Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 4, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Most Prices Stalling, But Demand is Still Growing: FEA Wood Markets outlook

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 4, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

FEA Wood Markets released its market outlook for lumber in 2019. In sum, demand is expected to grow 2.1%, prices will remain strong, US production will rise 5% and Canadian production will fall 1%. In other Business news: the New York Times story on mass timber begets stories in Treehugger and the Commercial Cafe, more press for Frank Dotorri on his retirement; and a plan B for Nova Scotia if Northern Pulp is forced to close.

In Forestry news: the Sierra Club calls for more old-growth protection in BC to offset Amazon deforestation; the US Trade Official criticizes illegal logging in Brazil; Green groups warn of forestry pitfalls in COP24; and Google Street View helps urban foresters count the trees.

Finally, the Economist says efforts to make buildings greener are not working; but also that more buildings should be made of wood.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Global Lumber Outlook 2019-20

By Russ Taylor
FEA Canada – WOOD MARKETS
January 1, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

After surviving a global slowdown in 2015, world lumber markets became favourable as a general trend of rising prices took hold — up until the second half of 2018, that is, when the trend reversed in almost all markets. What happened? Many factors combined to cause two contrasting scenarios: too little supply with rising prices in H1/2018, followed by too much supply with declining prices by the end of the year. Delayed shipments occurred first in the U.S. market, mainly the result of weather delays from B.C. (and other factors); this inelastic supply led prices to soar to record levels by mid-year. In H2/2018, the opposite occurred: shipments swamped the market, plunging prices by 50%. While average prices for U.S. structural lumber in 2018 were the highest ever recorded, it is still a tale of two half-years. 

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Canfor Corporation: Money Really Does Grow on Trees

By Ryan Vanzo
The Motley Fool
January 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Long-term shareholders of Canfor Corporation are used to volatility. Since 1995, the company’s stock has fallen by more than 50% six times, the most recent of which started in the summer of 2018, where shares fell from a high of $33 to just $16 today. One of the largest softwood lumber producers in North America, Canfor is heavily exposed to domestics housing markets, particularly the U.S. considering its size. When the housing market swoons, Canfor stock swoons. Recently, however, volatility has been exacerbated by political considerations. The ongoing drama between U.S. President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau—particularly in terms of tariffs and trade—have caused major exporters like Canfor to suffer. While the long-term impact remains unknown, it’s possible the company will face higher costs. At worst, it could be rendered uncompetitive versus American players.

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Dottori steps down from WRC Timber

By Brian Kelly
The Sault Star
January 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forestry giant Frank Dottori is stepping down as president of the WRC Timber, a parent company of three enterprises employing more than 300 in Hornepayne and White River. …Dottori, 79, founded Tembec in 1973… a global forest products company with 55 mills in North America, Europe and South America. Dottori stepped down as the company’s chief executive in 2005. He revived the former Domtar sawmill in White River in 2013 after the site sat idle for seven years. …With his 80th birthday approaching, succession planning is necessary, Dottori told The Sault Star from his home in Temiscaming on Thursday. …Dottori will continue to serve as chair of WRC Timber. He and another partner own 70 per cent of White River Forest Products GP, Hornepayne Lumber GP and Hornepayne Power. …Dottori is a 2019 Canada’s Clean50 honoree. The award recognizes the country’s sustainability leaders.

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Forestry and Plan B for Nova Scotia

By Don Wilson
The News
January 3, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Recently, I’ve read …about what drastic things would happen if Northern Pulp were to close the very old polluting pulp mill at Abercrombie Point. …job loss at the mill and log loss to sawmills, plus loss of forestry jobs. They haven’t been paying attention to what is currently happening and what plans are already being put in place should the pulp mill close.  Owners and harvesters of trees on private woodlots have been planning change for several months. The Cape Breton Privateland Partnership (CBPP) is a partnership of several private woodland forest managers and producers/woodlot owners that adhere to ecological forest management methods.  …The next five years will be exciting for the area economy. The rest of N.S. taxpayers will see an end to subsidies in one form or another for the pulp mill. …Supporting an old polluting pulp mill makes no sense for Nova Scotia. This is a pay now or pay more later situation. 

