In-Congress Tours

Included in your registration fee for the 2014 IUFRO World Congress is an In-Congress Field Tour. These tours will take place on Wednesday, October 8th. You are requested to select your preferred field tour during the registration process to best ensure the tour you desire is available and to assist us with planning. If you wish to change tours later on, you can contact jenniferhayes@fs.fed.us with your name, existing tour, and desired new tour and see if space is available.

In-Congress Tour Information and Helpful Hints are available for Download Here.

The northern and central Utah tours will be traveling to alpine and mountainous environments. As a result, warm clothing is highly recommended (heavy jacket, rain coat, gloves). A light jacket is recommended for the southern tours as well. Sturdy walking shoes and a backpack or satchel are also recommended for all tours.

Lunch will be provided for all full-day field trips. Half-day field trips will not include lunch. One water bottle per participant will also be provided on the bus; should you desire additional water, it is recommended you bring your own bottle.

Tours below are divided into general (not exact) geographic regions in the state of Utah. For each tour, a description is provided, as well as an estimated length of the tour. If you have special needs and are uncertain if the tour can accommodate these, please contact jenniferhayes@fs.fed.us for more information.

Tours below are divided into general (not exact) geographic regions in the state of Utah. For each tour, a description is provided, as well as an estimated length of the tour. If you have special needs and are uncertain if the tour can accommodate these, please contact jenniferhayes@fs.fed.us for more information.

Salt Lake City Area Tours

Central Utah Tours

Southeastern Utah Tours

Northern Utah Tours


Salt Lake City Area Tours


Recreation Management in Alpine Ecosystems (IC-02)


Little Cottonwood Canyon, just outside of Salt Lake City, is home to some of the “greatest snow on earth.” Learn about how U.S. federal land managers have partnered with companies, organizations, landowners, non-profit groups and more to help manage recreation in this high-use urban forest. This tour is ADA accessible.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 6.5


Walter F. Mueggler-Butler Fork Research Natural Area Tour and Hike (IC-10)


Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most broadly distributed tree species in North America, with a natural range extending from central Mexico northward to Alaska and Newfoundland. In the western United States, many of these highly productive ecosystems were highly altered as a result of extreme levels of livestock grazing that coincided with the arrival of pioneers in the late 19th and early 20th Century; these conditions persist today. During this tour we will be able to visit aspen stands that evaded these impacts and are today in near pristine condition. These stands have been set aside within the Walter F. Mueggler-Butler Fork Research Natural Area (RNA). We will visit some of the lower elevation aspen stands within this RNA and discuss how these differ from those that experienced high levels of grazing in nearby portions of the northern Utah mountain ranges. We will also discuss the many values and the uses of RNAs in the management of public lands in the American West. This tour involves strenuous hiking.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8.5


Alpine Hydrology - understanding snow science, water, and climate change in alpine environments (IC-01)


Mountainous western North America, and considerable portions of the flatlands surrounding the mountains, rely on snowfall and subsequent snowmelt runoff for municipal, agricultural, and industrial water supply. The mountain snowpack behaves as a natural reservoir, accumulating snow, which is stored until positive springtime energy balance releases the water through melt processes. Weather, topography, vegetation and land use all control the snow accumulation and melt processes, which vary greatly spatially and temporally. Over the last decade western North America has suffered a widespread infestation of tree-killing insects. The mountain pine beetle has been responsible for millions of acres of dead lodgepole pine forests and spruce beetles are beginning to exhibit a similar impact. Catastrophic forest changes have known and unknown hydrologic, biogeochemical, environmental, economic and social impacts, to name a few. The Wasatch Range of Utah is a perfect place to discuss impacts of large-scale tree mortality. The central topic of this tour will be the hydrological and hazard impacts of the beetle epidemic, with some specific notes on snow related processes, including avalanches. The tour will explore Little Cottonwood Canyon, with stops including the Snowbird and Alta ski areas, which have long, important histories in avalanche research and mitigation.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 6.5


Nature-Based Tourism (IC-03)


