News

The best travel films for hikers and nature lovers to watch during self-quarantine

Posted by on Apr 9, 2020 @ 6:35 am in Film Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

The best travel films for hikers and nature lovers to watch during self-quarantine

While some may miss the bustling chaos of city life during the worldwide lockdown, others sheltering in place can’t wait to break out of their cabins and into the great outdoors — void of walls and screens. It may be awhile before we can break free and run wild — and in less than 6 feet of one another. But in the meantime, we can turn to storytellers and movie makers who have made some of the world’s most stunning, natural surroundings into secondary characters in their films. In many of the movies, a protagonist sets off on a...

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“Through the Great Southwest:” A Documentary about The Arizona Trail

Posted by on Apr 8, 2020 @ 6:49 am in Film Reviews, Hiking News | 0 comments

“Through the Great Southwest:” A Documentary about The Arizona Trail

Through the Great Southwest is a newly released documentary film in which Darwin Rakestraw makes his directorial debut, in partnership with the Arizona Trail Association. The film follows the community behind the 800-mile Arizona National Scenic Trail (AZT) that spans the length of Arizona, between Mexico and Utah. A trail deeply diverse in geography and history, the AZT is truly a modern multipurpose trail—loved and used by an array of hikers, runners, riders, equestrians, and supporters from across the state. The film showcases the stunning...

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Research indicates high levels of microplastics in WNC waters

Posted by on Apr 7, 2020 @ 6:48 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Research indicates high levels of microplastics in WNC waters

Jason Love got interested in microplastics by way of mussels. A wildlife biologist by education and training, he’d long been interested in the reasons behind the decline of Southern Appalachian mussel species, and in particular that of the federally endangered Appalachian elktoe. He was interested while working in his previous position as site manager for Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory, and he’s interested now in his new position as associate director of the Highlands Biological Station. “It used to have a stronghold in the Little Tennessee...

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Farmworkers are risking their lives to feed a nation on lockdown

Posted by on Apr 6, 2020 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Farmworkers are risking their lives to feed a nation on lockdown

You can’t pick strawberries over Zoom. As strawberry-picking season kicks into high gear in April and May, farmworker advocates fear that a lack of worker safety protections, combined with a lack of access to health care and crowded living conditions, could lead to a major COVID-19 outbreak in farmworker communities across California. As other crops are harvested throughout the spring, much of the rest of the country faces a similar risk. For a working population particularly vulnerable due to economic insecurity, exposure to pesticides,...

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As temperatures rise, Arizona sinks

Posted by on Apr 5, 2020 @ 6:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

As temperatures rise, Arizona sinks

Arizona is sinking. The combination of groundwater pumping and warmer temperatures is shrinking aquifers and lowering water tables. And as the land subsides, fissures open, 2-mile wounds that devour infrastructure and swallow livestock. Four of Arizona’s five economic pillars — cattle, cotton, citrus and copper — use huge amounts of water, while the fifth, the state’s climate, is changing, making water scarcer. Development and growth are intensifying the problem, despite relief from state laws and the existence of the Central Arizona Project,...

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The Best Backpacking Tents According to Thru-Hikers

Posted by on Apr 4, 2020 @ 6:23 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Best Backpacking Tents According to Thru-Hikers

To pinpoint the best backpacking tents, look for sage advice from thru-hikers who’ve tracked the toughest, longest miles with their gear. Thru-hikers haul their kit for thousands of miles through a spectrum of weather, terrain, wildlife, and obstacles. At a trek’s end, gear is either a benediction or extraneous dead weight. A handful of impressive thru-hikers help you find the best backpacking tents on the market. One thing to look for is that the shelter’s frame is established with tent poles rather than trekking poles. With tent poles, the...

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Hiking voted best recreation activity at Lake Tahoe

Posted by on Apr 3, 2020 @ 6:28 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking voted best recreation activity at Lake Tahoe

After the final tally of votes, hiking is the most beloved outdoor recreational activity at Lake Tahoe. Hiking beat out skiing/snowboarding in a close vote in the championship round to claim the recreation crown. It was a heavy-hitting semifinals with kayaking and mountain biking just falling short and finishing third and fourth, respectively. Other activities in the contest included waterskiing, trail running, swimming, disc golf, golf, boating, road biking, fishing, camping, stand up paddle, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. But then we knew...

