Residents join forces to move the ‘floating island’ with their boats

CHIPPEWA FLOWAGE, Wis. (KBJR/Gray News) – This week in Wisconsin, it was a group effort when community residents used their boats to move a giant floating bog on the Chippewa Flowage.

“It’s one of the first things you look for when you come here in the morning, ‘Where’s the bog?’,” said Denny Reyes, owner of the nearby Landing Restaurant and Resort.

KBJR reports that the bog is decades old and formed when the Chippewa River was dammed about 100 years ago.

As the soil and plant matter combined, slabs 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 in the bog.

However, for Reyes and other residents near the lake, the bog slowly floats to shore and regularly blocks a nearby bridge.

“It’s almost every year. It takes community effort and you have to have the momentum to push,” Reyes said.

With all the animals that inhabit it, the state government considers it a protected habitat, which means residents cannot break through the bog.

On Tuesday, 25 boats came together to push the bog away from the bridge, which is the only passage between the sides of the flow.

The community owners helped out, but the bog got stuck on a pile of rocks despite their efforts.

“When we move him, you have to put him in the right place or he can be back in a few days,” owner Greg Kopke said.

Locals said that if the blog ever came back to the bridge, they would be prepared to push it back once again.

Updates continue with the Lake Chippewa Flowage Resort Association.

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