Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 18, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

University says ‘use as much wood as you can’ in building new area!

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 18, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Wood is top of mind for the US military. A cooperative of military and government groups are joining forces with Georgia Tech to design and build barracks for troops living overseas and they’re looking at CLT to create them. The University of Idaho is also thinking about wood, in fact, the design challenge for their new area is “use as much Idaho wood as possible“. In contrast, the Concrete Association is promoting a new study claiming lower insurance rates for multifamily buildings made from concrete rather than from wood-frame. 

It may be that forest fires have a silver lining (at least in one application) – combating sudden oak death. Although firefighters are cautious to wash any vehicle leaving quarantined areas, scientists are hopeful the fire may slow the spread of the disease. Hope is also on the minds of scientist in New Zealand who have recently completed the massive task of unlocking the genetic code for radiata pine. With this knowledge in hand, geneticists say “We could breed a whole range of different trees” and mitigate the effects of climate change. 

A final positive note for you today, David Lewis, president of Southern Forestry Consultants, says “forests can help improve our lives in Florida” and that research clearly shows “utilizing more wood generates more investments and more forests”. From cell phones to fuel, he calls for more wood fiber use – Hurrah!

Sandy McKellar — Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Heavy industrial land under siege in boomtown Kelowna

By John McDonald
InfoTel News Ltd
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

KELOWNA – New visitors to Kelowna are often surprised to see a large-scale industrial operation — the Tolko lumber mill — sitting right beside the picturesque downtown core. If anything shatters the image of Kelowna’s postcard waterfront, it’s the full-size log yard, drying kilns and large log booms floating just offshore, and more than a few visitors have asked, “why don’t they just get rid of it?” Getting rid of it is complicated, first off by the hard fact the city can’t normally force a property owner to sell their land and secondly, by the fact it likes that big chunk of industrial land right where it is.

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Resolute pursues lawsuit against Greenpeace

TB Newswatch
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products will continue a legal action in the United States against environmental organizations Greenpeace and Stand.earth, despite suffering a setback on Monday. The company last year announced a federal lawsuit for defamation and racketeering. Essentially, it complained that it had suffered financially from the dissemination of false information accusing it of unsound forestry practices in Canada’s Boreal forest. In dismissing the racketeering case on Monday, a judge in San Francisco said Resolute had failed to provide enough detail in its allegation that Greenpeace acted with a malicious mindset. …Michael Bowe, a lawyer for Resolute, noted in a statement that the court “provided Resolute with leave to correct those purported deficiencies (in the complaint) in an amendment. We will correct [them] in an amendment, and proceed with the case.”

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West Linn Paper will shut mill after 128 years

By Mike Rogoway
The Oregonian
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

West Linn Paper Company said Monday that it will close down, eliminating roughly 250 jobs and closing the door on the mill’s 128-year history. “Several unforeseeable events have led to a significant reduction in available pulp, making continued operations impossible…” Brian Konen, West Linn Paper’s chief operating officer, said in a written statement. In a note to employees, …Konen said the decision to close came abruptly. “One of our major pulp suppliers suddenly stopped production due to a major equipment failure, and other pulp suppliers recently withdrew our normal and viable credit terms in the wake of credit and insurance developments in the industry,” he wrote. “Accordingly, we are unable to secure the pulp necessary to continue operations and do not have sufficient economic resources to idle our plant pending improved conditions.” 

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SmartLam plans to bring new jobs to Columbia Falls

By Mackenzie Dougherty
NBC Montana
October 17, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL, Mont. – For about a year the lot where Weyerhaeuser used to be was vacant, but now SmartLam Technologies plans to expand its business to the lot and bring more jobs to Columbia Falls. Columbia Falls residents are used to timber mills coming and going, with Plum Creek leaving the lot and Weyerhaeuser after that. …Even with other cities wanting the business, SmartLam CEO and president Casey Malmquist chose to stay in Columbia Falls. “Our true goal is stay right here in Montana, make jobs here in the Flathead Valley and to make this the headquarters of our growing operation,” said Malmquist.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Industry Perspectives: The French connection – why does Canada import wood from Europe?

