Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 27, 2015

Business & Politics

West Fraser Timber reports 3Q earnings of $56 million

Lesprom
October 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. reported earnings of $56 million, or $0.67 basic earnings per share on sales of $1,044 million in the 3Q 2015. In the quarter lumber operations generated an operating loss of $9 million (2Q 2015 – operating earnings of $13 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $26 million (2Q 2015 – $45 million). A decline in U.S. SYP and low-grade SPF lumber prices, partially offset by a weaker Canadian dollar, was a major factor in the decreases. Increased shipments from our U.S. sawmills partially mitigated the operating earnings decline. The panel segment, which includes plywood, LVL and MDF, experienced improved prices and generated operating earnings in the quarter of $26 million (2Q 2015 – $17 million) and Adjusted EBITDA of $29 million (2Q 2015 – $21 million).

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Canadian firms seek US lumber deal renewal to avoid trade fight

By Randall Palmer
Reuters Canada
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA (Reuters) – The Canadian forestry industry said on Monday it is seeking a simple roll-over of an expired 2006 softwood lumber export agreement with the United States in hopes of preventing a fresh trade fight over the product. Canada and the United States have a long history of battling over softwood lumber, which in Canada generally comes from government-owned land and which the U.S. side says is subsidized or underpriced. A 2006 agreement that ended the last dispute expired on Oct. 12. The U.S. lumber lobby has taken the position that the 2006 agreement is no longer good enough and is pressing for freshly negotiated limits on Canadian pine and other softwood.

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Clark to Trudeau: Softwood lumber agreement will take leadership

By David Dyck
Kamloops the Week
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark said her first conversation with Canada’s prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau was about the softwood-lumber agreement. “We want to see the agreement renewed,” she told the Merritt Herald at one of her stops in Merritt on Friday. The premier was in Merritt to open the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology trades building. “Canada gave up some things at the table, America gave up some things at the table, but the softwood-lumber agreement has worked for both countries because it’s given us certainty — and it’s really important for communities in the Interior that we have certainty,” Clark said.

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EACOM invests $2.8M in tech upgrade at Timmins sawmill

Timmins Press
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TIMMINS – EACOM Timber Corporation is spending $2.8 million on increased automation at its Timmins sawmill. The company is putting in place a new lumber grading dystem, which will determine the grade of each piece of lumber faster and more accurately than human workers. “The job (when done by humans) demands high concentration because the piece goes flying by you, and you have to decide in that time if that piece is a premium, or a No. 1, or a No. 2, or No. 3, or economy,” explained Guy Fleury, the mill’s general manager. “Whereas the scanners pick up all the defects like rot and all that. So it’s an automation to more precisely put the lumber in its proper grade. The upgrade means that two mill employees will lose their jobs. 

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Woodgrain Millwork will shut Prineville factory, lay off remaining 55 workers

The Oregonian
October 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Woodgrain Millwork plans to shut down its factory in Prineville this winter, laying off the 55 workers who remained a year after a roof collapsed at the site. The Idaho company laid off more than 200 mill workers last year after the November roof collapse. But it had retained a pellet mill and fibreboard plant. “Unfortunately, due to the recent loss of significant sales volume, the operation is no longer financially viable,” Judy Toholsky, a Woodgrain human resources manager, wrote in a Friday letter to Oregon’s Dislocated Workers Unit. She wrote that layoffs will begin December 28; the permanent closure takes effect January 31.

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Jeld-Wen reaffirms its commitment to Klamath Falls

The Mail Tribune
October 25, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KLAMATH FALLS — Although the administrative headquarters of Jeld-Wen moved to Charlotte, N.C., the company’s CEO and President Kirk Hachigian said Klamath Falls remains the “nucleus” of the $3.5 billion company. The window and door manufacturer, initially owned and operated by the late Richard “Dick” Wendt and later purchased by Canadian investment firm Onex, sells products in 20 countries. Despite the company’s reach, Hachigian expressed a deep commitment to the company’s roots in Klamath Falls. “We’re not leaving Klamath Falls,” Hachigian said. In a wide-ranging interview with the Herald and News on Wednesday, Hachigian made clear the company’s intentions to keep much of the operations in Klamath County and Oregon.