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Ipe Woods USA acquires Buy Ipe Direct Exotic Hardwood

Lesprom
January 2, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Ipe Woods USA, the leading online direct to consumer wholesaler of exotic wood announces its official acquisition of. Buy Ipe Direct, a direct to consumer website, has been a leader in the Ipe and Garapa markets since they began entering the online market in 2014 and launched its website in 2015, selling specifically Ipe and Garapa and accessories to online consumers.  “It is an exciting time in our company as we go into 2019 with a clear vision of our mission to provide the highest quality exotic lumber such as Tigerwood, Ipe and Cumaru to customers all over the USA. With this newest acquisition we will not only be able to reach more customers, but also to help distribute faster and more efficiently,” saidSteven Rossi, President of Ipe WoodsUSA.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood buildings are back, and the New York Times is on it!

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

There is a hilarious twitter feed I follow, @nytonit, short for The Times is on it! “Because sometimes stories in newspapers are just that obvious.” The recent article by C. J. Hughes in the New York Times real estate section, Log Cabins? No, These Wooden Buildings Are High-Rises is a great candidate for it, from its first line on. …Nothing is important until it comes to New York, and mass timber is just arriving there, so this is a good introduction to the subject. …But hilarity ensues when you read the comments. …This is all new to people, and there are many misconceptions. It is also new to architects and builders, and there is a learning curve to everything. Perhaps in a few years, when a few more buildings are built in New York, we won’t get the “log cabin” titles and the inane comments.

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An Introduction to Wood-Structured Buildings

Commercial Cafe Blog
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Wood-structured buildings are here to stay. …While wood isn’t a new building material, architects and engineers are embracing the emergence of new uses of timber at scale for the 21st century. …The Groundbreaking T3 in Minneapolis… has renewed interest in wood-structured buildings in the United States and plans are already in the pipeline to build its twin in downtown Atlanta. However, there are plenty of examples of wood-structured buildings outside of the US. In Amsterdam, the 20-story HAUT building is made from wood. The HoHo building is currently under construction in Vienna and is expected to 24 floors above ground, with a height of 276 feet. Other, even more ambitious, projects include the proposed 80-story Oakwood Timber Tower in London and the 40-story Trätoppen (“Treetop”) skyscraper in Stockholm.

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Tall mass timber code changes receive final approval

By Peter Fabris
Building Design + Construction
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The International Code Council (ICC) has approved all 14 of the tall mass timber code change proposals. The proposals create three new types of construction (Types IV-A, IV-B and IV-C), which set fire safety requirements, and allowable heights, areas, and number of stories for tall mass timber buildings. The new provisions will be included in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). …“The addition of tall mass timber to the International Building Code provides a comprehensive set of safety standards for these new types of construction,” said American Wood Council Vice President of Codes & Regulations Kenneth Bland, P.E., in a news release. “This vote caps off several years of scientific research and testing, and verifies that mass timber meets the robust performance standards called for by our nation’s building codes.”

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Oakland requires landlords to retrofit ‘soft-story’ buildings

By Ali Tadayon
The Post Bulletin
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

OAKLAND, Calif. — To prevent hundreds of multi-story, wood-frame apartment buildings from collapsing as they did in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, Oakland is requiring seismic upgrades of all those at risk in the next big shaker. There are 1,479 such “soft-story” apartment buildings in the city constructed before 1991 — when the building code changed — that stand two to seven stories tall and contain five or more apartments. …Those buildings are supported by slim columns with either garages or storefronts underneath, and contain a total of 24,273 apartments. With fears of the “big one” occurring any day now along the Hayward fault the City Council unanimously passed an ordinance Dec. 14 making the seismic retrofitting of soft-story buildings with more than five units mandatory, giving landlords four to six years to get their buildings up to code.

