Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 18, 2015

Business & Politics

Alberta forestry industry prepares for end of softwood lumber agreement

Edmonton Journal
September 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In Alberta’s $4-billion a year forest products industry, concerns about the ending next month of the Canada-United States softwood lumber agreement have never been higher. “If you look at the significant challenges facing Alberta’s forest sector, if Item 1 is the mountain pine beetle, Item 2 is the future of the softwood lumber agreement,” Paul Whittaker, president and chief executive of the Alberta Forest Products Association, said in an interview this week. The agreement, set to expire Oct. 12, will be front and centre at the AFPA’s annual general meeting next week in Jasper. “It’s not ideal, it’s not perfect — it’s not free trade, it’s managed trade,” Whittaker said. “It is not a perfect solution, but it provides a stable and predictable platform for trade with the most significant, to Alberta, external market that we have.”

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Northern Pulp touts spending, staff

The Chronicle Herald
September 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

ABERCROMBIE — Northern Pulp released some results Thursday from an economic impact study of its mill but kept the entire report to itself. Mill spokeswoman Cathy Cloutier said the study conducted by Gardner Pinfold Consulting Inc. of Halifax wasn’t being released because all the relevant information was in a news release being issued. That release, along with a presentation by Gardner Pinfold vice-president Robert Fraser, pointed to the $315 million the mill spends annually, its 339 employees with average salaries of $84,000 and the 602 people who work in the woods supplying the mill with fibre. “This is an example of an industry that does generate its activity in rural Nova Scotia,” said Fraser. “These are good-paying jobs, typically based in areas of high unemployment.”

Northern Pulp touts economic impact, but critics still eye pollution woes from CBC News
Northern pulp releases study, hopes to clear air surrounding economic value of mill from CTV News

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US Judge Sides with Resolute Forest in Softwood Lumber Checkoff Suit

Woodworking Network
September 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The Softwood Lumber Checkoff program is under scrutiny after a U.S. federal court ruling found that the tax imposed may not be “lawful.” …The September 9 ruling by U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg orders the USDA to provide “a reasoned and coherent treatment” of its decision implementing an order to collect taxes on softwood lumber shipments in the United States, according to information provided by Resolute Forest Products. … The statement notes, “according to the court, the government’s explanation of its decision to exclude certain softwood lumber manufacturers from paying or voting on the tax ‘strains credulity,’ and the USDA was either ‘hiding the ball’ or else ‘ill informed’ about the number of companies it had exempted.”

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Another delay slows St. Helens’ purchase of Boise pulp mill

Sept. 17 closing date of city’s $3 million purchase of former pulp and paper mill again pushed back
Pamplin Media Group
September 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The city of St. Helens’ planned Sept. 17 close of its purchase of Boise Inc.’s former pulp and paper mill has again been delayed. City Administrator John Walsh said the delay is nothing controversial, but more a technicality of tying up loose ends in the paperwork. Walsh said the new closing date would likely be late next week, though he was unable to provide a specific day. Cascades Tissue Group has a land-lease contract to operate at the site for a fixed rate of $300,000 annually, or $25,000 per month. After the property sale closes, the city and Boise will evenly split revenue from Cascades Tissue Group’s monthly payment until the $3 million purchase price of the property is met, Walsh said.

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10% growth in EU tropical sawn hardwood imports

IHB The Timber Network
September 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The EU imported 519,000 m3 of tropical sawn hardwood in the first half of 2015, 6% more than the same period in 2014. The rise was broadly based being recorded across a wide range of supply countries. In the first half of 2015, EU imports of tropical sawn timber increased from Cameroon (+5% to 151,700 m3), Malaysia (+3% to 105,700 m3), Brazil (+29% to 72,900 m3), Republic of the Congo (+3% to 26,300 m3), Suriname (+85% to 7,400 m3) and Guyana (+258% to 4,500 m3). Imports from Gabon (50,700 m3) and Ivory Coast (40,100 m3) were the same as the previous year. However imports declined from DRC (-7% to 12,600 m3) and Ghana (-20% to 12,500 m3).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Remote housing focus shifts to BC from Alberta

