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Samish help fund trestle rebuild

ANACORTES, Wash. – The Samish Indian Nation is helping to fund the reconstruction of a trestle damaged by fire Oct. 15. The trestle extends over Fidalgo Bay from Samish’s Weaverling Spit to March’s Point, and is part of a regional hiking trail.

The cause of the fire has not been determined; the trestle is expected to be reopened by April.

Samish donated $30,000 to the repair fund; that’s one-tenth the expected cost of repair. And William Bailey, a carver who goes by his Samish name Tsul-ton, is carving a healing pole that will be auctioned, with proceeds going to the trestle repair fund.

Samish has been working with other governments in the region to develop a plan to replace the trestle’s creosote pilings and remove riprap to improve water quality and tidal flow in Fidalgo Bay.

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“The impact of this incident has raised public and community awareness of the larger project of the replacement of the trestle and the opening up of the head of Fidalgo Bay,” Samish Chairman Tom Wooten said. “No one person or entity can fix this, but collectively and as a community we can and will make this repair happen.”

Richard Walker is a correspondent reporting from San Juan Island, Wash. Contact him at