Thanks to a partnership between Washington State Parks and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, Kukutali Preserve (Swinomish for “place of cattail mat”) in Similk Bay near La Conner opened to the public on June 16, 2014. With the help of the Trust for Public Land, Washington State Parks acquired the property in June 2010, after it had been owned privately for almost 100 years. Believed to be the first park in the United States to be co-owned and managed by a tribe and another government. Management of the area focuses on conservation and research, public education and limited recreational use, including hiking. The preserve includes 84 acres on Kiket Island (center, foreground) and Flagstaff Point and nine acres on Fidalgo Island, all of which are located within the Swinomish Reservation. The agreement regarding co-management of the island focuses on allowing limited day access to the island while preserving cultural and natural resources on the land, accessible via South Fidalgo Island. Source: Washington Trails Association.
A fourth generation Skagit County native who was moved kicking and screaming from this island community in 1960. I finally reclaimed an Anacortes address in 1980, and I have been in constant celebration of my return since that time. Many of us who call Anacortes home love Fidalgo Island for its natural assets: among them are rugged beaches, pristine lakes, thousands of acres of forestland and some awesome views of the Skagit Valley and surrounding islands. Another element of my love affair with this community is its people, both natives and immigrants. They will “star” in many of my journal entries.
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$12 for 5 X 7 inch archival print, mailing included.