Journal of Commerce
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Suppliers of remote worker housing are looking west and hoping for a liquefied natural gas (LNG) boom in British Columbia in the wake of the slow-down in Alberta’s oil and gas sector. …”Steel structures are better than wood in B.C. because of the rain and the large amount of snow on the coast,” he said. “Modular steel buildings are easier to stack than wood and they’re non-combustible.” Dunn said LNG development in B.C. could be the best thing that ever happened to them. Stack has received calls from two LNG developers and several property developers, who are hoping to cash in on any LNG-related boom that takes place.

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Why we may soon be building ten-story buildings out of wood

The Washington Post
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Obama administration — more specifically, its Department of Agriculture, headed by Tom Vilsack — has a surprising idea about the future of large building construction. For environmental purposes but also to potentially stoke a new industry, it wants the United States to explore constructing really big buildings — 10 stories or more — out of wood. Accordingly, the Department backed the U.S. Tall Wood Building Prize Competition, in conjunction with the Softwood Lumber Board and Binational Softwood Lumber Council. And now two winning buildings, whose selection will be announced Thursday, will receive $1.5 million apiece to try to move toward actual construction. The overall idea is to demonstrate that building tall wood buildings is actually a feasible idea.

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Cross-Laminated Timber is now made in the USA

TreeHugger
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

When Seattle architect Susan Jones built her wonderful little house out of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) she had to order it from Canada. There was only one in America, Smartlam in Montana. This seemed so strange, in a country that prides itself on innovation and ingenuity and has such a huge forestry industry and so much wood. In the UK they were building high-rises and in Italy, thousands of earthquake proof CLT houses, but not in America. It’s a shame, because CLT really is a dream material; as I have noted before, it’s made from wood, a renewable resource, it sequesters carbon, it is strong enough to replace wood and concrete in higher buildings, and right now, it helps use up some of the billions of board-feet of mountain pine-beetle infested wood that will rot if we don’t cut it and use it fast.

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Developers of wooden high-rise in Pearl District hope to ‘catalyze’ future of construction industry

The Oregonian
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

When Beneficial State Bank officials started to think about replacing the Pearl District Albina Community Bank building with a new development, a buzz had already started in the construction industry. State and federal officials were promoting a wood building material that was becoming increasingly popular in Europe and Canada. Cross-laminated timber seemed to fit with the goals of developer Anyeley Hallova and the bank for the proposed retail, office space and affordable housing tower at 430 NW 10th Ave. At that point, money was being put toward making those kind of projects a reality. The U.S. Department of Agriculture wanted to give away $3 million for tall buildings made of wood.

More coverage in Woodworking Network – Tall Wood CLT Building Planned for New York City

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Pearl District development wins USDA award for proposed tall wood building

The Oregonian
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A Pearl District development that will mix retail, office space and affordable housing where the Albina Bank sits has won an award from the United State Department of Agriculture. The proposed building will be made of cross-laminated timber, a 20-year-old wood construction material that is just now making its way into the U.S. Federal authorities, as well as Oregon, are making investments in getting CLT projects in motion. The Pearl District project from Beneficial State Bank — which owns a majority stake in Albina Community Bank — could be the first tall CLT building, which means it faces regulatory hurdles posed by a new construction material.

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Sponsored Content: High profile deck collapses prompt contractors to search for solutions

Daily Commercial News
September 17, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Several recent tragedies involving the collapses of decks and balconies have builders, owners and authorities working to determine just what went wrong and how such incidents can be prevented. The collapse of a fourth-floor apartment balcony in Berkeley, California in June killed six students and injured seven. The Berkeley Building and Safety Division reported that the ends of deck joists protruding from the exterior wall appeared to be extensively rotted….As authorities grapple with the problem, contractors and specifiers can take immediate action to protect the integrity of concrete and wooden deck surfaces, balconies, joists, posts and metal fasteners. However, it’s critical to choose the most appropriate solution from a range of temporary and long-term options that protect against water infiltration.

