News

Retirees wanted a place to hike, so they built their own trails

Posted by on Jun 11, 2018 @ 9:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When it comes to being young at heart, the residents at Tellico Village are trailblazers. In 2017, a group of residents wanted hiking trails, but the cost would have been too substantial to take on. They decided to build trails themselves. “As retirees, it’s great when you accomplish something like this,” said Jim Lilley, a resident and athletics director at Tellico Village. “It’s a great accomplishment.” The crew building the trails is a mix of gender, age and background, according to Brian Johnson, a new resident. “I’m...

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Tower of Trash

Posted by on Jun 10, 2018 @ 11:47 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tower of Trash

Our planet has a population of over 7.5 billion people and as a result we dump a massive 2.12 billion tons of waste per year. This is partly because 99% of the stuff we buy gets thrown out within 6 months of purchasing – this isn’t including food, human, electronic and medical waste either. This waste ends up in a variety of different locations; landfill sites, dumps, and worst of all the ocean. If it continues at its current rate, in 10 years time there could be over 80 million tons of plastic floating in our seas – and that...

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In Chile, a Gorgeous, Very Rainy and Sometimes Lonely Journey

Posted by on Jun 10, 2018 @ 9:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

In Chile, a Gorgeous, Very Rainy and Sometimes Lonely Journey

The “Route of Parks” should be emblazoned in your mind: “Road trip!” Technically, the “route” is a rebranding of a portion of Chile’s epic Southern Highway, or Carretera Austral, which stretches from the industrial city of Puerto Montt in the north to the skinny tip of the country in the south. As part of that, this January, the Chilean government signed an accord with the nonprofit Tompkins Conservation to place an additional 10 million acres of combined public and private parkland under its protection. The goal is to create a...

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Cradle of Forestry Invites All Ages to Pink Beds BioBlitz

Posted by on Jun 9, 2018 @ 4:34 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Cradle of Forestry Invites All Ages to Pink Beds BioBlitz

The Cradle of Forestry in America invites nature enthusiasts of all ages and knowledge levels to the Pink Beds BioBlitz on Saturday, June 16, 2018. Be a citizen scientist with naturalists and forest scientists to discover the diversity of life in this special part of Pisgah National Forest, and add to knowledge gained about the area. Those who would like to participate can come the day of to the Cradle of Forestry in America’s outdoor amphitheater before 1:00pm. Following a brief welcome they will split into zones throughout the Pink...

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See a black bear while hiking? Don’t panic; follow these steps

Posted by on Jun 9, 2018 @ 9:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

See a black bear while hiking? Don’t panic; follow these steps

  It might be easy to think you won’t run into a bear while on a hike – but it can happen, and it’s important to always be prepared. Colorado Parks and Wildlife gave a few tips for what to do if you run into a bear on the trail. If you surprise the bear, you should: stay calm stay still let the bear identify you before leaving the area When leaving the scene, back away from the bear and avoid turning your back to it. Running from the bear can make you appear as a threat. Talk in a normal tone of voice if other people are present and...

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Crane’s Nest Nature Center & Store: Historical Context

Posted by on Jun 8, 2018 @ 8:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Crane’s Nest Nature Center & Store:  Historical Context

The building that currently houses the Crane’s Nest Nature Center & Store at Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon was built in the mid-1930s by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, at the same time as many of the other structures at Refuge Headquarters. In fact, most of the historic infrastructure located throughout Malheur Refuge was installed by CCC crews stationed there between 1935-1942. The stone blocks used to construct many of these buildings-including the one housing Crane’s Nest-were quarried near Buena...

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Why the loss of amphibians matters

Posted by on Jun 6, 2018 @ 7:53 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Why the loss of amphibians matters

Amphibians matter to humans more than we tend to realize. The number of amphibian species around the world has been plummeting at an incredibly rapid rate in recent decades, and this decline poses a serious threat. About 200 species of frogs have vanished since 1980, according to a 2015 study. These extinctions are due to many factors, including herbicides, habitat loss, invasive species, general pollution and chytrid fungus. The latter causes chytridiomycosis, which Save the Frogs calls “quite possibly the worst disease in recorded...

