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Floating island? Wisconsin community members use personal boats to move giant floating bog

Residents in Wisconsin collectively joined their boats to create enough power to move a giant floating bog on the Chippewa Flowage. (Source: KBJR)
Published: May. 24, 2022 at 5:46 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE, WI -- It was a group effort Tuesday when a Wisconsin community collectively joined their boats to create enough power in order to move a giant floating bog on the Chippewa Flowage.

Denny Reyes, who owns The Landing Restaurant and Resort is practically neighbors with this giant floating bog.

“It’s one of the first things you look for when you come in here in the morning: Where’s the bog?” said Reyes.

The bog is several decades old, and formed when the Chippewa River was dammed roughly 100 years ago.

As soil and plant matter combined and gas was released, patches of peat began to float around the Chippewa Flowage.

The fertile soil was the perfect habitat for plants and animals, and soon an entire ecosystem began to thrive on the bog.

Unfortunately for Reyes and other residents on the lake, the bog slowly floats into shore, blocking a nearby bridge on a regular basis.

“It’s almost every year. It takes a community effort and you have to have the winds at your back in order to push them in,” he said.

With all of the animals that call it home, the state government considers it a protected habitat, meaning the locals can’t break the bog up.

“Being a natural habitat, the DNR would rather you leave it be and let Mother Nature take charge of it,” said Reyes.

25 boats came together to push the bog away from the bridge.

The bridge is the only passage between the East and West sides of the flowage, so property owners from all over lent a helping hand.

Despite their efforts, the bog got stuck on a pile of rocks.

“You can go all summer, and sometimes it doesn’t happen. But when we move it, you gotta get it kind of in the right spot, or it can be back in in a couple of days,” said Greg Kopke, a local homeowner.

Since they were unable to get the bog where they wanted it, it’ll likely be back at the bridge in just a few days, and the boats will be back to try and push it away once again.

The Lake Chippewa Flowage Resort Association Facebook page has been keeping up with the bog’s whereabouts, if you’d like to follow its progress.

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