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‘Forest bathing’ is path to peace

Posted by on Apr 2, 2020 @ 7:07 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘Forest bathing’ is path to peace

Shinrin-yoku. The term originated in Japan. In the 1980s this label was attached to a physiological and psychological exercise. It translates to “forest bathing” — simply absorbing and appreciating the atmosphere of a forest. You don’t have to immerse yourself in some far-off wilderness. Just walking in any natural environment and making an effort to connect with your surroundings is beneficial. Some of us may be lucky enough to live in an area where we can simply step out our back door to enjoy some quietude, serenity and clean, crisp, fresh...

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It’s Important to Keep Talking About Climate Change Now

Posted by on Apr 1, 2020 @ 6:44 am in Conservation | 0 comments

It’s Important to Keep Talking About Climate Change Now

In the midst of a pandemic with an immediate and visible toll on human life and the economy, other ongoing crises have fallen lower on the public’s radar. But environmentalists are finding ways to keep climate change relevant by advocating loudly for an agenda that protects people as well as the planet. A consensus seems to be emerging from environmental groups that climate change and coronavirus are both massive global problems that may require similar strategies to solve. Each requires a combination of individual action and sweeping,...

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The deep science state

Posted by on Mar 31, 2020 @ 7:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The deep science state

Since President Trump took office in 2017, environmental protection has been under assault. As of December, 2019, the administration had completed at least 58 rollbacks of environmental rules. The good news is that government scientists and lawyers are inserting statistics and data about the dire consequences of proposed rule changes into the technical documents that accompany them. Those figures could help environmental groups challenge the new rules in the courts. For example, in the EPA’s analysis of an Obama-era rule that limits the...

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Some common sense tips to keep you (and others) safe when hiking

Posted by on Mar 30, 2020 @ 6:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Some common sense tips to keep you (and others) safe when hiking

Good hygiene and maintaining the appropriate social distance are central themes in this checklist of recommendations for hikers during this time of COVID-19: Keep your hands clean. Use wet wipes and hand sanitizer. Better yet, use biodegradable soap and water to scrub your hands, well away from water sources, of course. Don’t share anything. Your utensils, cup, bowl and water bottles are yours alone. Keep the errant fingers of others out of your GORP or Fritos bag. Don’t touch. Keep fingers away from your eyes, nose and mouth. Avoid contact...

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‘We’re closed for your hiking business.’ Communities near national parks urge non-locals to stay away.

Posted by on Mar 29, 2020 @ 6:50 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

‘We’re closed for your hiking business.’ Communities near national parks urge non-locals to stay away.

Josh Berman, a Spanish teacher from Boulder, Colo., had been looking forward to his rafting trip with his 12-year-old for more than a year. As a father of three daughters, he annually alternates taking each one on an outdoor adventure. This year’s 45-mile rafting trip on the Green River from Colorado to Utah was easily the most off-the-grid excursion yet, and he and his daughter could barely contain their excitement. But when the coronavirus pandemic hit, Berman immediately pulled out of the trip. He knew they would be traveling through tiny...

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Keeping the doorstep green: Canton likely to receive 448 acres for outdoor rec

Posted by on Mar 28, 2020 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Keeping the doorstep green: Canton likely to receive 448 acres for outdoor rec

  If all goes as planned, Canton, NC will soon have a 448-acre park for hiking, mountain biking and other outdoor recreation activities just a mile from town limits. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy hopes to close on the property, known as the Chestnut Mountain Tract and currently owned by Canton Motorsports LLC, within the next couple months. “It’s amazing what’s going to happen, not just for quality of life and economic development, but also at the end of the day we preserve 450 acres which could have been developed...

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Is life during coronavirus how we will live during climate change?

Posted by on Mar 27, 2020 @ 6:42 am in Conservation | 0 comments

So will this animation around COVID-19 translate to a climate revolution? The difficult thing about climate change, versus coronavirus, is that, until very recently, it appeared to be a far-off probability versus an impending threat. It’s really hard to get people to do things that are challenging or even just inconvenient to preemptively address a distant, not-certain threat. There’s been a general lack of real talk when it comes to the level of change needed — yes, even in your own life — to avoid the most serious consequences of global...