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Forestry

Forestry needs active voice, Sundhu says

Kamloops News
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New Democrat candidate Bill Sundhu is supporting a plan to help forestry communities after what he says are years of neglect by Conservative and Liberal governments. Sundhu was echoing a plan put forth by NDP House Leader Peter Julian, a Lower Mainland MP who met with workers at a Nanaimo mill Wednesday to discuss the party’s forestry policy. “Under an NDP government, Ottawa will again be an active voice for forest workers, forest industries and forest communities,” said Sundhu. “Plant closures and job losses have mounted, raw log exports have soared and we have seen little or no action from the Harper Conservatives.” …Log exports have been debated in provincial elections since the 1990s with the NDP claiming that they export jobs as well. The forest industry has countered that, while it favours a value-added forestry economy, raw log exports produce jobs. One estimate suggested that every 1,000 cubic metres of logs exported creates a job for a logger, truck driver or longshore worker.

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Bachelor of Urban Forestry launching at UBC

The Ubyssey
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

UBC Forestry students can now enrol in the new Bachelor of Urban Forestry degree program. According to UBC Forestry’s website, “Urban forestry is about planning and managing urban green-spaces and ecosystems for human welfare, ecological health and protection of our cities’ support systems.” Approved seven weeks ago by the Ministry of Advanced Education, the program is an interdisciplinary study field that incorporates classes from various faculties including Landscape Architecture, Natural Resources Conservation and Sociology. The field of urban forestry has been expanding in recent years as forestry experts have begun to recognize how strong urban forest management can best deal with issues such as climate change, wind storms and even human welfare.

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Forests For All Forever

by Corey Brinkema, President, Forest Stewardship Council US
Huffington Post
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…From tissue and paper, to packaging, furniture and building materials, people consume and depend on forest products every day. While traditional, industrial forestry can destroy forests, there’s a movement well underway to balance our immediate and long-term consumption needs while safeguarding forests, wildlife and forest-dependent communities. Known as the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the approach uses market forces tied to sustainable consumption to ensure forests are protected for the long term, even as they provide wood and fiber for products we use every day.

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Work together to improve forest management

The Missoulian
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The news out of Deerlodge isn’t very good. Fifty mill workers have lost their jobs – maybe permanently – due to the economic recession in China that has tanked demand, and the weak Canadian dollar that has led to a flood of cheap timber crossing our border from the north. The economic stress across the Montana timber producing sector of the economy right now is severe. Sun Mountain Lumber Company owner Sherm Anderson made the announcement last Saturday, Sept. 12. Anderson stated the facts straight. And he did not blame other Montanans or “obstructionists” for the economic plight of his mill.

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US Fish and Wildlife: Salamanders may qualify for protection

Associated Press in The Longview Daily News
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore. — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says two salamanders in Oregon and Washington may qualify for Endangered Species Act protection. The findings on Tuesday about the Cascade torrent salamander and Columbia torrent salamander mean the agency will initiate full status reviews for the species to see if they warrant protection. The findings come in response to a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity. The Center first asked for protection for the salamanders in 2012. The petition said they are increasingly rare because of habitat loss due primarily to logging and road building.

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Letter: Give federal land managers tools to manage the forest

by Chuck Burley, Public Affairs Manager, U.S. operations, for Interfor.
The Bend Bulletin
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…According to U.S. Forest Service estimates, 60 million to 80 million acres of federal forestlands are at risk of wildfire and in need of treatment. Unfortunately, the federal government is unable to meet this challenge due to growing wildfire suppression costs, serial litigation and the prohibitive costs of meeting analysis and compliance requirements on routine forest management projects. A recent report found restoration activities on national forests are being implemented at just 6 percent of the total need annually. Though forest collaboratives in Central and Eastern Oregon have made great strides to agree on local projects, more must be done to increase the pace and scale of management activities to protect our forests in the future.

