Contact: Onno Husing, 541-265-8918 or Kathy Bridges, 503-743-2245
NEWPORT, OR, April 4, 2006 – A bronze bust to honor Wilbur Ternyik, an early leader in Oregon's coastal land-use planning efforts, will be unveiled in his home town of Florence Thursday, April 13.
The life-size artwork, created by internationally-known sculptor Lorenzo Ghiglieri of Wilsonville, will be shown for the first time at a program hosted by the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association (OCZMA), an organization of coastal elected officials once headed by Ternyik. The program is scheduled for noon at the Florence Events Center, 715 Quince St.
The bronze was commissioned by the Bridges Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in Turner, to pay tribute to Ternyik's contributions to the Oregon Coast and the people who regard it as a special place. Former U.S. Sen. Mark Hatfield also endorsed the project.
The cost of the bronze was underwritten by the Bridges Foundation. But foundation director Kathy Bridges said contributions from many of Ternyik's admirers, both individuals and organizations, helped defray the expense.
After the unveiling, the sculpture — which shows the 80-year-old Ternyik, of Clatsop Indian descent — in his trademark buckskin jacket holding a tomahawk will be on display at the Florence Events Center until mid-May. After that it will be moved to its permanent site at the Gateway to Discovery Center on Neawanna Point north ofSeaside. A public dedication there is scheduled for May 27.
"The bronze is intended not only to honor Wilbur, but to help generations of Oregonians remember the principals of conservation and orderly development for which he and others involved in the early coastal planning efforts," Bridges said.
Ternyik was chairman of the 30-member Oregon Coastal Conservation and Development Commission (OCCDC) which worked more than four years in the early 1970s to develop land-use management policies for the Oregon coast aimed at striking an intelligent balance between land development and conservation. The commission's work made Oregon a leader in coastal zone management and became the basis for standards still in effect today administered by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development.
While chairing the OCCDC meetings, Ternyik often wore the buckskin jacket and called the often contentious sessions to order by banging the tomahawk (which he noted could double as a peace pipe) on the table.
Onno Husing, director of OCZMA, recently completed a study of the work of the OCCDC and during Thursday's gathering will outline the contributions of the Commission and Ternyik. Husing believes that if Ternyik and the OCCDC had not done such a good job, the passage in 1973 of Senate Bill 100, Oregon's landmark land-use planning law, could have been in jeopardy.
"Wilbur Ternyik brought a certain Native American sensibility to this historic task, a frame of reference many do not possess," Husing said. "Indeed, the wellspring of Wilbur's vision for coastal planning derived from his intimate knowledge and respect of the natural world."
Ternyik, in his early years made his living in sand dunes stabilization work. Later, he became an internationally-recognized expert in wetlands delineation and restoration. He and his wife, Joyce, have also done volunteer work in rehabilitation of injured wildlife. He also was a long-time Port of Siuslaw Commissioner and served as Florence mayor.
Thursday's tribute to Ternyik will take place from noon to 2 p.m. and follow a morning business meeting of the OCZMA. Ghiglieri and Portland artist Rainy Arago Lehrman, who is making an elaborate wood base on which the sculpture will rest at its final location, are expected to attend. Members of the public are invited to offer recollections about Ternyik's time on the coast.
Public is invited to attend. Lunch will be available for those who want it. The cost is $15, and reservations should be made by calling the OCZMA office in Newport by April 10. The phone numbers are 541-265-6651 or 541-265-8918.