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Weyerhaeuser sawmill project boosts Dierks economy

KTBS
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Dierks, Ark. – One of Arkansas’ oldest sawmills is undergoing a major upgrade. The new facility in Dierks will not only provide job security for about 250 employees, it’s also boosting the local economy. If the timber industry is the life blood of Dierks, Arkansas, then Mayor Terry Mounts says Weyerhaeusers recent sawmill expansion is their life line. “When you spent nearly $200 million in a town that’s a pretty good indication that hopefully they’ll be here awhile,” said Mounts. Contractors have almost completed phase one of construction. Mounts says the sales tax revenue has jumped about $4,000 more than it was this time last year. Ward’s Total Fuel Stop owner Brenda Ward says business has increased about 30 percent and she’s expecting even more revenue in the coming months.

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Verso notifies workers of layoffs, shuts down paper machine

Franklin Sun Journal
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

JAY — Verso Corp. shut down its No. 2 paper machine Saturday and previously shut down a pulp dryer, according to William “Bill” Cohen, director of mill communications and regional governmental affairs. The company sent out “Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification” Act letters Oct. 20 to notify employees that they would lose their jobs in 60 days from that day, which would be in mid-December, Cohen said. Workers will be cleaning up the machine, then mothballing it and doing general maintenance around the mill, he said. Verso had announced Aug. 20 that it would shut down a pulp dryer, paper machine and permanently eliminate 300 jobs during the fourth quarter at its Androscoggin Mill.

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Sustainable Forestry Showcased At Pomfret Sawmill

Hartford Courant
October 23, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

An open house at Hull Forest Products in Pomfret drew a steady crowd on Oct. 17. The company is tucked up a dirt driveway off Route 97, and the entrance gives little indication of the size of the operation, or the sheer volume of productivity, that goes on at the sawmill. The facility can process 40,000 board feet of lumber a day. Annual sales range from $8 to $12 million, most of which goes back into the local economy, according to CEO William Hull. The open house was a chance for the company to showcase its operation, but it was more than that. Hull stood outside watching groups of people gather for ongoing tours. He started the company in 1970 and has helped it grow into a regional powerhouse.

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Proposed Merger Of Two Of Australia’s Most Powerful Unions

Mondaq News Alerts
October 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Maritime Union of Australia (“MUA”) and Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (“CFMEU”) have announced this month that they are considering a merger. The MUA and CFMEU are two of Australia’s largest and most powerful unions, with approximately 16,000 and 140,000 members respectively. The merger proposal will be put to the MUA’s members at its national conference in February 2016. In the meantime, both the MUA and CFMEU have expressed support for the merger and the impact it will have on workers’ rights in Australia.

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Forestry Tasmania posts $31.7m profit; 59 redundancies contributed to savings

ABC News, Australia
October 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forestry Tasmania has been accused of using “rubbery figures” to make its bottom line look better. The state-owned forestry manager posted a $31.7 million profit for 2014-15 — a massive turnaround from the $43.1 million after-tax loss recorded for the previous financial year. The result reflects a $20 million improvement in underlying performance due to a $13 million cut in expenses, including job losses, and a $7.3 million increase in revenue. Forestry Tasmania’s annual report tabled in State Parliament showed 59 redundancies contributed to the savings. Greens leader Cassy O’Connor said the figures were too good to be true.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Can Creating A Bigger Market For Timber Help Preserve Connecticut Woodlands?

WNPR News
October 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A new wood product used in construction could help create greater demand for materials from local forests. Some tree buffs say more desire for New England timber could actually be a good thing for preserving Connecticut woodlands.  It’s called cross-laminated timber, or CLT. It’s layered wood, glued together, that’s used in construction and is really strong. It’s so strong, in fact, that one engineer said CLT is poised to compete with steel support beams and concrete. “What CLT is doing is getting wood into applications one would never associate with wood, like high rises,” said Peggi Clouston, an engineer who teaches at UMass Amherst. “We’re talking about envisioning buildings up to 42 stories, made out of CLT.”