Participants in this tour will visit Little Cottonwood Canyon, one of the major alpine recreation areas within the Wasatch Mountains, adjacent to Salt Lake City. The canyon is the location of two of Utah’s premier ski resorts and various other nature-based recreation sites. The tour will examine the integration of nature tourism and public forest management as well as local conservation education efforts. Presentations will describe how recreation, tourism, and other landscape issues are integrated at the local level; the potential impact of climate change on nature-based tourism; ski resort management and its relationship to other nature tourism and local communities; managing the ecological and social carrying capacity of tourism; and will share success stories related to conservation education in the area. The tour will include an optional 2-mile hike in the high alpine setting of Alta Ski Resort during the lunch break. This stop on the tour will be spent at an elevation of 2800 meters (9200 feet) above sea level so participants are advised to be prepared for mountain weather conditions.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 6.5


Forests to Faucets-Big Cottonwood Canyon Watershed Management (IC-04)


The State of Utah claims it has the “Greatest Snow on Earth”! While providing for great skiing, the very snow that falls in the high elevations of the Wasatch Mountains supplies Salt Lake City its drinking water. Salt Lake City is a unique and fortunate city to have such a high-quality drinking water source in close proximity to our metropolitan area. The stream flow from City Creek, Parley’s, Big Cottonwood Creek and Little Cottonwood Creeks travels down the canyon, through the specific treatment plant and to our faucet in less than 24 hours! The field trip to Big Cottonwood Canyon will include discussions of the water resources, challenges that may come with climate change, canyon history, a stop at the Silver Lake Nature Center, and a visit to Brighton Ski Resort.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 6.5


Urban Forest Research and Management - climate change implications and more (IC-05)


Come learn about some of forestry’s hottest topics (literally!)! This tour takes advantage of Salt Lake City’s proximity to the gorgeous Wasatch-Cache National Forest, using the wildland-urban interface as a backdrop to discuss a suite of interrelated urban forest health and climate change issues, both social and ecological. We’ll begin by traveling east toward the Salt Lake Valley, where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Basin floor, and continue up the Big Cottonwood Canyon, which features spectacular alpine vistas and myriad recreational opportunities for locals and visitors alike. The tour will stop at the Spruces Campground, where a walking tour, lecture, and Q&A session will highlight some of the key issues that have relevance at both local and international scales. We’ll stop for lunch at the Silver Fork Lodge, a cozy and charming venue originally established in the 1940s, with breathtaking views of Honeycomb Canyon. The tour will also feature a stop at Brighton Ski Area, which has been a popular escape from the city since as early as the 1850s; here we’ll discuss in more detail how proximity to an urban landscape shape restoration priorities, inform climate change adaptation planning, and more. Expect to both learn and engage in discussions on some of forestry’s hottest topics on this tour!

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 7


Tourism and Recreation Management - 1/2 day afternoon (IC-06-pm)


This half-day afternoon tour will take delegates up the Big Cottonwood canyon just outside of Salt Lake City, with a stunning backdrop of fall aspen and cottonwoods. Enjoy a short walk around the Silver Lake Visitor Center and a stop at the Brighton Ski Area and learn about how tourism and recreation are managed alongside natural resources in this urban forest. This tour is ADA accessible.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 4.5


Urban Forest Watershed Management - 1/2 day afternoon only (IC-07)


This half-day afternoon tour will take delegates up the Big Cottonwood canyon just outside of Salt Lake City, with a stunning backdrop of fall aspen and cottonwoods. Stop at a historic nursery, now and current Spruces Lake campground to learn about forest health issues in the area and then enjoy a stop at the Silver Lake Visitor Center to hear about local watershed management.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 5


Hydrology and International Bird Migration in the Great Salt Lake (IC-08)


