase down your answer.

Champaign County Board approves new restrictions on waste burning

URBANA — An ordinance restricting the open burning of landscape wastes in some areas just outside of Champaign-Urbana was adopted, 11-8, on Thursday night by the Champaign County Board.

Prairie Rivers Network honoring Mahomet man's efforts

CHAMPAIGN — Bruce Colravy has always been drawn to streams.

As a kid growing up in Ford County's Piper City, he had to settle for exploring drainage ditches.

"I'd peer into the water and look for life. Surprisingly, there was quite a bit in there," Colravy said, laughing and recalling how he and a friend once pulled a 35-pound snapping turtle from one.

Letters from Birdland: Wisconsin trip offers a little barn inspiration

It's a chill morning in Birdland, and we walk back and forth, back and forth to the car. The dogs know something's up.

We see clouds of dust rising from the far western field. Jim and Sean are already out harvesting the beans. The shaved corn fields are golden in the morning sun.