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Recreation is redefining the value of Western public lands

Posted by on Jun 5, 2018 @ 7:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Recreation is redefining the value of Western public lands

Once, the West’s public lands were valued primarily for the timber, minerals and fossil fuels they held, which were extracted and then sold around the world. In the 1970s, more than two dozen Western counties relied on timber for at least a fifth of their revenue, while energy companies expanded onto public lands for coal and natural gas. Small communities swelled with loggers and miners and the businesses that supported them, providing an economy that helped preserve the West’s rural feel. Today, though, natural resource economies are...

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The water war that will decide the fate of 1 in 8 Americans

Posted by on Jun 4, 2018 @ 8:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The water war that will decide the fate of 1 in 8 Americans

Lake Mead is the country’s biggest reservoir of water. Think of it as the savings account for the entire Southwest. Right now, that savings account is nearly overdrawn. For generations, we’ve been using too much of the Colorado River, the 300-foot-wide ribbon of water that carved the Grand Canyon, supplies Lake Mead, and serves as the main water source for much of the American West. The river sustains one in eight Americans — about 40 million people — and millions of acres of farmland. In the next 40 years, the region is expected to add at...

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Preparation Tips for First-time Plus Size Hikers

Posted by on Jun 3, 2018 @ 7:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Preparation Tips for First-time Plus Size Hikers

You may be overwhelmed before you even start your first hike. You may also be so worried about your physical ability to hike, your stamina, and safety that you are hesitant to even set foot on the trail. There is plenty of advice on the Internet. As a first-time plus size hiker, accept the challenge to get outside and enjoy nature. Don’t wait until you lose that 20 pounds you’ve been dreaming of or until you get to some future fitness goal. If you keep putting it off, you will never get out on the trail. The best part of hiking is that your...

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Megafires, Wildland Fires, and Prescribed Burns

Posted by on Jun 2, 2018 @ 9:12 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Megafires, Wildland Fires, and Prescribed Burns

Healthy forests are important for clean and abundant water supplies. A recent USDA Forest Service study examined how wildland fires, including megafires, and prescribed burns affect river flow. The study is the first nationwide look at fire impacts on surface freshwater resources. Led by Dennis Hallema, research hydrologist and ORISE fellow, the research team analyzed three decades of data on fires — along with climate and river flow datasets from 168 river basins in the lower 48 states. “The impacts of wildland fires on water resources are...

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A Truckload of Plastic Enters Our Oceans Every Single Minute—This Has to Stop

Posted by on Jun 1, 2018 @ 7:37 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A Truckload of Plastic Enters Our Oceans Every Single Minute—This Has to Stop

Our oceans are facing a plastic pollution crisis. The equivalent of a truckload of plastic enters our oceans every single minute, every day, all year long. Not only are plastics entangling and killing marine life, they are ending up on our plates through the seafood we eat and polluting our tap water. More and more people are realizing that this is a crisis we must tackle urgently, but beach cleanups and recycling aren’t going to cut it. The scale of the issue is far too large for us to focus our efforts on waste management alone. Since the...

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You’ve Never Seen National Parks Looking Like This Before

Posted by on May 31, 2018 @ 7:29 am in Conservation | 0 comments

You’ve Never Seen National Parks Looking Like This Before

The world’s national parks are a unique natural resource. Not only for their biological diversity but also for their beauty and accessibility – many are otherworldly, an environment alien to our everyday but close enough to travel to with relative ease. Every park is different too. So whether you’re looking to explore waterfalls or lakes, jungles or deserts, glaciers or mountaintops, there’s a national park to showcase them in all their natural wonder. To stoke the fires of your inspiration, expedia.ca has done something a little different...

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Hikers’ paradise: walking holidays in Dolomites Val Gardena

Posted by on May 30, 2018 @ 7:20 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hikers’ paradise: walking holidays in Dolomites Val Gardena

The beauty of the Dolomites is beguiling. The minute you set eyes on the towering peaks, the stretch of the Alps that looms over north-eastern Italy, you’ll want to get up close to them. Thankfully the mountain range has some of the finest and most accessible alpine walking routes in Europe. The Dolomites Val Gardena region in the southeast of South Tyrol is the place to seek out some of the Dolomites’ most dramatic scenery. The valley is criss-crossed with a network of natural hiking trails, so be sure to pack good walking shoes. Early...