The fourth-largest terminal lake in the world (no outlet) the Great Salt Lake supports between 2 and 5 million shorebirds, as many as 1.7 million eared grebes, and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl during spring and fall migration. The lake is the largest remnant of Ancient Lake Bonneville. Because of its importance to migratory birds, the lake was designated a part of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network in 1992. Antelope Island is the largest island in the Lake. We will travel north along the Wasatch Range to the Antelope Island Causeway. On the Causeway across the Great Salt Lake to Antelope Island we will observe shore birds. Reaching the island we will visit the Visitor Center which has exhibits on different aspects of the island and lake. Driving south on the island we will pass the Bison herd that roams the island. Antelope Island Bison Herd has proven to be a valuable genetic pool for bison breeding and conservation purposes. Finally we will stop at the Fielding Garr Ranch. Among the trees and spring at the ranch we will look for migrating songbirds and maybe an owl. Nearly 250 different species of birds have been observed on the island.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8


Salt Lake City Urban Forests Tour (IC-09)


Although most urban areas in Utah were historically populated with desert sage brush or pinon/juniper vegetation, the social, economic and environmental demand for trees grows every year. As more and more people settle in the valley, trees are needed to reduce heat island effects, mitigate pollution, lower energy use, connect people to nature, promote healthy lifestyles, support wildlife and provide aesthetic appeal. This tour will explore both traditional and innovative approaches to urban and community forestry throughout the City and touch on common challenges like: limited water, vandalism, urban wildlife, species diversity and public perceptions. Join us to experience on-going river corridor restoration and native species reintroduction along the prominent Jordan River, as well as successful landscape tree establishment and environmental education efforts in Salt Lake County parks and open space. We will make a stop at an urban orchard and discuss funding opportunities for urban forestry projects. The trip will culminate in the afternoon with a unique tree species tour of the University of Utah campus and a visit to the Utah State Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 7


Understanding Research Natural Areas Hike (IC-10)


Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most broadly distributed tree species in North America, with a natural range extending from central Mexico northward to Alaska and Newfoundland. In the western United States, many of these highly productive ecosystems were highly altered as a result of extreme levels of livestock grazing that coincided with the arrival of pioneers in the late 19th and early 20th Century; these conditions persist today. We will visit some of the lower elevation aspen stands near the Walter F. Mueggler-Butler Fork Research Natural Area (RNA) and discuss how these differ from those that experienced high levels of grazing in nearby portions of the northern Utah mountain ranges. We will also discuss the many values and the uses of RNAs in the management of public lands in the American West. This tour involves hiking.


Forest Health in Northern Utah - Mirror Lake Highway (IC-11)


Forests in the Uinta Mountains of northern Utah provide many important amenities for communities along the Wasatch Front. Highly valued resources within the Scenic Mirror Lake Highway corridor include water, wildlife, and timber. Each year, recreational tourism also attracts thousands of visitors to the area who enjoy camping, picnicking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hiking the numerous trails, many of which provide access to pristine wilderness areas. Extensive outbreaks of bark beetles, in addition to diseases, and invasive species have impacted the health of forests in this area and in turn, many of the above resources. This tour will provide participants with the opportunity to visit sites experiencing current bark beetle-caused tree mortality, aspen decline/dieback, losses due to pathogens and dwarf mistletoes, and infestations of invasive weeds. Specific topics of discussion will include how these agents have affected various resource values, the efficacy of short-term and long-term options utilized for insect and disease management, the effects of past fire exclusion and suppression policies on forest health, the role of climate change, and management challenges including the capacity and capability of key agencies to accomplish resource objectives now and into the future.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8


Forest Operations and Recreation Management (IC-12)


We will travel this this high-mountain scenic byway into the Uinta Mountains, along the Provo River, through the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, climbing to an elevation of 10,687 feet at Bald Mountain Pass. In addition to stopping at scenic viewpoints and lakes, we will visit key recreation sites, including Mirror Lake, that illustrate the many challenges and successes associated with managing diverse recreational activities such as camping, fishing, skiing, hunting, hiking, equestrian activities, biking and four-season motorized recreation. The tour will also visit active forest treatment operations to view pine and mixed conifer stands impacted by the mountain pine beetle and discuss ongoing silvicultural activities, such as prescribed burning and logging, which are used to meet a wide range of management objectives. Additional stops include a local sawmill that processes timber from Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and Rockport Lake, which is a popular recreation site on the Weber River. Forest managers and stakeholders will share information and insights about the management of one of Utah’s most unique and scenic destinations.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8