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Tham & Videgård Arkitekter designs Swedish “vertical village” built from CLT

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Stockholm-based architecture practice Tham & Videgård Arkitekter has unveiled designs for a new housing typology in Gothenburg, Sweden, that will be built from cross-laminated timber. Named the “vertical village,” the project is a “solid timber” iteration of the firm’s previous development by the same name that had been designed for Stockholm in 2009. Like its predecessor, the Gothenburg “vertical village” champions a dense and family-centric development built around a series of connected garden spaces. …“The houses represent a new vertical typology that minimizes the footprint in order to leave as much land as possible for cultivation,” the architects said of the housing typology. For visual variety, the 140-square-meter row homes will be finished in different colors ranging from red, green, black and gray. The buildings will be constructed with cross-laminated timber and prefabrication construction methods to meet the highest environmental and energy standards.

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Why more buildings should be made of wood

The Economist
January 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The second little pig was unlucky. He built his house from sticks. …The fairy tale could have been written by a flack for the construction industry, which strongly favours brick, concrete and steel. However, in the real world it would help reduce pollution and slow global warming if more builders copied the wood-loving second pig. In 2015 world leaders meeting in Paris agreed to move towards zero net greenhouse-gas emissions in the second half of this century. That is a tall order, and the building industry makes it even taller. Cement-making alone produces 6% of the world’s carbon emissions. …A race is on to build the world’s tallest fully wooden skyscraper. But such edifices are still uncommon. Industry fragmentation, vicious competition for contracts and low profit margins mean that most building firms have little money to invest in greener construction methods beyond what regulation dictates. [A digital subscription to the Economist may be required to access full story]

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Efforts to make buildings greener are not working

The Economist
January 3, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…In March the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, 85 metres high, will open in Norway. …The Mjostarnet tower [is special because] all of its supporting columns are made of glulam… “This is the future of construction,” says Harald Liven, Moelven’s project manager for Mjostarnet. But is it? Many governments in the rich world want to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from constructing and using buildings. With some wonderful exceptions, they are failing. …If zero-carbon standards were changed to include the emissions from building and demolishing structures, many of the perverse incentives in the building regulations would disappear. It would probably lead to more building with wood. Many mature forests do little to take extra carbon out of the atmosphere. Chopping some of them down, storing the carbon in wooden buildings, and planting new trees in their place could well increase forestry’s contribution towards actually removing carbon from the air. …Mjostarnet may be the world’s tallest wooden tower, “but we hope not to hold the record for long,” says Mr Liven. They do little more than demonstrate a possibility. But even that is useful. [A digital subscription to the Economist may be required to access full story]

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Forestry

Sierra Club calls for increased protection of B.C. forests as Brazilian president raises spectre of Amazon deforestation

By Ainslie Cruickshank
The Star Vancouver
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, International

VANCOUVER—The Sierra Club B.C. has renewed calls for stronger safeguards of B.C.’s old-growth forests after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro issued an executive order this week that critics say undermines Indigenous rights and threatens protection of the Amazon rainforest. In one of his first acts as president, Bolsonaro transferred the responsibility for recognizing and protecting Indigenous land rights from the National Indian Foundation to the agricultural ministry. Environmental groups, including Sierra Club B.C., are concerned the move could result in increased deforestation and the release of carbon dioxide emissions currently stored in the Amazon, with global environmental consequences. …In response to the situation in Brazil, the Sierra Club is renewing calls for B.C. to ban logging in the largest intact areas of old-growth forest on Vancouver Island.

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Regional District of Central Kootenay to clarify its role in water governance

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) will conduct a study to clarify its role in water governance, in a move that could result in the formation of a new water governance body with members from many sectors. Currently…the RDCK’s responsibility to the community is not entirely clear. …For example, at Laird Creek near Balfour, many water users don’t trust a logging company that wants to open up an old logging road, so they want a new, independent study… But it is not clear who would hire and pay for the independent consultant, what status the report would have, and what influence it might it have on the logging operation, if any.  As a result …the RDCK is planning to apply for funding from the Real Estate Foundation of BC to do a scoping study… [based on a workshop] conducted by the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria. 