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Clearing a path: It takes a village to keep North Country trail ready

Posted by on May 29, 2018 @ 9:42 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Clearing a path: It takes a village to keep North Country trail ready

Leaving civilization behind, hikers on the North Country Trail come for the beauty, the views, the solitude and the forests. “It’s the longest, skinniest National Park in the nation being four feet wide and 4,600 miles long, and people from all across the nation come and they especially come to the western U.P. [Michigan] in general to see our trees,” said Connie Julien, president of the Peter Wolfe Chapter. The stretch of trail includes the Trap Hills and some of the best views on the North Country Trail, Julien said. This remote, foot...

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Connecticut Hikers, Are You Up To The Challenge Of These 14 Trails?

Posted by on May 28, 2018 @ 8:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Connecticut Hikers, Are You Up To The Challenge Of These 14 Trails?

Along a hill overlooking the Connecticut River in Cromwell, boys once watched sailing ships ply the waters as they passed a blow hole that shot water from a narrow canyon as the tide rose. Pitch pines and moss-covered rocks fill a craggy hilltop with a sheer drop to a pond covered with lilies and a forested view of two states. Welcome to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Sky’s The Limit adventure that dares hikers to seek the highest points, views or destination points along 14 “lesser-known” hiking trails across...

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New national parks around the world

Posted by on May 27, 2018 @ 8:21 am in Conservation | 0 comments

New national parks around the world

Southern Chile is famous for Torres del Paine national park in Patagonia but much more of the region’s spectacular landscape is now being made accessible. Donations of vast tracts of wilderness by foundations run by US philanthropists and environmentalists to the Chilean state has led to the creation of national reserves covering 4.45m hectares. 17 national parks and reserves are now linked by the 770-mile Route of Parks, which starts in the port city of Puerto Montt on the doorstep of Alerce Andino National Park and continues south to the...

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Hiking in Germany: Wandering as a national pastime

Posted by on May 26, 2018 @ 10:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking in Germany: Wandering as a national pastime

Early morning misty clouds wander around the steep, vineyard-covered hills of Germany’s Ahr Valley, enticing hikers to hit the trails to enjoy nature — and maybe some wine. But it’s not just any day to tie up the boots; it’s national Day of Hiking, marking the German Hiking Association’s (DWV) foundation on May 14, 1883. Hiking, or “Wandern” in German, is the most popular outdoor activity in the country, with 68 percent of Germans every year hitting an extensive 200,000-kilometer (125,000-mile) trail...

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A dose of nature: doctors prescribe a day in the park for anxiety

Posted by on May 25, 2018 @ 7:41 am in Conservation | 0 comments

A dose of nature: doctors prescribe a day in the park for anxiety

For many patients, like Lauren Huddle, 31, a big dose of Mother Nature is exactly what she needs after a stressful day. “I have pretty bad anxiety and depression,” said Huddle of Bellingham, Washington. “And I don’t do well with pharmaceuticals, so my husband Nate would actually tell me all the time, ‘just go outside, you’ll feel so much better.’” And that’s exactly the plan that Lauren and her doctor laid out. The Huddle’s family physician wrote her a prescription that read: “Five times a week… spend 30 minutes at a park...

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Here Are 7 Ways to Be Sustainable — Without Breaking the Bank

Posted by on May 24, 2018 @ 9:28 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Here Are 7 Ways to Be Sustainable — Without Breaking the Bank

When you have everything, it’s really easy to take things for granted. You know, when you can easily afford to buy a new tube of toothpaste, you don’t need to squeeze every last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, and then cut it open to get more of the paste that didn’t squeeze out, just to keep from having to spend money on more toothpaste in that moment. That might sound like a bit much to some, but the practice is actually resourceful and sustainable: How biodegradable is your toothpaste container? Why waste a few day’s worth of toothpaste...

