Dead trees and driftwood strewn about floodwater.

This was a difficult scene to come to. Taken at Lussier County Park of Sauk City, WI on a warm autumn day in 2022, this flooding was found less than a mile away from Few Ways Forward. That scene, taken in the fall of 2019, is now completely underwater. The no parking sign that rose above my head is now completely submerged and no part of the road leading to it is accessible.

I wonder if the oaks and birches seen here were also living and within reach three years ago. The stumps rendered to driftwood indicate that rising water has been an issue in this location for many years, and that little is done in response. The loss of the road I found in Few Ways Forward represents a major disruption for the rural community, but the three lakes that surround Lussier County Park have no natural outlet, so rainwater simply accumulates. Projects to divert excess water to the Wisconsin River have stalled due to agricultural runoff pollution concerns, so the remaining solutions are:

The county response to this flooding is insufficient, but I understand the no-win situation created by years of industrial agriculture lobbying the state for runoff exemptions and republican state legislators obstructing new regulations. In the end, the rural people are squeezed to the breaking point and made to find home elsewhere. If only the flora of this beautiful landscape could do the same.

Mamiya C330 Professional S
Mamiya-Sekor 55mm f/4.5
Kodak Ektar – ISO 100 – 6×6