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Canadian urban foresters enlist Google Street View to count the trees

By Tom Spears
The Ottawa Citizen
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In analyzing the state of Canada’s urban trees, the Canadian Forest Service visited only half of the 100 communities it studied. For the rest, it gazed at the digitized trees of Google Street View. And in the future, it may remove human eyes from the job entirely, and let artificial intelligence handle it. The forest service wants cities and towns to know what mix of tree species they have, and what the balance of young and mature trees is, because a lot of money is tied up in trees. In particular, they are expensive to cut down and replace if a new type of bug follows the emerald ash borer. …We go down the streets using Google Street View, and we identify any trees within about 10 metres of the edge of the road that way,” said John Pedlar, a research biologist with Natural Resources Canada.

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Managing wildfires with controlled burns, timber harvest and grazing

By Gil Gullickson
Successful Farming
January 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

“Remember, only you can prevent forest fires,” is the line that millions of U.S. children have heard the rich baritone voice of Smokey the Bear intone over several generations. This struck advertising gold when Madison Avenue moguls first used it in the 1940s. Today, though, U.S. Forest Service (USFS) personnel would likely refine it to: “Remember, only you can prevent forest fires – although managing naturally occurring ones, sustainable timber harvest, and controlled burns are also tools to revitalize a forest.” … The USFS is part of the USDA, which may seem like an odd fit. As with more familiar USDA components like grains and cattle, though, national forests have a harvest goal. Timber harvest formed the USFS’s backbone when President Theodore Roosevelt transferred public lands then designated as “forest reserves” to the USDA in 1905. 

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Report finds urban forest not valued by policymakers

By Billy Taylor
Larchmont Chronicle
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hundreds of concerned residents and city staff members attended a presentation last month at City Hall to learn the first steps toward developing a citywide approach to improved urban forestry. Environmental consulting firm Dudek presented its findings and recommendations …following a yearlong investigation into the City of Los Angeles’ programs, funding and policies related to its urban forest. Within the “First Step” report, Dudek alleges a lack of “consistent urban forestry leadership, vision, funding, and planning” at the city level. …the City’s Urban Forestry Policy in 1993, failed to deliver results, according to the report. …The Dudek “First Step” report was commissioned by City Plants, a nonprofit entity overseeing a public-private partnership between the city and six other organizations. …“This report reveals a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge and appreciation for our urban trees. Not just the aesthetic values, but also the health benefits, which alone have incredible value.”   

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Once again, it’s time to fix the Endangered Species Act

By The Editorial Board
Chinook Observer
January 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal judge has dismissed a third lawsuit filed by an environmental group to stop the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from shooting barred owls in an experimental attempt to boost numbers of the endangered spotted owl. At the same time, the service is struggling to explain if the program made any difference. Northern spotted owls were listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1990. Environmental groups blamed its dwindling numbers on the logging of old growth forests… As a result, logging in the Northwest, particularly on federal lands, was greatly reduced. While this had a devastating impact on local economies built on the timber industry, it didn’t seem to do much for spotted owl populations. Wildlife managers say that’s because another species, the barred owl, moved into the territory. …this whole affair is just one example of how the ESA is fundamentally broken. Congress must fix it.

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Land swap to lead to logging in Southeast

By Alex McCarthy
The Peninsula Clarion
January 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority board approved a land exchange with the U.S. Forest Service, with the aim of getting timber projects off the ground in Southeast. Wyn Menefee, the executive director of the AMHTA Trust Land Office (TLO), said it’s the biggest land exchange in the trust’s history… more than 20,000 acres of USFS land to the trust for more than 18,000 acres of trust lands throughout Southeast. Menefee said the trust is hoping to make money off its newly acquired lands with timber harvesting. According to the TLO website, the lands could yield between $40 and $60 million over the next 20 years. Lands going to the Forest Service will be protected, Menefee explained. The overall aim of the land exchange is to protect viewsheds while logging less-sensitive lands to earn money for the trust.

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1958 forestry class donates over $100K for Open Doors Scholarship

Penn State News
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MONT ALTO, Pa. —  Twelve members of the Forestry Class of 1958 recently celebrated their 60th reunion at the Mont Alto campus. Besides reconnecting with each other and the campus, their time together also resulted in a group gift of $34,233 that, thanks to a University match, transformed into a $102,669 Open Doors Scholarship to support Mont Alto students who are facing financial hardships and are at risk of not completing their degrees. …“A small group of classmates were talking during our reunion when Jack Zimmerman suggested the scholarship idea,” said Ralph Heilig, who has coordinated the class reunions for the past 12 years. …“As far as we know, no other group from the same graduating class has done this,” he said. “So, we think we’re the first and hopefully it will start something.”