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Tate Harmer creates ribbed timber house extension in west London

Dezeen
October 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Thick wooden ribs frame this extension to a family house in west London by architecture studio Tate Harmer (+ slideshow). …Rather than continuing the brickwork of the original house – like recent London extensions by Fraher Architects and Cousins and Cousins – timber was selected as the main building material for the extension. It provides the framework for the walls and roof, and surrounds windows, doors and skylights. “The client couple wanted a contemporary extension, but wanted something warm and natural, not clinical,” explained Tate Harmer’s Jonathan Turney. …Glue-laminated timber – an engineered wood strengthened by moisture-resistant adhesives – was chosen for the six thick ribs that frame the new space. They extend up one side wall, then fold twice before stretching across the entire width of the ceiling.

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Forestry

Why do leaves turn red in the fall? The science is up for debate

Two popular theories believe red leaves are for self defence, but from what?
CBC News
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The changing colour of leaves is an impressive annual spectacle, but it can make one wonder, why bother creating something so beautiful just before it withers away? Well that wonder exists in the scientific community as well, says one McMaster University professor, who said there are two prevailing theories, with no clear cut answer, on why leaves turn from green to red. “It comes in waves,” said biology professor Susan Dudley on the debate within the science community. “Especially when you take a look at this big picture mystery. Why would you make a new colour in a leaf that you’re about to discard? That makes no sense.” Dudley’s referring to leaves producing a chemical which changes the colour of leaves from green to red. She said that people often incorrectly assume the change is a loss of chemicals within the leaf.

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Northwestern B.C. power line river crossing changed

Terrace Standard
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Hydro has made adjustments to the routing of its planned new 287kV power line that will extend from the Skeena Substation in Terrace to Kitimat in order to avoid an area of old growth trees bordering the Lakelse River. The change was in response to concerns raised by a local land management committee. …The sensitive area of old growth forest and the fishing-rich area of the protected Lakelse River was a sticking point with the resource management committee group and BC Hydro came through with a shift in routing to avoid the old growth trees which “utilizes two taller structures (60m lattice steel) and the natural topography to span over the river.”

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Kevin Horsnell, Group General Manager, Forest Management Group, Canada at Canfor

NationTalk
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recently, NationTalk’s Nick Ashawasega spoke with Kevin Horsnell, Group General Manager, Forest Management Group, Canada at Canfor. Listen to hear more about how Canfor is one of the world’s largest producers of sustainable lumber, pulp and paper. Also, they were the nominating company for LTN Contracting Ltd., who recently were recognized by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) with their 2015 Aboriginal Forestry Products Business Leadership award. Make sure to learn more about this amazing award!

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Quads need licence plates starting Nov. 1

By Tom Fletcher
Peace Arch News
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is making licence plates mandatory for quads, dirt bikes and other off-road vehicles starting Nov. 1, requiring helmets and restricting use by children under 16. The B.C. legislation imposes a $230 fine for driving an unlicensed off-road vehicle, and a $368 fine for careless operation. For some offences under the Off-Road Vehicle Act related to reckless use or environmental damage, penalties can go as high as a $5,000 fine and six months in jail. Forests Minister Steve Thomson said the $48 licence fee applies only once when a vehicle is purchased, and was set to recover the costs of the program administered by ICBC. Once startup costs are paid for, a portion of the licence revenue will go to off-road clubs to use for trail improvements, Thomson said.

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C.B. Highlands park’s moose population 4 times what it should be: official

The Chronicle Herald
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

CAPE NORTH — A proposed moose hunt inside Cape Breton Highlands National Park hasn’t received final approval yet, according to a park manager, but it is necessary. That’s because the moose population in the park is four times higher than the average density found in a typical, healthy North American forest, said Derek Quann, resource conservation manager for the Cape Breton Highlands. Moose — which were wiped out on the island in the 1920s and reintroduced nearly 70 years ago — have reached what Parks Canada calls a hyper-abundant level, with an estimated population of 1,800 animals threatening the park’s forest and other species that need trees to live.