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California Spotted Owl Considered for Federal Protection

KDRV ABC Newswatch 12
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FRESNO, Calif.  – Wildlife officials say they’ll consider granting California’s spotted owl protection under the federal Endangers Species Act.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this week that a petition wildlife advocates filed late last year deserves further investigation. Organizations including the John Muir Project seek the owl’s protection, saying that the logging of forest trees that have been burned in wildfires is driving the owls to extinction. Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project says there’s evidence that these forests make prime habitat for the spotted owl. He estimates 1,200 pairs of the owl are nesting in California. Loggers say they also want the spotted owl to survive. They say removing burned trees creates a healthy forest, benefiting owls and people. It could take two years for a final decision. END OF STORY

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Aspen trees in La Sals stricken with leaf blight

Moab Sun News
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Golden quaking aspen leaves won’t be making an especially grand appearance in the La Sal Mountains this fall due to a rampant infection of aspen leaf blight, or Marssonina, that has left many stands wilted and defoliated. The disease, caused by fungal pathogens, is the result of a wetter-than-average May that has allowed the fungi to grow, according to U.S. Forest Service pathologist Elizabeth Hebertson. Hebertson said the condition is widespread throughout the intermountain West from Utah to Montana, and that 80 percent of the stands she has observed are infected.

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Why is Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation cheerleading for clearcuts?

By Michael Garrity
Helena Independent Record
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The CEO of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, David Allen, and I agree on one thing — logging done right is a good thing. It’s also the reason the Alliance for the Wild Rockies is so active in making sure that the Forest Service follows the law and does logging right. The problem is that the East Deer Lodge timber sale in the Clark Fork watershed that Allen championed in his recent op-ed column is not logging done right. It’s logging done wrong. Allen wrote that the massive clearcutting is a “restoration project.” Nothing could be further from the truth. This timber sale calls for 2,038 acres of clearcuts. Clearcutting is destruction, not restoration. Allen also wrote that this timber sale protects snags for wildlife. But clearcutting, by definition, doesn’t leave any snags. 

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Wrangell Assembly supports roadless rule exemption for Tongass

KSTK Stikine River Radio
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Wrangell Borough Assembly voted last week to support getting rid of the federal “roadless rule” on the Tongass National Forest. The roadless rule prevents roads from being built on certain tracts of U.S. Forest Service land. Assembly members want the Tongass to be exempt from that rule to open the country’s largest national forest to more development and logging. Assembly members voted unanimously to adopt a resolution asking Gov. Bill Walker to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to take up the roadless rule and reverse it for the Tongass. Assembly Member Julie Decker said the roadless rule makes any kind of development difficult.

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Smith: Commercial thinning needed to reduce wildfire threats

By Nick Smith, Healthy Forest, Healthy Communities
East Oregonian
September 11, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Federal forest management is once again in the spotlight with 43,000 fires burning over eight million acres so far this year. Eastern Oregon hasn’t been spared from the heartache, with three fires alone burning nearly 200,000 acres on three national forests. This is the time for communities to come together to help those who’ve been affected. It’s a time for all of us to thank the brave men and women who are risking their lives to fight these fires. Simultaneously, there has never been a better time for our federal policy makers to work together and find better forest policies.

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Virginia Is for Lovers – and Silvopasture

USDA Blog
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Throughout his life, Chris Fields-Johnson has been keenly aware of the need to preserve the natural landscapes, which provide us with clean air to breathe, water to drink and food to eat. As a graduate student of soil science at Virginia State and Polytechnic University, a forestry undergraduate, a student of Tom Brown, Jr.’s Tracker School and a former employee of the Virginia Department of Forestry, he also knows much of the science behind soil restoration and forestry. …To make this dream a reality, he began converting a 250-acre loblolly pine plantation in Scottsville, Virginia., into a goat and sheep silvopasture system that resembles a pine savanna landscape.

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Minnesota DNR seeks public’s help in forest plan

Northlands News Center
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

St. Paul, MN – The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is seeking your help with a northeastern Minnesota forest plan. The DNR is inviting the public to view a presentation and weigh in on a forest management plan being prepared for a large section of northeastern Minnesota. The presentation highlights alternative harvest scenarios for DNR forest lands in the northern Superior uplands section.