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Top US trade official voices concern over Peru logging

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
January 3, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIMA, PERU — The top U.S. trade official contends Peru’s government is not living up to its commitment to combat illegal logging in a case that could have broader implications as Washington debates ratifying a new North American free trade deal. In a letter sent Dec. 21 to a congressman, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said he considered it “unacceptable” that Peru recently decided to move an independent agency monitoring the logging trade under the Environment Ministry. He added in the letter to Rep. Richard Neal that the U.S. had “forcefully communicated” its position to Peru and said he would request consultations if the decision was not reversed, a first step toward potential sanctions.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Where do Montreal’s forlorn Christmas trees go?

By Rene Bruemmer
Montreal Gazette
January 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

There are few things more forlorn than discarded balsam firs littering the snowbanks of the city post-New Year’s Day. …The good news is that in Montreal they find a second useful existence, albeit one that involves incineration. Compared to sending them to the garbage dump, where they rot and create planet-warming methane gas, their end is at least somewhat beneficial. Every year, firms contracted by the city collect roughly 25,000 trees. The 350 tonnes of holiday refuse are …converted into wood chips that are then sold to firms — often pulp and paper mills — that burn and use them as energy sources instead of oil. …Most Quebec municipalities have programs to pick up trees [for compost or energy]. Not all regions do. In the United Kingdom 160,000 tonnes of the nation’s Christmas trees ended up in landfills in 2014. …Once they’ve outlived their holiday-time usefulness, the important thing is to keep them out of landfills. 

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A Mexican model for offsetting carbon

By Tani Colbert-Sangree
The Baltimore Sun
January 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, International

Walking through a pine forest in Mexico’s Sierra Norte mountains, I see peaks through a blanket of clouds. …I’ve spent the last 10 years working exclusively in carbon offsets, first as the lead for the Tomorrow’s Climate Solutions consulting group and currently as the strategic coordinator for Duke University’s Carbon Offsets Initiative. I have created training materials and project protocols, as well as developed and marketed offset projects throughout the U.S., and established research connections to these projects. This project in Oaxaca is a shining example of what a carbon offset can look like if done right. …The forest that has grown from those saplings has created positions for 20 salaried workers, communal revenue through the sale of carbon offsets, future sustainable timber production and a reliable water source thanks to the forest cover that increases and stabilizes water availability.

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COP24: Green groups warn of pitfalls in ‘forests for climate’ deal

By Hans Nicholas
Mongabay
January 3, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

KATOWICE, Poland — A plan adopted by delegates at last month’s climate summit in Poland to weaponize forests in the fight against global warming could have a disastrous outcome, environmentalists say. …Paola Deda, chief of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe’s (UNECE) forestry and timber section, said the forest declaration was made not only to keep forests healthy, but also to promote the use of sustainable forest products. …But observers say the wording of the declaration… presents an opportunity for wide-scale logging — effectively going against the call to expand forest cover to fight climate change. …“The role of forest products and forest-related climate actions are the main call to action in this declaration,” said Christoph Thies, of Greenpeace Poland in Katowice. “The forest declaration could turn quickly to be a logging declaration, which will be disastrous for the climate, biodiversity, soil, water circulation and the welfare of the local communities.”

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Health & Safety

Contractor working on Irving land in New Brunswick dies in logging truck accident

The Canadian Press in Global News
January 3, 2019
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada East, Canada

A contractor working on J.D. Irving, Ltd. land in northern New Brunswick has died after his logging truck left a road in Madawaska County. Irving spokeswoman Mary Keith says the truck left a woods road roughly 40 kilometres from Saint-Leonard at about 6 p.m. Wednesday. She says emergency services were called to the scene but that the driver, an employee of an independent contractor, died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. Keith says Irving is actively co-operating with the investigation by police and WorkSafeNB. …Keith says the name of the driver is being withheld out of respect for the family. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of this driver at this difficult time,” she said. 

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