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Central Utah Tours


Wildland Fire Management and Post-Fire Restoration (IC-13)


Participants on this tour will first visit the Interagency Fire Center, completed in early 2012, and is a state of the art facility that houses three federal agencies and one state agency for emergency communications throughout Northern Utah. After a brief tour of the center, participants will convene in the conference room for two research presentations on Wildland Fire Management and Restoration. Next up, participants will view the 2012 Quail Fire, a Wildland-Urban Interface fire, and subsequent debris basin work conducted by the local community of Alpine in anticipation of debris and mud flows from the Quail Fire. After a short presentation and discussion, participants will travel to Mutual Dell Boy Scout Camp in American Fork Canyon for lunch. Mutual Dell is a historic Scout Camp run by the Boy Scouts of America since the 1930’s. After lunch, participants will travel up American Fork Canyon to Cascade Springs. At Cascade Springs, participants will be able to view the Cascade Springs Fire of 2001, and see how the landscape has recovered over a 13 year period. Restrooms services are available at Cascade Springs Trailhead. As participants depart Cascade Springs for the Salt Palace, your tour guide will give you a presentation of American Fork Canyon as a Recreation Fee Area, one of the few areas on the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest that is authorized to charge user fees for entrance onto National Forest lands.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 7


Shrubland and woodland research and management, native plant propagation and more (IC-14)


The US Forest Service manages large areas of shrubland that are closely associated with forests in the Intermountain Western United States, and semiarid shrublands cover more area than forests in this region. The Rocky Mountain Research Station Shrub Sciences Laboratory (affectionately known as the Shrub Lab) is one of the few research facilities in the world dedicated specifically to shrubland research. Located on the campus of Brigham Young University, it has been the source of much of the authoritative information on Great Basin shrubland ecology and management generated over the last forty years. The Shrub Sciences Laboratory also manages the Desert Experimental Range, home to one of the oldest active livestock grazing experiments in the West. This tour will feature a look at our current research on ecology and management of shrublands, including the role of grazing and fire, post-fire ecological restoration, and invasive species management. The laboratory tour will also demonstrate some of the tools used to study shrublands, including dendrochronology, molecular genetics and cytogenetics, comparative ecology and ecophysiology, and the development of fungal pathogens for invasive species biocontrol. It will culminate with a tour of the native plant landscaping at the lab and a short visit to the nearby Brigham Young University Arboretum.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 7


Wasatch Plateau 1 - managing for multiple uses (IC-15)


Travel south along the Wasatch Range and up Spanish Fork Canyon to the Wasatch Plateau. This unique geologic feature is part of the Central Utah Highlands that separate the arid valleys of the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau and provides a nice setting to discuss challenges to managing these publicly-owned forest lands for multiple human needs while maintaining ecosystem services. At Schofield Reservoir engage in discussions about water, including impacts of climate change on snowpack storage. Additional discussions at this location will address wildlife and recreation management. Along the road observe infrastructure supporting the underground coal mining and power generation industries and high-elevation meadows used as summer pastures for domestic livestock. Take lunch at the Old Folks Campground in the heart of the 2012 Seeley Fire (13,500 ha) and engage in discussions on fire and post-fire management. On the return trip to the Convention Center enjoy the scenic vistas of eastern Utah’s Castle Country.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 9.5


Wasatch Plateau 2 - managing for multiple uses (IC-16)


Travel south along the Wasatch Mountains and up Spanish Fork Canyon to the forests and meadows of the Wasatch Plateau. Along the route, view pinyon-juniper expansion into grasslands and shrublands and hear the story of American fire suppression. Stretch your legs near Huntington Reservoir at a high elevation (2,750 m) Mammoth Discovery site. Hear presentations and discuss management of big game, outdoor recreation and water resources, including climate change impacts. Next, travel to the Old Folks Campground in the heart of the 2012 Seeley Fire (13,500 ha) for lunch and discussions on fire and post-fire management. Then head down Huntington Canyon to eastern Utah’s scenic Castle Country and the Prehistoric Museum in Price for a guided tour of Native American archeological finds and dinosaur quarry discoveries from the region.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 11.5