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How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be

Posted by on Mar 26, 2020 @ 6:58 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Know How Hard a Hike Will Be

“How hard will that hike be?” That’s a question that all dayhikers and backpackers, from beginners to experts, think about all the time—and it’s not always easy to answer. But there are ways of evaluating the difficulty of any hike, using readily available information, that can greatly help you understand what to expect before you even leave home. Whether you’re new to dayhiking or backpacking, a parent planning a hike with young kids, or a fit and experienced dayhiker or backpacker contemplating one of the toughest hikes you’ve ever...

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No, Sheltering in Place Doesn’t Include Hiking in Crowds

Posted by on Mar 25, 2020 @ 7:12 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

No, Sheltering in Place Doesn’t Include Hiking in Crowds

In locked-down America, the outdoors is one of the only places left to go. And everyone seems to be going. Leaders and health officials around the country are struggling to balance the need for separation with the need for escape and exercise. Southern California’s always-jammed roads were eerily quiet the first weekend of a statewide lockdown meant to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, but bumper-to-bumper traffic found a new venue: local hiking trails. So many Californians headed outdoors, state and local officials reversed earlier...

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The Leave No Trace Recommendations for Getting Outside During Covid-19

Posted by on Mar 24, 2020 @ 7:01 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The Leave No Trace Recommendations for Getting Outside During Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic is rapidly altering our daily life. It is important to be aware of the most current information from the CDC on these changes, and that goes for changes to the way we spend time outside as well. To keep ourselves, our communities, and our outdoor spaces safe and healthy during this time, please consider these recommendations. Where COVID-19 is spiking, it may not be possible to get out at all, so pay close attention to guidance in your community before heading outside. Then follow social distancing guidance, meaning...

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How To Be A Climate Activist During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted by on Mar 23, 2020 @ 6:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

How To Be A Climate Activist During The Coronavirus Pandemic

April was supposed to be a huge month for climate action. The plan was to have a month of global mobilization with thousands of protests and events planned by almost 1 million different organizations working together. Activists had hoped to build on the success of last September’s worldwide climate strikes, which saw 8 million people take to the streets to demand action. And with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day next month, campaigners predicted millions of people would again be out on the streets in countries across the globe, trying to...

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Spring Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Posted by on Mar 22, 2020 @ 6:24 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Spring Wildflowers on the Blue Ridge Parkway

The promise of refreshing walks in the woods, colorful blooms, and a greener landscape on the Blue Ridge Parkway are bright spots during these stressful times. If you’re headed out to appreciate the diverse wildflowers that herald the season’s arrival, here are tips for the best viewing and staying safe. To plan your wildflower excursions, look to the trees for signs of the best opportunities. When leaves begin to bud, it’s a good time to head out. Don’t miss the cue, because once the leaves begin to fill in the canopy, the flowers are...

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A Backpacker’s Guide to Maps

Posted by on Mar 21, 2020 @ 7:15 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

A Backpacker’s Guide to Maps

Overview maps normally have a scale of between 1:50,000 and 1:100,000, meaning that one unit on the map (e.g., an inch, a centimeter, a thumbnail) equals 50,000 or 100,000 units in the field. While planning a trip, use these small-scale maps to develop a general understanding of the landscape, including the main watersheds, road systems, and trail networks. They aid with identifying a general route and potential alternates and working through logistics like travel, permits, and resupply points. In the field, overview maps are useful for...

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Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

Posted by on Mar 20, 2020 @ 7:10 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Despite the coronavirus, you can legally thru-hike the Appalachian Trail right now. But should you?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic that has dislodged the United States’ social order and crippled its economy, the question of whether or not to attempt a thru-hike has become an actual life-or-death conundrum—and a question of what it means to put strangers before yourself. A week ago, concerns about the coronavirus and thru-hiking centered mostly on supplies. With Americans making runs on cleaning wares and foods with long shelf lives, vendors like Mountain House and Good To-Go were running out of meals. In north Georgia, Mountain Crossings...