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Purdue grad’s startup selling improved hardwood trees

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
October 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University graduate’s new startup company is selling hardwood trees genetically improved to produce high-quality veneers. Aaron Forgey’s Legacy Hardwoods LLC grows and sells black walnut, black cherry and other trees developed at Purdue that are scientifically proven to have a better chance of becoming veneer wood than trees found in the wild. Veneers are thin, high-quality slices of woods used to give less valuable wood the look of more expensive, desirable woods. Forgey earned a Purdue degree in forestry and natural resources last year and licensed the trees through the Purdue Research Foundation. Forgey says the trees his company is selling grow straighter, have fewer branches and fewer knots than trees found in the wild. Those qualities can lead to higher quality veneers.

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Ex-Forest Service leaders urge cancellation of leases

Helena Independent Record
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL, Mont. — Nineteen former U.S. Forest Service leaders asked federal officials to cancel all oil and gas leases on land east of Glacier National Park that is considered sacred by Native Americans. The Oct. 19 letter comes as the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are faced with a decision next month on whether to cancel a drilling lease owned by Louisiana-based Solenex LLC in the Badger-Two Medicine area of the Lewis and Clark National Forest. The 6,200-acre lease covers land considered sacred to the Blackfoot American Indian tribes of the U.S. and Canada. The letter is signed by retired Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth and supervisors from several Montana national forests.

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Cooperation key in effort to re-establish forest health

Yakima Herald Republic
October 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The issues with forest health in the Pacific Northwest have been building for more than a century and aren’t going to be resolved tomorrow. But one project in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area is a good start — and could well serve as a model for the entire region. The program involves habitat restoration, but not through bans on activity. It entails logging, but not clear cutting. It sets a goal of wildfire prevention, but not through aggressive suppression of fires as soon as they break out. Most important, it’s a compromise approach with participation by a range of historically competing interests, in both the public and private sectors. The particulars of the program may change, but the communication and cooperation improve the chances that potential difficulties can be worked out. .

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Forest Service Proposes Fuels Reduction in Prominent Whitefish Watershed

Agency seeking timber harvest, prescribed burning in forested section where fire danger looms large
Flathead Beacon
October 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITEFISH — The section of mountains to the east of Whitefish Mountain Resort and to the north of Iron Horse subdivision provides a scenic backdrop to the surrounding community as well as the primary source of water for city residents. It also features a dense thicket of green and grey tree stands, reflecting decades of uninterrupted forest growth. A few small fires burned in this area around the 1920s but the majority of this rugged terrain has avoided Mother Nature’s fiery cleanup since before the 1890s, creating a combustible situation causing concerns among residents and U.S. Forest Service officials. “It’s not entirely ecologically out of whack but it is due for a large fire,” said Mike West, fire specialist with the Tally Lake Ranger District.

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Forest Service gives go-ahead to Flagstaff thinning project

Associated Press in the Washington Times
October 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. – Crews are prepping parts of the forest around Flagstaff for a project aimed at reducing the risk of wildfire and protecting the city’s water supply. The Coconino National Forest recently signed off on the environmental impact statement for what’s known as the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. “It was a very complicated process because of all the unique resources and challenges in such an important area right next to town that people are very concerned about,” Coconino National Forest Flagstaff District Ranger Mike Elson told the Arizona Daily Sun. Some thinning work has been done since 2013, but the majority of the project didn’t get the go-ahead until Wednesday. For now, crews will be marking trees with orange and blue paint, improving roads and preparing contracts.

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Neptune Aviation gets contracts for 4 ‘Next Generation’ firebombers

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After five years of contract bidding, protests, challenges and re-bids, Neptune Aviation now has a solid footing in the U.S. Forest Service’s fire aviation fleet. This fall, the Missoula-based company received four five-year contracts for exclusive use of four BAe-146 retardant bombers as part of the federal agency’s “Next Generation” firefighting program. It also landed an agreement to transform up to 15 military surplus C-23B Sherpa planes into civilian smokejumper and cargo aircraft. “We’re glad to have it resolved,” Neptune President Ron Hooper said Monday. “Right now from the air tanker standpoint, things will be pretty stable for a while.” The next-gen tanker contracts are worth about $5 million a year per plane.

