It's time to sort some fact from fiction over the Wild Olympics.

Our opponents have either intentionally or through misunderstanding been spreading fiction.

I'll share the facts.

The Wild Olympics Campaign is an opportunity, not a threat. I was one of those on the Riverside Bridge 30 years ago protesting the havoc that a judge inflicted on our community with a sudden environmental edict we had no say over. Wild Olympics is not at all like that. Wild Olympics is about gathering input from each community around the peninsula to draft a plan tailor-made by locals to protect our most precious resources: our clean water, ancient forests, salmon, access, jobs and our way of life.

Fiction: Wild Olympics is driven by"enviromeddlers" from Seattle or D.C.

Fact: The Wild Olympics Campaign is made up of all kinds of local people including many from the Harbor. Over 1,300 Harborites have signed our petition and more than 40 businesses are supporters. Wild Olympics is made up of our working people, seniors, factory workers, office workers, fishermen, hunters, elected officials and even leaders in the timber industry.

Fiction: Wild Olympics will "grab" our homes and private property.

Fact: Wild Olympics has nothing to do with our homes and our property. The only private lands that may be acquired are owned by timber companies in Clallam and Jefferson counties and then only if the timber companies are willing to sell to the park.

Fiction: Wild Olympics is a $900,000,000 land grab.

Fact: Dan Boeholt and Bill Pickell have admitted that this claim is not true. They said, "They are a mistake." Yet opponents continue to put up these "mistakes" up on yard signs in front of homes.

Fiction: Wild Olympics will cut off access for hunting and fishing.

Fact: Not a single road will be closed by the proposal, and hunting and fishing is allowed in Forest Service Wilderness areas. Instead, Wild Olympics would expand hunting access by creating a willing-seller National Preserve option for private timber lands, like those above Queets ridge. This is very important now as we are all witnessing private timber companies shutting off public access. Increasing public lands will increase open land to hunt and fish.

Fiction: Wild Olympics will cost hundreds of jobs.

Fact: The Wild Olympics Campaign Draft Plan will not displace a single worker working today. It will help protect and grow our tourism industry which accounts for nearly 16 percent of all employment in our county.

Fiction: Wild Olympics will take 210,000 acres of working forest out of production.

Fact: Not a single acre of the 134,000 acres of land proposed for wilderness in Olympic National Forest is currently in production. The handful of old cuts in the plan are remote and on high elevation steep slopes at the end of closed crumbling old ridge roads above the West Fork Humptulips River. Trying to log them would now be cost prohibitive and dump more silt into the headwaters of one of the most productive fishing rivers in the state.

Fiction: Wild Olympics is trying to grab 37,000 acres of working forest into the National Park.

Fact: The willing-seller preserve proposal would create an option, not a mandate for timber companies to sell land to the Park Service. Right now timber companies are selling their lands to the highest bidder — including some developers who won't keep the land open to public fishing and hunting access. Wild Olympics would. Even if timber companies chose this option, sales would small, incremental and take decades to accomplish.

Fiction: The Wild Olympics Campaign won't come to the table.

Fact: The Wild Olympics Campaign has been at the table since the beginning. As a matter of fact, "the table" was in my dining room. The first person I called for input when I was hired in March was Dan Boeholt. We sat down and addressed some concerns about the Draft Map. He can attest that we made every change he asked for that day. We have been asking our opponents for more input on the draft ever since, but they keep refusing. In the meantime, we have been "at the table" all over Gray Harbor County, meeting and discussing this draft proposal. We are making changes based on that input. We hold an open house every Tuesday at The Building, 706 Simpson in Hoquiam from 5 to 7 p.m., where everyone is invited to come, ask questions, and get more information.

In sum, Wild Olympics is an opportunity for our community, not a threat. All of us on the Harbor believe in conserving our most precious resources: our clean water, ancient forests, salmon, and access and our Future.

Let's keep the conversation going.

Al Carter lives in Hoquiam and is a spokesman for the Wild Olympics initiative.