Slow going as crews attempt to move massive bog on lake near Brainerd

A free-floating bog on a lake near Brainerd is causing problems for waterfront businesses and residents as it slowly creeps toward shore, threatening docks and other property despite the community's best efforts to move the land mass back to open water.

The most recent issue came last summer when nearly three football fields worth of wetland broke off from the shore on North Long Lake and scooted slowly toward the nearby Legionville Safety Camp, an historic site which serves as a training center for school patrols and other public safety jobs.

With winter's ice now gone and the bog blocking the camp's beach, local officials from the Department of Natural Resources and the North Long Lake Association hatched a plan earlier this week to drag the land mass away from shore by attaching boats to several ropes anchored at different locations throughout the bog. As of late Wednesday morning, the boats were not able to make any progress and officials went back to the drawing board.

A second, slightly more successful plan then unfolded in which a more than a dozen volunteers used a pipe to thread a rope underneath and ultimately around the bog in order to cut it in half, a goal which was reached shortly before 6:00 p.m. Wednesday. 

The Minnesota DNR permit issued to local officials does not allow them to destroy the bog, only to anchor it back in its original location, which, even after slicing it in half, proved easier said than done.

Another attempt to tow the two halves by boat failed shortly after, and authorities pledged to return Thursday to continue slicing up the bog in the hopes that the smaller pieces might be easier to move.