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Southeastern Utah Tours


Aspen Reproductive Ecology and Genetics (IC-17)


Aspen (Populus tremuloides) is the most broadly distributed tree species in North America, with a natural range extending from central Mexico northward to Alaska and Newfoundland. Aspen is a highly clonal tree species, and this clonality is particularly dramatic in western North America. Recent genetic work in aspen has shown that, despite the existence of large clones in western landscapes, clonal diversity is actually quite high within stands, and that the larger clones tend to be triploids. These findings and other recent discoveries bring novel insights to our understanding of the reproductive ecology and management of western aspen. During this tour we will visit aspen stands in a range of conditions, stages of development, and habitats. Our tour will include vistas of some of the most scenic forested areas in Utah. We will spend time visiting “Pando”, an enormous triploid aspen clone extending over 43 hectares and purported to be the world’s largest living organism.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 11.5


Pinyon Juniper ecology and management (IC-18)


This tour will take place in southern Utah in a pinyon pine – Utah juniper (PJ) landscape, where a variety of vegetative treatments have been conducted. These include removal of all trees to benefit sagebrush habitat and the wildlife that frequents the type (sage grouse in particular), thinning of PJ to increase edge-effect and benefit mule deer, sustainable thinning to improve forest health, and treatments to reduce wildfire potential. A number of techniques have been employed including wildland fire use, mastication of trees, mechanical and chainsaw harvest of trees for wood products, and seeding of desirable grasses, forbs, and shrubs. Presenters will discuss PJ forest ecology and management, treatment specifics, and the benefits derived therefrom. A brief demonstration of mastication equipment is planned to showcase one of the treatment methods. In addition, Piute Tribal members will discuss the use of pine nuts, an important non-timber forest product from these ecosystems, both traditionally and today.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 12


Arches National Park - Sightseeing Tour (IC-19)


Travel to southeastern Utah's Canyon Country and visit the world-famous Arches National Park. This tour is sight-seeing only; no scientific presentations will be given. The bus will make a short stop at the Arches National Park Visitor’s Center and will then proceed on a driving tour of the park, stopping to drop off guests for a 1-hour unguided hike (if desired) at the Windows Trailhead (easy 1 mile hike); or you may continue on the bus the scenic drive of the park, stopping at the Delicate Arch Viewpoint and possibly other viewpoints if time allows, before returning to pick up the hikers at the Windows Trailhead. The group will proceed to the town of Moab, where you will be on your own for 1.5 hours for lunch at one of the many restaurants in town and sightseeing and shopping. The bus will depart at 2:30pm for a return to the convention center. Note: lunch is not provided on this field trip. On the bus trip there and back view The Greatest Good, the documentary of the Forest Service’s creation and first one hundred years of service and GreenFire: The life and legacy of Aldo Leopold. This tour is ADA accessible.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 12.5


Capitol Reef National Park - Sightseeing Tour (IC-20)


Travel south to the stunning Capitol Reef National Park, a hidden treasure filled with cliffs, canyons, domes and bridges. This tour is sight-seeing only; no scientific presentations will be given. Stop for lunch and two hours of free time to either hike the Hickman Bridge Trail (2 miles roundtrip, moderate) or take the scenic drive through the park. On the bus trip there and back view The Greatest Good, the documentary of the Forest Service’s creation and first one hundred years of service and GreenFire: The life and legacy of Aldo Leopold. This tour is ADA accessible.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 12


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Northern Utah Tours


Forest Biomass Utilization Demonstration (IC-21)


