Yachats writer Andrea Scharf will share the story of a coastal community’s fight to defend its natural habitat at the launch of her book “Saving Big Creek” this Sunday, Dec. 9.

“Saving Big Creek” is the story of a 40-year-long battle to save 186 acres on the Central Oregon 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 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 recounts the history of the Big Creek and Tenmile area, providing a long-term perspective on how land is used, from indigenous settlements through homesteaders to the more recent back-to-the-land communities. 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.

Sunday’s celebration, which is free and open to all, will run from 2 to 4:30 pm at the Yachats Commons, 441 Hwy. 101. Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase and light refreshments will be served.

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