A celebration to mark the release of a new book, “Saving Big Creek,” by Yachats writer Andrea Scharf, will be held from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9, at the Yachats Commons, located at 441 Highway 101.
“Saving Big Creek” is the story of a 40-year-long battle to save 186 acres on the central coast, between Yachats and Florence. The property provides habitat for elk, coho salmon and the endangered Oregon Silverspot Butterfly. When an out-of-state developer purchased the property and applied for a zone change in order to build a destination resort, local residents went into action, testifying at Lane County Planning Commission hearings, petitioning the board of commissioners, filing an appeal to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals and presenting arguments against approval of Industrial Development Revenue Bonds to finance the resort. In the process, they expanded opportunities for citizens to have a say in local land use decisions.
Scharf includes the history of the Big Creek and Tenmile areas, from deep time when a shallow ocean covered the area, to indigenous settlements, homesteaders and more recent back-to-the-land communities, providing a long-term perspective on how land is used. Within the story, the characters of many of the people who were involved in the campaign to save Big Creek emerge, including that of Tom Smith, a community leader and mentor to many of the young people who went on to continue fighting for the environment. It’s an inspiring story for anyone who cares about making sure there is a balance of human needs with the needs of other inhabitants of the planet.
The celebration will include readings from “Saving Big Creek.” Copies of the book will be available for purchase, and the author will autograph all books. Light refreshments will be served. There is no admission charge.