Pinyon and juniper trees, often referred to as PJ woodlands, cover nearly 100 million acres of the Western United States. PJ woodlands are a beautiful resource with high recreation value. Research shows, however, that PJ covers ten-times the number of acres it did at the time of European settlement. The density of these acres is predicted to increase by three-fold in the coming decades. The resulting fire threat is very high and the forage value is very low. Thousands of acres are already being treated annually to check the expansion. Millions of tons of waste wood are generated in these projects and if it had value then more acres could be treated. The Utah Biomass Resources Group (UBRG) is on a mission to create value from waste wood. In 2012 the UBRG hosted Utah’s first ever wood-fired concert with a gasification machine dubbed the Dragon Wagon, part of a series of demonstrations showing that energy can be made from wood. In 2013 the UBRG partnered with a private company to create a half-ton-per-day mobile pyrolysis trailer that makes bio oil and bio char on a mobile, self-contained platform. This tour will feature PJ woodlands and the efforts of the UBRG.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8


Aspen in Logan Canyon: Historical Impacts and Modern Indicators (IC-22)


Quaking aspen (Populous tremuloides Michx.) is among the most iconic forest species in the American West. Golden aspen provide floral, faunal, and aesthetic accent to montane landscapes dominated by conifers. Recreationists, photographers, poets, and painters flock to these upland forests to experience nature's beauty. Aspen also form highly dynamic communities that cannot be easily categorized: some aspen stands thrive on fire's regenerative effects, while others may repel it. Moreover, in the Logan Canyon we will examine signs of historical and recent human impacts on these forests. There is a rich research history of this species centered in northern Utah. This tour will demonstrate that quaking aspen is not only a revered species; it is also signpost of past events and potential harbinger of future resilience.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 10


Forest Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring (IC-23)


This route taken by this tour will be a scenic loop through northern Utah, passing through the Logan and Ogden Canyons, and the Bear River and Bear Lake Valleys. The settings of small, resource-based, rural communities will provide contrast to the Salt Lake City / Wasatch Front metropolis. The tour will traverse all of the major vegetation types found in the region, from sagebrush steppe and riparian zones to subalpine forest. The tour will be led by staff members of the US Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, which is responsible for conducting the “forest census” of the United States. The FIA staff will highlight several forest communities of the area, including discussions about forest health, successional change, and the importance of forest resources to local communities, as analyzed through a strategic forest inventory and related studies. The ecological discussion will be presented in the context of the geologic and geographic setting, as well as the cultural history, which includes Native American use, the arrival of European fur trappers, Mormon settlement, and urbanization of the Wasatch Front.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 11


Forest Health in Northern Utah - Bear Lake Loop (IC-25)


Lodgepole Pine, Spruce, Fir and other forest types in northern Utah are under threat and are impacted by a variety of insects, diseases, and pathogens. This tour will look at how these forest health issues are being researched and addressed via vegetation management and other techniques. Traveling through the stunning Logan Canyon and up near Bear Lake, this tour will be informative and will include some of northern Utah's most beautiful vistas.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 10


Forest Operations and Management in Northern Utah (IC-26)


Take a trip to Northern Utah and the high elevation Bear Lake area, traveling through a wide variety of ecosystems via Logan Canyon on our way to Bear Lake Valley. Stops will focus on forest management activities relevant to the Western United States. These include fire hazard reduction treatments such as mastication, reintroduction of prescribed fire, and ecological restoration of dry, fire adapted forests. Potential demonstrations of mastication machinery in which a machine pulverizes a standing tree into small pieces, and a visit to a working mill that processes harvested material, will give perspective to the challenges and opportunities associated with forest operations and biomass utilization in this area.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 10


American West Heritage Center - Sightseeing Tour (IC-27)


Travel north to the unique American West Heritage and Cultural Center, a place to explore and learn about the diverse cultures that shaped the Cache Valley from 1820 to 1920. This tour is sight-seeing only; no scientific presentations will be given. Test your tomahawk throw, try out your quill pen signature, learn about fur trading and pioneer living, and maybe even witness an Old Western gunfight re-enactment. Enjoy a traditional lunch with spectacular views of the mountains in the background.

Estimated Length of Tour (Hours): 8.5


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