By Richard Lyall, president, Residential Construction Council of Ontario
Daily Commercial News
October 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada
When I look at the tall wood buildings being constructed around the world, I often wonder why Canada isn’t leading this obvious form of construction innovation from coast to coast. There are plans for tall wood all over Europe… Every time I learn of a new wood building in Europe, I wonder why our heavily forested country isn’t doing more with wood construction. …While mid-rise wood between four and six storeys is slowly catching on all over Ontario, builders want to go above six… The Residential Construction Council of Ontario …is working with Ontario’s ministries of natural resources and forestry and municipal affairs to create a tall wood reference document to guide building designers and municipal officials on using alternative solutions to construct wood buildings over six storeys. …To learn more about this, a team of builders and staff recently flew to Bordeaux, France, for the first world congress on tall wood construction.

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Unique challenge, achieved: Use as much Idaho wood, as little Idaho energy, as possible.

By Ty Morrison
Idaho Statesman
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Recently the Idaho State Board of Education gave the go-ahead for a new arena on the University of Idaho campus. …This building is likely to be a major innovation from any other new building in the state or even the U of I campus. …[and] has a unique design challenge: use as much Idaho wood as possible and as little Idaho energy as possible. …in the last 25 years the use of wood in construction has come to the forefront of sustainable practices and advanced engineering and is possibly the best single method to provide carbon sequestration (sustainability) the AEC industry has identified. It is now possible in Idaho to build a very large structure from wood grown, harvested, engineered, processed and installed all in Idaho.

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Wood Utilization Experts Gather in Denver During National Forest Products Week

By The Colorado State Forest Service
Julesburg Advocate
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

DENVER – … an ongoing challenge to forest management in Colorado and throughout the West is finding profitable uses for the wood, or biomass, removed to make forests less susceptible to catastrophic wildfires. As part of this year’s recognition of National Forest Products Week – celebrated during the third week of October each year – Colorado is serving as the location for the first-ever gathering of forest products utilization specialists from states across the West, in the form of a newly formed Forest Utilization Network established by the Council of Western State Foresters (CWSF). CWSF is hosting the first event in Denver this week. …The new chair of the CWSF Forest Utilization Network, Forest Products Program Leader Adam Smith of the Nebraska Forest Service, says that the gathering in Denver will allow the states to establish a more effective strategy for biomass utilization across the West.

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New Study: Concrete Cheaper Than Wood in Building Insurance Costs in Edgewater, New Jersey

By The National Ready Mix Concrete Association
For Construction Pros
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A new study by Dr. Pieter VanderWerf and Nicholas Haidari of Boston College entitled “Survey of Insurance Costs for Multifamily Buildings Constructed with Wood-frame and Concrete” found building insurance rates will be lower for midrise apartment buildings constructed with concrete instead of wood‐frame. This result appears to hold for both builder’s risk and commercial property insurance and across a wide range of regions of the United States. The objective of the study, underwritten by the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, was to collect insurance premium quotes for builder’s risk insurance (during construction) and commercial property insurance (during occupancy) for a reference building built using combustible construction (wood‐frame) and non‐combustible construction (concrete).

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Forest Service Funds Georgia Tech Project Using Georgia Timber for Stronger Army Barracks

Georgia Tech News Center
October 17, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The timber industry, U.S. Military Academy, U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are teaming with Georgia Tech to design and build better portable housing for overseas troops. Funded by a grant from the United States Forestry Service (USFS), the project will explore ways to utilize new laminated wood products in the construction of temporary barracks. …“With 22 million acres of working forests and a $32 billion economic impact, Georgia is blessed to be the No. 1 forestry state in the nation,” said Andres Villegas, president and CEO of the Georgia Forestry Association. …The proposed CLT designs use less energy for heating and cooling, and the bunker will be far easier to disassemble and relocate. Both are key attributes for military housing, along with providing adequate protection for troops.

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Forestry

Canadian Women in Timber Celebrate Forest Awareness Day

Canadian Women in Timber
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canadian Women in Timber are born of the forest. Each and every one of our members is connected to this vast natural resource. We reserve a Wednesday in October to pay homage to the sector that supports our families, our communities and our province. So join us in celebrating Forest Awareness Day.