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Is It Safe To Go Hiking? Yes, With Caveats

Posted by on Mar 19, 2020 @ 6:45 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Is It Safe To Go Hiking? Yes, With Caveats

With so many of us stuck at home self-isolating or temporarily unable to work, people may be thinking about going for a hike. But is it safe? “Of course, but maintain a safe distance from others. There is no issue with going hiking with the people you live with,” says Chunhuei Chi, director of the Center for Global Health at Oregon State University. If you go hiking with friends or in small groups Chi recommends driving in separate cars to maintain a six-foot distance and not going out with a big group. He also encourages people to avoid...

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The National Park Service is selling out to telecom giants

Posted by on Mar 18, 2020 @ 7:10 am in Conservation | 0 comments

The National Park Service is selling out to telecom giants

There aren’t many places people can go these days to escape completely from the ubiquitous influence of social media, smartphones, Big Tech and telecom companies. The blank spots on the coverage maps are constantly shrinking, though not equally, and not everywhere. In many cases, the expansion of broadband coverage is necessary; telecom providers too often underserve rural areas, tribal nations and Black and Latino communities, for instance. Their exclusion from reliable coverage has a negative impact on everything from local economies to...

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Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs into dispute between trail advocates and environmentalists

Posted by on Mar 17, 2020 @ 7:06 am in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Bonneville Shoreline Trail runs into dispute between trail advocates and environmentalists

Utahns of all political stripes enjoy trails that connect their communities to the outdoors, but efforts to expand one of the state’s premier trails threaten to divide two groups of stakeholders that are normally allied on public lands issues: trail users and wilderness advocates. The Bonneville Shoreline Trail, which contours along parts of the Wasatch foothills, tracks the edge of what was once a vast lake. But most of it persists as mere jagged lines on a map, particularly in the southern half of Salt Lake County, where deep canyons meet a...

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Coronavirus advice for Appalachian Trail hikers from trail organization: distancing and soap

Posted by on Mar 16, 2020 @ 7:34 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Coronavirus advice for Appalachian Trail hikers from trail organization: distancing and soap

Coronavirus concerns have led the Appalachian Trail Conservancy to issue guidance for hikers already on the Appalachian Trail – like thru-hikers who started their 2,180-mile treks before or despite guidance on self-confinement and social distancing. “For Appalachian Trail hikers, distancing yourself from other hikers and maintaining good hygiene is the best defense for reducing your chances of contracting any illness,” suggests a letter by Sandra Marra, president of the ATC, posted on the organization’s website. “Wash your hands frequently...

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Transylvania County Tourism announces $100,000 toward Ecusta Trail

Posted by on Mar 15, 2020 @ 7:14 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Transylvania County Tourism announces $100,000 toward Ecusta Trail

At the Transylvania County, NC Tourism (TCT) Board of Directors’ annual retreat, a motion was passed to set aside $100,000 from the organization’s fund balance for the development of the Ecusta Trail. TCT previously pledged support of the rail to trail conversion back in June of 2015, emphasizing the benefit that the trail would have on the community. After nearly a decade of conversation and behind the scenes efforts by many in Henderson and Transylvania Counties, momentum has picked up surrounding the development of the trail. TCT’s...

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How hiking can make you mentally and physically stronger

Posted by on Mar 12, 2020 @ 6:54 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How hiking can make you mentally and physically stronger

Serendipitously, her last name is Bliss. Perhaps that’s not such a coincidence when you realize the immense joy Lauralee Bliss has discovered during her 10,000 miles of hiking. She’s traversed some of the most beautiful, secluded parts of this country, trekking the entire Appalachian Trail two times. Bliss has also completely tackled the Colorado and Florida Trails, among other walking adventures. From her time in the wilderness, Bliss says if you’re seeking serenity, you might want to literally take a hike. “Nature is the healing remedy we...