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Where have all the hemlocks gone? The Recorder

Shelburne trees cut to curb insects, disease
The Recorder
October 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SHELBURNE CENTER — It was only a year ago that Norman and Lisa Davenport first noticed sunlight flickering through the once-dense shade of a stand of hemlocks on their hilltop farmland. And now those first trees look more like utility poles than conifers. As the twin evils of elongate hemlock scale and hemlock woolly adelgid spread through 60 to 70 acres of stately hemlock, the Davenports knew they had to take action to stem the losses. Both are invasive, microscopic insects that originated from Asia and have no natural predators here. Elongate Hemlock Scale suck the sap out of the tree needles, eventually killing the tree.

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Environment group to go to police over ‘recklessly provocative’ behaviour by logging supporters

ABC News, Australia
October 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

An environment group called Knitting Nannas of Toolangi is taking a complaint of intimidation to police after a logging truck drove past one of their gatherings at an “unacceptably high speed” last week, north of Melbourne. When members of the group posted photos of the truck on Facebook, it sparked a torrent of abuse from pro-logging advocates, including a photo of giant tree on the back of a logging truck. The log, believed to be four or five metres in circumference and hundreds of years old, had “hug this” painted on it, a reference to the term “tree huggers” which is often used to describe environmental campaigners. The photo sparked outrage amongst environmental campaigners.

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Global rate of deforestation has been halved since the 1990s

October 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The world’s forests are shrinking, but now at a slower rate. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), the rate of deforestation is half what it was in the 1990s. That supports progress noted last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists and reported in this space. (See “Slowing the rate of deforestation,” July 28, 2014.) Over the past quarter century, forests have seen a net loss of some 319 million acres, an area just larger than South Africa. But between 2010 and 2015, an average of 0.08 percent of the world’s forests was lost each year, down from 0.18 percent each year in the 1990s, according to the report.

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Global rate of deforestation has been halved since the 1990s

October 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The world’s forests are shrinking, but now at a slower rate. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Global Forest Resources Assessment (FRA), the rate of deforestation is half what it was in the 1990s. That supports progress noted last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists and reported in this space. (See “Slowing the rate of deforestation,” July 28, 2014.) Over the past quarter century, forests have seen a net loss of some 319 million acres, an area just larger than South Africa. But between 2010 and 2015, an average of 0.08 percent of the world’s forests was lost each year, down from 0.18 percent each year in the 1990s, according to the report.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Industry Attacks Clean Power Plan in Court

Environmental Leader
October 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

More than 20 businesses and industry organizations have filed lawsuits to overturn the Clean Power Plan. Immediately after the EPA published the carbon rule for existing power plants last Friday, 24 states sues to stop the law, which requires existing coal-burning power plants must cut carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. …The Chamber has been joined in the lawsuit by … [among others] the American Forest and Paper Association, American Iron and Steel Institute, American Wood Council, … The American Wood Council said it was joining the Clean Power Plan litigation to ensure production of biomass energy. The American Forest & Paper Association said it is concerned the final rule will threatened affordable electricity and said it’s joining the lawsuit to “protect the global competitiveness of our industry.”

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Federal grants boost Athens, Brunswick biomass plants

Bangor Daily News
October 26, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORTLAND, Maine — The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded $556,520 in grants to Athens Energy to build a new biomass-fueled power generator that runs on wood waste from logging and timberland thinning operations. The USDA announced $1.66 million in awards to 14 rural Maine businesses Monday, including a Brunswick-based anaerobic digester generator and the Athens-based power venture that was approved for $12 million in state tax incentives last year. The incentives were based on $30.3 million in committed investment from the Missouri-based investment firm CCG Community Partners LLC.

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