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Five Reasons to Hike the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Posted by on May 23, 2018 @ 7:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Five Reasons to Hike the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie was established in 1996, making it the first national tallgrass prairie and the closest federally protected outdoors area to Chicago. It is less than 50 miles from Chicago down Interstate 55. And yet, despite this, many Chicagoans have not heard about it. Illinois used to be covered in tallgrass prairie. This is why it is called the “Prairie State.” In 1870 there were 22 million acres of prairie land. By 1978, only 2,300 acres of true prairie remained. This is less than 1%. Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie...

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How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections

Posted by on May 22, 2018 @ 8:19 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How Trump’s EPA Is Moving to Undo Fracking Wastewater Protections

Back in 2008, residents of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and surrounding areas received a notice in the mail advising them to drink bottled water instead of tap water—a move that U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) internal memos at the time described as “one of the largest failures in U.S. history to supply clean drinking water to the public.” The culprit: wastewater from oil and gas drilling and coal mines. This included fracking wastewater that state officials had allowed to be dumped at local sewer plants—facilities...

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When planning a hike on an active volcano, safety before spectacle

Posted by on May 21, 2018 @ 7:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

When planning a hike on an active volcano, safety before spectacle

Peering over the craggy rim of Erta Ale, Ethiopia’s most active volcano, at the lava lake below. Beneath a gassy haze, boiling, ruby-red, molten rock thickened and rose up, swelling like a tidal wave topped off by a fireworks of crashing surf. Earth is made up of blood and guts just like us. Take the opportunity to hike to the 2,011-foot summit of Erta Ale while planning a road trip across the ancient kingdoms and lakes of Ethiopia’s Rift Valley. The East African Rift runs through Ethiopia’s crusty, northeastern Afar Region. There, the...

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Adopt a hiking trail on National Trails Day 2018

Posted by on May 20, 2018 @ 7:41 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Adopt a hiking trail on National Trails Day 2018

Saturday, June 2, 2018 people across the country will come together to collectively improve 2,802 miles of trails across the U.S. The Laurentian Lakes Chapter (LLC) of the North Country Trail invites you to join this nationwide effort by attending a Trail Adopter Day at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge. A light lunch will be served at noon followed by an overview of what’s involved in being a trail adopter. National Trails Day is sponsored by the American Hiking Society each June to encourage people to improve a trail as well as...

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23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage destinations in the U.S. and why you should visit them

Posted by on May 19, 2018 @ 6:56 am in Conservation | 0 comments

23 breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage destinations in the U.S. and why you should visit them

Most likely, you have been to a UNESCO World Heritage site in the United States without knowing it. Remember that Griswoldian summer vacation to the Grand Canyon? The high school field trip to Independence Hall in Philadelphia? The college tour of the University of Virginia? Congratulations! That’s three in your pocket. But don’t stop now. You can collect all 23, intentionally or accidentally. For more than 40 years, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and its nearly 200 member states have been preserving,...

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Best of the burden: Smokies mules make backcountry operations possible

Posted by on May 18, 2018 @ 9:31 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Best of the burden: Smokies mules make backcountry operations possible

In popular culture mules get a bad rap, cast as stubborn, ornery and even mischievous. But Danny Gibson, animal packer for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, spends more time with mules than just about anybody around, and he’s quick to jump to their defense. “They have that notorious reputation of being stubborn, but they’re not really stubborn — they just don’t want to get hurt,” said Gibson. “It’s self-preservation. If it doesn’t look safe, a horse will just walk over it, but a mule’s like, ‘Eh, I don’t know about that.’ They are...

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Blue Ridge Parkway traffic in Asheville area will slow for ‘pavement preservation’

Posted by on May 17, 2018 @ 11:54 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Blue Ridge Parkway traffic in Asheville area will slow for ‘pavement preservation’

The sweet hum of spring and summer on the Blue Ridge Parkway will be slightly stifled with slower traffic and single-lane closures as a major repaving project gets underway. The road work is in an effort to upgrade the more than 80-year-old scenic motor road and keep it from crumbling under the weight of 16.1 million visitors a year. The National Park Service is undertaking a “pavement preservation” project on more than 65 miles of the parkway between Milepost 359 to the road’s terminus at Milepost 469 in Cherokee. Work is starting at MP 359,...