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Blue Ridge Parkway roads and trails swell to 15 million visitors in 2019, budget shrinks

Posted by on Mar 11, 2020 @ 7:09 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Blue Ridge Parkway roads and trails swell to 15 million visitors in 2019, budget shrinks

Nancy Midgette, in her volunteer role as a “Craggy Rover,” acting as a helping arm to the Blue Ridge Parkway rangers at Craggy Gardens, learned she can talk for four hours straight. That’s about how long she spent talking to visitors on her four-hour shifts last summer at Craggy Pinnacle, just north of Asheville, pointing out the mountaintop names in the distance from the 360-degree vantage point, telling them where the closest bathrooms and hotels are, and explaining why they shouldn’t step over the rock walls that have signs saying not to...

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Great Smoky Mountains seeks hiking volunteers, ‘critical’ information

Posted by on Mar 10, 2020 @ 6:57 am in Conservation | 0 comments

Great Smoky Mountains seeks hiking volunteers, ‘critical’ information

Do you love hiking? If so, the most-visited park in the nation wants your help. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is recruiting volunteers to “adopt” sections of its many trails. Volunteers would hike at least one designated trail four times per year and tell the park what they see. The park said it would use volunteer input to figure out which trails need work – and where. In a press release, the park said this information is “critical” for keeping trails accessible. No experience is required, but the park...

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Hiking Aconcagua: Tackling the Highest Peak in South America

Posted by on Mar 9, 2020 @ 6:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking Aconcagua: Tackling the Highest Peak in South America

A part of the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua is the highest mountain outside of Asia and, at 22,841 feet, is the highest mountain in both the Southern and Western Hemispheres. Brad Fain, CEO of Fain Signature Group in Prescott Valley, and fellow hikers Mark Peterson and Sean Fain began their journey up the mountain on February 5, 2020 with their two guides, Argentinian Gustavo, and American Will. Their journey started, however, long before that first step in February. Months of preparation were involved to be prepared for this journey as...

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New segment of Lake to Sound Trail opens, linking trails and transit

Posted by on Mar 8, 2020 @ 6:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

New segment of Lake to Sound Trail opens, linking trails and transit

A new segment of King County Parks’ Lake to Sound Trail opened that will eventually connect Lake Washington to Puget Sound in 16-miles of paved trail. The trail will connect five South King County, WA cities – Renton, Tukwila, Burien, SeaTac, and Des Moines. It also connects to four regional trails – Eastrail, Cedar River Trail, Interurban Trail, and Green River Trail — as well as three major transit routes: Link light rail, King County Metro RapidRide A Line, and the Sounder Tukwila Station. “We are strengthening regional trail connections...

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Hiking One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Trails Now Requires a Permit

Posted by on Mar 7, 2020 @ 6:30 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hiking One of Hawaii’s Most Beautiful Trails Now Requires a Permit

If you want to take a hike on the famous and gorgeous Kalalau Trail, be prepared to make an advance reservation. Since severe thunderstorms and floods in 2018 ravaged the coastline on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, major recovery efforts have been underway to return Nāpali Coast State Wilderness Park and Hā’ena State Park, and the Kalalau Trail to their original beauty. The two parks and hiking trail actually reopened back in 2019, but officials are still concerned with potential damage to the environment, especially since Kauai has grown...

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Man who hiked 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times headed to Hall of Fame

Posted by on Mar 6, 2020 @ 6:35 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Man who hiked 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times headed to Hall of Fame

Warren Doyle, of Mountain City, Tennessee, has hiked the entire 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail 18 times, including nine thru-hikes. He also led eight group thru-hikes of the AT, seven of which saw a 100 percent completion rate among the hikers. But there’s so much more on Doyle’s resume that has earned him a spot among the Appalachian Trail Museum’s 10th class of inductees into the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame. The class, which will be formally inducted on Saturday, May 2, 2020, during the Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame Banquet at the Army...

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Tips to prepare for your next hike

Posted by on Mar 5, 2020 @ 6:40 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Tips to prepare for your next hike

Hiking is among the best outdoor activities that can be both fun and exciting in the company of friends and family. But it’s one of those trips that require proper planning, and could be frustrating otherwise. Hiking involves walking uphill and downhill on unpredictable terrains. It is not like walking on a treadmill with high elevation. It can be hard on the body, considering all the extra items you will have to carry in a backpack. However, everything can go very smoothly if you consider these tips. Research the Area First When planning for...

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