 

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Alberta misses deadline for Caribou Range Plan

By Peter Shokeir
Whitecourt Star
October 16, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…“We were eagerly waiting to see strong caribou range plans, but that didn’t happen,” said Kecia Kerr, executive director of the Northern Alberta Chapter for the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. …Brent Wittmeier, spokesperson for Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips, said the province would release the Little Smoky and A La Peche Caribou Range Plan in the near future. “The current federal government has made it clear that Alberta needs to follow through with plans to protect our 15 caribou ranges, but has also recognized that necessary work is well underway after years of inaction under the previous government,” Wittmeier said.   …Ray Hilts is the director of the Alberta Forest Alliance, which represents regional forestry businesses. He said the delay wasn’t necessarily bad since caribou recovery is complex. 

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Forest fire rages near Grand Beach, winds pushing it towards Traverse Bay

CBC News
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Firefighters are battling a massive blaze in the Bélair Provincial Forest, northeast of Grand Beach. The fire covers about four hectares of forest and gusting winds have whipped up the flames, East Beaches Fire and Rescue Chief Mark Sinclair said. “The fire is crowning to the tops of the trees. We have had to pull all of our firefighters back [some distance] just to protect themselves,” he said. A passerby noticed the flames on the east side of Highway 59 and called the Grand Beach fire department around 4:15 a.m. Wednesday.

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Northern timber supply reduction less than it appears

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s decision to reduce the annual allowable timber harvest in the Prince George region by a third isn’t as drastic as it appears, Forests Minister Doug Donaldson says. The allowable harvest level has been unusually high to allow for salvage harvest of beetle-killed timber in the vast northern region, which includes Prince George, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fraser Lake and other small communities. …“I think most licensees knew that there was an uplift due to the pine beetle salvage situation, so the chief forester has made her determination,” Donaldson said. “That’s a statutory decision-making authority that she has to take that into account, not only the sustainability of the cut but the social and economic factors as well.” …Donaldson declined to comment on the possibility of further closures.

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B.C. flood and fire response to be examined in independent review

By Jamie Kehler
CBC News
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government’s response to unprecedented spring flooding and a devastating summer of wildfires will soon be examined in an external review commissioned by the province. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson confirmed the review Tuesday. “Just the scope of the natural disasters, going from the flood into the fires, we felt it demanded an indepedent oversight review,” he said. B.C. communities, particularly in the Interior, coped with widespread flooding in May and June, followed almost immediately by the worst wildfire season the province has ever seen. …John Rustad, the Liberal MLA for Nechako Lakes calls the review “much needed.” …Donaldson hopes the independent review will be ready for the spring, so any recommendations can be applied to next year’s fire season.

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Forest destruction takes tragic toll on wildlife

By Donna Crossland, Healthy Forest Coalition, Tupperville
The Chronicle Herald
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Donna Crossland

…Between 30,000 and 50,000 hectares of forests are clearcut annually with no thought given to wildlife habitat — i.e., is there sufficient food and winter shelter remaining on the landscape in the form of protective forest canopies, large hollow trees, seed crops and browse? Have we already removed too much forest on a given landscape to allow the bobcat to survive? A black bear was found curled up in a depression in a large clearcut one winter, reported wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft. No cover was available. …Wildlife is not factored into forestry decisions, other than leaving tiny remnant patches for a rare bird or lichen, or for occasional mainland moose (nearly gone), or creating those utterly ridiculous “wildlife clumps” that have little basis in ecosystem science.

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Kansas forestland acreage decreases for first time in 81 years

High Plains Journal
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For 81 years, the forests and woodlands of Kansas have been inventoried by the U.S. Forest Service in collaboration with the Kansas Forest Service at Kansas State University to track changes in the size and condition of this valuable resource. The most recent inventory information … provides insights into how much of Kansas is forested and with what types of trees. Forest land in Kansas has increased in area almost every year, from 1.2 million acres in 1936 to 2.4 million acres in 2016. For the first time since 1936, however, instead of forestland increasing in area, it decreased… It is unclear what caused the reduction, but it may be associated with the purposeful removal of trees in woody encroached grasslands and the conversion of riparian forest into cropland, according to Bob Atchison, rural forestry coordinator with the Kansas Forest Service.

