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Part of the bog wrangling efforts last weekend on Lake Osakis included anchoring into the bog. Eric Neubarth climbed onto the bog to attach it to a boat. A group of about a dozen boaters helped corral and move the bog about one mile on June 1. (Contributed photo)

Boats and brawn move huge bog

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news Alexandria, 56308
Alexandria Minnesota 225 7th Ave E
P.O. Box 549
56308

During Memorial Day weekend, a large, wayward bog morphed into a giant floating headache for lakeshore owners in Schultz's Bay, along the northwest side of Lake Osakis.

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Jason Neubarth was visiting his parents' lakeplace on Osakis that weekend when a 30 to 40 foot wide and 70 to 80 yard long bog - a soft, spongy, floating landmass - drifted over like an uninvited houseguest.

"It was pinned in the bay Saturday morning [May 25], and as we just finished putting our dock and lifts in the lake, another resident a few cabins down removed [the bog] from his and his neighbor's docks, which were starting to get damaged by the wind pushing [the bog] against them," he explained.

Then, he said, "It floated right over to us and wedged itself against the shore and our dock and lift."

The huge bog likely broke loose from shore during the spring's high water levels and windy weather.

So, who do you call when you have a huge bog smooshed up against your dock, boat lift and shoreline?

Neubarth said, initially, he contacted the Todd County Sheriff's Office.

"The [Todd County] sheriff [water patrol] came by in a boat on Sunday [May 26] and said there is nothing they can do."

Todd County Sheriff Pete Mikkelson said the sheriff's office couldn't directly offer services on the bog removal.

Dick Nelson, president of the Osakis Lake Association, said, "We never have been involved in taking bogs out and we most likely will not be active on it because, as soon as we are, everybody will want us taking their bogs out. There would be no end to the requests. It's a private matter where it drifts."

So, the Neubarth family took action; humans versus bog.

"We're going to try to find a new home for it and pin it up somewhere," he said.

And they did...

BIG BOG MOVED SATURDAY

On June 1, Neubarth and his siblings, neighbors and others used boats and brawn to tow the floating landmass one mile and relocate it to an area north of Miller's Bay.

It took almost four hours to move the bog one mile.

Late last week, in preparation for unjamming the spongy landmass, the bog-moving-bunch partnered with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and secured a permit.

Last Thursday, DNR Conservation Officer Jeff Johanson told the Echo Press he planned to join in on June 1 to help relocate the bog, "This thing is pretty big. I don't know how we're going to tow it, but we'll give it a shot and see."

Johanson added, "I really feel for these folks, you know. It's not their fault this thing ended up there. And they are being very good about it. They're not pushing [the bog] out into the lake and letting the wind take it. I commend them for that and trying to do what they can to stake it down."

Neubarth said they're putting in the extra effort to relocate the bog to prevent it from potentially destroying or damaging more docks, lifts or boats.

"[The bog] could attach itself to shore or start re-growing and ruin shoreline and/or value of properties," Neubarth said. Plus, "If this was floating around at night, it could be hit by a boater."

UPDATE MONDAY MORNING

After Saturday's big bog relocation efforts, Neubarth reported that the bog was successfully relocated, thanks to help and support from the local DNR and Todd County Sheriff's Office.

Neubarth noted, "After we had left last Monday [May 27] the bog had moved a couple times from one end of Schultz's bay back to the other and as you can see in one of the photos it took out a neighbor's dock. I still believe that removing this thing from the lake with some heavy equipment and maybe some support from the lake association would be the best for everyone on the lake."

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