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Friends Helping Friends – Invasive Weed Removal

Posted by on May 17, 2018 @ 7:58 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Friends Helping Friends – Invasive Weed Removal

Friends of Roan Mountain have a great opportunity to assist the Roan Mountain State Park. Japanese Knot Weed Removal on June 2, 2018 This event is part of a new partnership with RMSP with a commitment of service to the park. This is where you get to be an active part of the relationship. Join in on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at the Park to assist in the removal of the invasive Japanese Knot Weed. Meet at the park headquarters at 9 am. Participants should wear sturdy boots, long pants and bring gloves. The park will provide tools....

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Someone, somewhere, is making a banned chemical that destroys the ozone layer, scientists suspect

Posted by on May 16, 2018 @ 5:09 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Someone, somewhere, is making a banned chemical that destroys the ozone layer, scientists suspect

Emissions of a banned, ozone-depleting chemical are on the rise, a group of scientists reported, suggesting someone may be secretly manufacturing the pollutant in violation of an international accord. Emissions of CFC-11 have climbed 25 percent since 2012, despite the chemical being part of a group of ozone pollutants that were phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. “I’ve been making these measurements for more than 30 years, and this is the most surprising thing I’ve seen,” said Stephen Montzka, a scientist with the National Oceanic...

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This could be the biggest advance in aluminum production in 130 years

Posted by on May 16, 2018 @ 7:25 am in Conservation | 0 comments

This could be the biggest advance in aluminum production in 130 years

Apple, the largest publicly traded company in the world, joined a major collaboration last week that could change how it gets one of the key components that makes its ubiquitous gadgets look so sleek: aluminum. And it is looking as though, simply by seeking out a greener component for iPhones and Macs, the tech giant just might push an entire industry in a new direction. Along with major U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa and multinational mining behemoth Rio Tinto, Apple announced a collaboration in Canada to fund a technology that, the companies...

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Are electric cars worse for the environment?

Posted by on May 15, 2018 @ 12:20 pm in Conservation | 0 comments

Are electric cars worse for the environment?

  If you believe the headlines, traditional automobiles are speeding toward a dead end. All those V8s, V6s and turbocharged vehicles we’ve grown to love will soon be replaced by squadrons of clean, whisper-quiet, all-electric vehicles. And if you believe the headlines, the environment will be much better off. Policymakers at every level have done their part to push electric vehicles by creating a tankful of subsidies. All of this might make sense if electric vehicles, as their supporters claim, were truly likely to reduce air...

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Ten Springtime Outdoor Safety Tips

Posted by on May 15, 2018 @ 6:59 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Ten Springtime Outdoor Safety Tips

That first warm and sunny day of the spring practically begs us to run outside and hit the trail again. As everything turns green and wildflowers shout their colors, spring can be one of the most exciting times to explore our National Forests. Regardless if this is your 50th or 5th spring hitting the trails or finding the perfect early season camp spot, it’s always a good idea to review safety. Spring weather is fickle. The day may start out clear and sunny and before you know it, snow is falling. Be sure to pack extra layers of clothing,...

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Red wolf status grim, review says

Posted by on May 14, 2018 @ 7:19 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Red wolf status grim, review says

  A five-year red wolf status review, released April 24, 2018 showed that only about 40 red wolves are left in the wild with only three known breeding pairs remaining. The review, released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, recommends no change in the red wolf’s status as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The USFWS is expected to release a new proposed rule by late summer with alternatives for public comment covering future management of the “non-essential, experimental population” of red wolves in eastern North...

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WNC experts discuss sustainability of outdoor recreation

Posted by on May 13, 2018 @ 7:47 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

WNC experts discuss sustainability of outdoor recreation

Head into Pisgah National Forest on any day of the week, and you’ll find activity out on the trails. From hikers standing atop Max Patch bald, enjoying stunning views of Mount Mitchell, to mountain bikers riding beside white pine and mountain laurel on the Foster Creek Trail, outdoors enthusiasts take advantage of Pisgah as just one of Western North Carolina’s hot spots for recreation. Over 1.6 million acres of national forest across the region beckon hikers, bikers, climbers, rafters and hunters, among others, to enjoy the outdoors. The...

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