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Southern Oregon Megafire May Help Supress Devastating Tree Disease

By Jes Burns
Oregon Public Broadcasting
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…It’s called a weed wash. This is the front line in preventing the spread of sudden oak death, a plant disease that is killing trees by the thousands along Oregon’s south coast.  Tanoaks are the primary species affected, although there are dozens of the plants and shrubs that can be carriers. Sudden oak death has had ecological as well as economic consequences for the timber and plant nursery industries. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has quarantined part of Oregon’s south coast to keep the disease contained. …But there’s another side to this story. Scientists are looking at the possibility that the wildfire itself could actually help control the disease within Oregon. That’s because the only real tool they’ve had to slow the spread of sudden oak death in the past is fire.  

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Grizzly advocates can’t agree on what’s best for the bear

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With heated exchanges and soft warnings, a roomful of deeply invested wildlife advocates forecast stormy passage of a coming effort to end federal protection of grizzly bears in the northern Rocky Mountains. Last March, the federal government moved to remove roughly 700 grizzlies in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from Endangered Species Act protection and turn management over to state wildlife agencies. That likely will include a hunting season for grizzlies in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. …In a preview of what faces the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s Missoula meetings in November and December, an informal gathering on Tuesday debated what remains to be done before those northern continental divide bears reach recovery.

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5 firefighters hurt, homes evacuated as fire rages in Santa Cruz Mountains

By Trisha Thadani, Steve Rubenstein, Peter Fimrite and Kevin Fagan
SF Gate
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As if last week’s Wine Country infernos weren’t enough, a new wildfire broke out Tuesday in the Santa Cruz Mountains and quickly spread through dry brush and thick forest, igniting buildings and prompting numerous evacuations around Boulder Creek. Five firefighters were injured and at least four structures were destroyed before dawn after a building fire late Monday night ignited the hills and sent flames sweeping through trees. …The blaze had consumed 271 acres in the steep forested mountains of Santa Cruz County southwest of San Jose by Tuesday evening and was only 5 percent contained.

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Working forests work for Florida: Guestview

By David S. Lewis – Southern Forestry Consultants, Inc.
Pensacola News Journal
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

David Lewis

Forests are on the front page recently for all the wrong reasons. …But, I’m here to offer a more positive story about the future of forests and how they can help improve our lives in Florida. …Rural economic development continues to be a focus here in Florida. As we search for ways to jumpstart our local economies, we should look no further than the forests that surround us, which comprise 50 percent of the state’s land area. …Research clearly shows that in the South, utilizing more wood generates more investments and more forests… Wood fiber is certainly not just for furniture and toilet paper anymore. Wood fiber can already be found in 5,000 everyday products from lumber to your cell phone screen. Soon we will see more tall wood buildings, wood fibers making products stronger, and planes and cars fueled by wood-based biofuel.

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Swift parrot ‘massacre’ looming as campaign starts to fund predator-proof nest boxes

By Peta Carlyon
ABC News, Australia
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Conservation scientists have launched an urgent crowd-funding campaign in a bid to stop what they’re calling a potential “parrot massacre” on Tasmania’s east coast. The one-week campaign will try …to build 100 solar-panelled gated nest boxes to protect the critically endangered swift parrots from hungry sugar gliders. …Dr Stojanovic said the crowd-funding protection measures were needed due to ongoing deforestation of the swift parrot habitat, by logging. Birdlife Tasmania’s Dr Eric Woehler said … “It’s a shocking indictment on the State Government when crowd funding is required to raise $40,000 for a critically-endangered species,” he said. While the Government had moved to halt logging on Bruny Island to protect the swift parrot habitat, Dr Woehler said he also had concerns about ongoing deforestation of the specie’s habitat in other parts of Tasmania. 

