It astonishes me how words can take on a life of their own with just a little initial prodding. A case in point, the words "land grab" which have no factual meaning in reference to the Wild Olympics campaign.

Having spent 50 years working in the timber industry, including several years as a contract logger, I had a natural inclination to search out the facts concerning the Wild Olympics campaign and how it would affect the industry that allowed me to make a good living while raising a family and providing for a college education.

After taking the time to study the original draft proposal and the compromised version submitted by Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks, it didn't take long to discover that the words "land grab" were bogus, and both the original and the compromised versions were willing-seller preserve proposals, not a mandate for timber companies to sell land to the Park Service.

Moreover, I discovered that hunters and fishermen would fare far better under Wild Olympics designation as timber companies can and do sell to developers who either won't keep the land open to public fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities, or they could promote a pay-to-hunt program that is showing up at many locations around the country.

I believe that if those citizens who have concerns about Wild Olympics would review the latest draft proposal they will discover that these opposition yard signs do not bear out the facts and they will see the Wild Olympics as an opportunity instead of a threat.

In terms of preserving one of our most precious resources — water — which on a national and world-wide basis ranks above oil reserves, we have an opportunity to insure another layer of protection to a crown jewel in our midst for all to enjoy and use for generations to come.

I hope you will join me on Sunday, Dec. 4 from 3 to 5 p.m., at the Central Elementary School Library, 310 Simpson Ave. in Hoquiam at a Wild Olympic Open House sponsored by Sen. Patty Murray and Congressman Norm Dicks.

Fred Rakevich

Elma