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WWF claims tree clearing ‘panic’ in Queensland

Herald Sun
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental Group WWF-Australia has released the results of an investigation it suggests shows a major rise in tree clearing across the state, labelling it as being at ‘panic’ levels. As part of the report, WWF has developed a map showing 94 locations where over the last three years native vegetation has been cleared or approved for clearing since the previous Queensland Government relaxed laws restricting the clearing of trees and shrubs. The current Queensland Government made an election commitment to reverse these changes, but WWF says it is yet to deliver of its promise.

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Govt prohibits log exports

Vientiane Times
September 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The government has prohibited the export of logs and instructed that timbers must be processed in Laos before exporting to foreign countries. Previously, the government banned the export of logs but exceptions were allowed when the government approved the export of the logs. The Government Office issued the new announcement No 1360 dated August 8, 2015 that imposes the prohibition. The prohibition means the government will not approve any kind of request for log exports, a senior government official has said. The prohibition was approved at the request of the Import-Export Department under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. The Import-Export Department declined to give comment over the issue.

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Major benefits expected from new forest harvesting technology

New Zealand Scoop
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A demonstration of new forest harvesting technology near Nelson today marks a major step forward in ensuring the safety of forest workers working on steep land, Ministers Nathan Guy and Jo Goodhew say. The demonstration featured New Zealand’s first ever remote controlled forest harvesting machine. “This ground breaking technology, developed by the Steepland Harvesting Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programme, is the first of its kind in New Zealand, and we believe a world first for a tracked excavator-based felling machine,” says Mr Guy.

Remote tree logger aim to cut forestry deaths from Stuff.co.nz

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Report: Illegal timber trade from Myanmar to China growing

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
September 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BEIJING  — The illicit timber trade between Myanmar and China is rebounding to near its peak of a decade ago as loggers push deeper into Myanmar to strip its forests, according to a report released Thursday by an environmental group. The London-based Environmental Investigation Agency says it is calling on both governments to stop the trade worth hundreds of millions of dollars a year that is reducing Myanmar’s forests and supplies China’s wood-processing industry, which makes furniture for domestic and international markets. The nongovernmental organization said Chinese businesses acquire the rights to illegal log mountains, paying off corrupt officials in gold bars and bribing armed groups and the military to pass through checkpoints. 

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Forest Fires

Oregon fire raises questions about forest management

A raging fire that threatened two communities in Oregon’s Grant County has raised questions about forest management.
The Capital Press
September 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

JOHN DAY, Ore. — The Canyon Creek Complex continues to burn, but many people are already asking whether the blaze would have been less severe had the forest been managed better. Dave Traylor, a member of the Grant County Public Forest Commission, is one of many voices questioning whether enough thinning and slash cleanup was done in past years on the 1.7-million-acre Malheur National Forest. “We’ve got to make some changes because we’re losing our forest,” he said as the blaze reached 110,000 acres. “What we’re doing is not working.”

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Scientists: Let wildfires burn when prudent

University of Washington
September 17, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West


With nearly 9 million acres burned this year across the nation, 2015 is shaping up to be one of the most destructive wildfire seasons yet. And with drought and climate change, wildfires are only predicted to get worse. In a commentary published Sept. 17 in Science, a team of scientists, including University of Washington researchers Jerry Franklin and James Agee, describe unique opportunities and provide suggestions to reform forest fire management to reduce the impacts of inevitable wildfires in future years. “It’s very clear that our current policies aren’t working,” said Franklin, a professor of environmental and forest sciences.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

David Letterman to take part in series about climate change

The Washington Post
September 17, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

NEW YORK — David Letterman will return to TV next year to help draw attention to the effects of climate change when he appears on an episode of “Years of Living Dangerously.” The National Geographic Channel series, which Thursday was renewed for a second season, has signed Letterman for his first announced appearance since leaving his job hosting CBS’ ”Late Show.” Fellow correspondents will include Ty Burrell, James Cameron, Don Cheadle, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Olivia Munn, Ian Somerhalder and Cecily Strong, among others.

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