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Bob Brown wins high court challenge to Tasmanian anti-protest laws

By Michael Slezak
The Guardian
October 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown has won a landmark high court fight against Tasmanian anti-protest laws passed in 2014 and under which he was charged in 2016. Brown, the third person arrested under the Workplaces (Protection from Protesters) Act 2014, argued the laws directly targeted implied freedom of political expression in the constitution and were therefore unconstitutional. The landmark case stemmed from Brown’s arrest while filming a video about an anti-logging protest at Lapoinya state forest in Tasmania’s north-west in January 2016. The Tasmanian government dropped the charges against Brown and his co-arrestee, Jessica Hoyt, once they mounted the high court challenge but Brown continued the challenge to protect future environmental actions.

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Deforestation drops for first time in three years in Brazil’s Amazon

By Jake Spring
Reuters in Business Insider
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRASILIA – Deforestation in Brazil’s Amazon fell 16 percent in the year to July 2017 compared to the same period a year prior, the first decline in three years, the country’s environment minister said on Tuesday. Reasons for the decline included stepped-up enforcement and refinements in real-time monitoring that allow for rapid response to deforestation, Minister Jose Sarney Filho told a news conference at the presidential palace in the capital, Brasilia. However, Paulo Barreto, a senior researcher for non-profit Amazon institute Imazon, said economic recession in Brazil and a drop in livestock prices were likely the major cause for the decline. The cattle industry is a major contributor to deforestation.

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DNA feat could boost star forestry species

By Jamie Morton
New Zealand Herald
October 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A world-first DNA feat by New Zealand scientists could boost the way we grow the star species of our plantation forests. By completing a draft assembly of the radiata pine’s genetic make-up, or genome, researchers at Crown research institute Scion have opened the door to a new era of precision forestry for the critically important species. …With this knowledge, the forestry industry could breed trees with their desired characteristics – hastening the current method of selective breeding that can take decades to produce superior trees. Once geneticists understood the genome better, there could be yet more advances. “We could breed a whole range of different trees – from construction timber to biofuels.” Another major advantage could be in mitigating the effects of climate change and disease.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Land management could be key in climate change battle

By Victoria Gibson
The Toronto Star
October 16, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

To combat climate change, every country on Earth could stop the burning of oil completely. Or they could simply pay attention to the way they manage their land. In a groundbreaking new study — led by scientists from the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy, along with 15 other institutions worldwide including Cornell University and the Brazilian government — land stewardship is put front and centre in the fight against climate change. In what they’ve called the first analysis of its kind, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers quantified the potential impact of 20 land-based actions that could be taken to ease human impacts on the Earth’s environment. …Their biggest solution is straightforward: more trees. 

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Climate change is putting more homes at risk of wildfire

By Tina Casey
Inman News
October 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Last week’s wildfire disaster in Northern California has drawn renewed attention to the impact of climate change on patterns of real estate development. As a counterpoint to the attraction of waterfront property despite hurricane risks, the beauty of Northern California and other western regions has always been accompanied by a certain level of wildfire risk. Until now, that risk seemed like a relatively small tradeoff for a quality of life that ranges from pleasant to absolutely stunning. However, with thousands of homes burned to the ground and the death count rising, the risk factor is also worth reevaluating.

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‘Energy dash for biomass’ risks wasting potential of EU’s bioeconomy

By Sylvain Lhôte, Director General, Confederation of European Paper Industries
EurActiv
October 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Sylvain Lhôte

The European Union is setting new accounting rules for carbon emissions or removals from land and forestry with its new land use, land use change and forestry regulation (LULUCF). Meanwhile it is also defining sustainability criteria for the use of forest resources in the renewable energy directive. By doing so, the EU is outlining the pace of development for forest-based industries for decades to come. By failing to take a holistic approach and treat these dossiers as separate and distinct issues, the EU is slicing Europe’s bioeconomy up like a piece of salami. The European Parliament discussions on LULUCF should have been an opportunity to boost the role EU forests play in mitigating climate change. But the debate has unfortunately been polarised as one between those asking for a historic cap on the use of forest resources and those calling for a more dynamic model, representative of current levels of forest growth. Lessons can certainly be drawn from this debate.

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