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LWF Commissioner says what?

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'LWF commissioner says that harvest data trumps public opinion when setting duck season dates'. Are you kidding me? What is the purpose of these surveys? They don't even listen to what the hunters of this state want?!! Is this some kind of dictator over there at the LWF? The seasons last year were guided by a survey. This stinks!!
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
WE ALL HAD A GOOD YEAR LAST SEASON, THE OLD SAYING IF IT BROKE DON'T TRY TO FIX IT. HE BETTER HAVE IT RIGHT OR HE WILL GET THE HEAT. I FOR ONE HUNTING WAY DOWN SOUTH WOULD OF LOVE IT THE 2ND WEEK OF NOV. R LATER SO I COULD OF HUNTED JAN 31.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
did you see the pitiful excuse the lead commissioner gave for early coastal season dates in one breathe he said that the early coastal zone might not have many birds but they will be more huntable then in the next he said what is the use of having a longer goose season if there are less birds to hunt , well what is the use of a early opening if there will be less birds to hunt , the kids that look forward to duck season will suffer the most going sit in the hot marsh getting ate up by bugs and for what no birds, political B.S.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Think what he is saying is that there ARE less birds in the early season but they are less wary. Its the debate we all have of whether you want to let them all stack and open it up later in the season or open it up earlier and be there as they are migrating (when they are easier to kill imo).
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I sent an email to the entire board and surprisingly they all sent a response. Low and behold Courville had a pre-printed response. Complete and total lip service. Mr Reynolds has the same info as Chad and he reccomends Nov 14th. In this new article he speaks of the public speculation well its not speculation Chad will be hunting opening day in each zone and thats a fact!! One mans agenda trumps public opinion.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I still cannot believe there are those who are still up in arms about the coastal opening 1 week earlier? The commission did not use the survey feedback, so what !! To my knowledge they were not obligated to use any data from the survey to base their decisions although you would hope they at least considered the data info. It would be wise to stop breeding contempt for the commission. Some lawyer might decide to take this thing to the mat in front of a liberal judge and then the judge decides to suspend the entire season while he hears discovery on the matter. My advice is to play the hand you are dealt and hunt
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Ken I respect your opinion but I disagree. 1st off this is a public forum designed for discussion and this is the topic at hand, so yes I am going to voice my dis-pleasure. No one ever said that anyone was obligated to follow any survey so yes your correct, but when the majority are petitioning to have the season pushed back 1 week from the typical 2nd week start and they do just the opposite and move it forward a week is a slap in the face. Secondly I will not 'just play the hand I am dealt' Its called freedom of speech and standing up for what you believe in, you know its part of what makes America great. Thiers a 99.9% chance nothing will come of this but 'Your telling me I have a chance' and that's all I need. Your thought of oh well there's nothing we can do is why these politicians do what ever they want.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
cblood9, I understand where you are coming from believe me and I appreciate your response here. What I am saying is that they apparently did not consider public opinion like most had hoped. At this point the only thing can happen is that someone who cares nothing about the waterfowling lifestyle decides that lawyers/courts are appropriate moving forward. Believe me lawyers and judges can only complicate this issue for those of us who cherish waterfowl hunting. Lets hope that next year the survey data is considered more heavily in the decision making process. Those who make the decisions will likely be the same individuals that some hunters are upset with presently though.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Regardless of what we think of Courville's recommendation, he stated that the data (objective decision)will always trump opinion(subjective decision)when he makes a recommendation to the Commission. We all know the huge effort Larry goes through (as a scientist) to try and balance between the data and opinion. But he generally weights his recommendation more on the data. That is a reality of his job to try and balance the two!

The Commission, on the other hand, is under no obligation to adopt recommendations of staff. They are employees of the Commission! I would strongly suspect most of us think we know better than our employers on all policies, procedures and processes. Hell, I know I do.

Found this from the enabling legislation:
115. Wild birds and wild quadrupeds; adoption of seasons, bag and possession limits; rules
and regulations; penalties

A. The commission is hereby specifically authorized, directed, and empowered to fix, approve,and adopt seasons and bag and possession limits and to establish other rules and regulations for the hunting, taking, possession, or protection of any species or sex of wild quadrupeds and wild birds,in any specified locality or localities of the state. Such rules and regulations shall have the full force
and effect of law to the same extent as statutory laws.
B. The commission may at any time declare any season closed or otherwise restrict hunting as
it deems advisable in the interest of wildlife management.
C. The open season for taking migratory game birds and the bag limit and other rules and
regulations affecting migratory game birds shall conform to federal regulations promulgated under
the treaty between the United States and Great Britain for a period of years in the case of certain species. No person shall take, even at the time and in the manner specified and fixed by said department, or in the aggregate during the open season, a greater number of migratory game birds than specified under federal and state regulations.

Chad Courville, like Larry Reynolds, has a scientific background. Knowing this, there should be no surprise that he is going to be more receptive to data.

A land manager for Miami Corporation, Courville is currently chairman of the Louisiana Alligator Advisory Council and a member of the National Wild Turkey Federation, Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association and the Louisiana Association of Professional Biologists.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Sustainable Resources from the University of Southwestern Louisiana (ULL.)

Let the data speak for itself next year.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
well I would hate to see the season lost to the issues at hand but on the other side of it at least the peoples voice would be heard and the political giants that try to control everything might be shut down and think twice next go around
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
pathfinder, thank you for the facts on the situation. I think most here appreciate the background as to the process.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Great thanks for posting your resume. Im not impressed. DU and all these federations are politcal agencies themselves. Im guessing by what you posted that you belive everything a politician tells you also!! Theres an agenda period end of story. As you started Larry Reynolds has been doing this for a long time, he crunches the numbers and all available information and made recccomendation for the 2nd weekend.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I am not Chad Courville, but I do have a degree in biology and another graduate degree in the social sciences.

Also worked for a Board of Commissioners for 14 years and once stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I guess I am in the minority here that thinking that ' the inmates running the prison is a bad idea. ' IE, hunters being the determinant factor in setting the seasons instead of scientific data and the commission, who's job is to do so. This survey has opened up Pandora's box with some hunters here. I do agree that Mr. Reynolds has always done a great job and his love of the resource cannot be questioned here. His hands were obviously somewhat tied with this issue for the later start date in the coastal zone. But the commission apparently has the power to terminate seasons if they choose to in the interest of wildlife management. That would be disastrous so again I will say and for the last time, I feel fortunate that we have a process, even if not perfect. Next year is a clean slate, one would hope.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Money, power and all the other bs. That's what this is about.

What's sad is, that week will make a difference. It will be a wasted week out of what already is a short 60 day season. The ducks won't be here yet. At least not in my area.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I hunt in Plaquemines Parish river delta. I am for the early start not so much for the fact that the ducks may or may not be here but for the fact that at the end of the season the ducks don't fly. At the end of the season there are thousands of ducks sitting still as they have figured out the game by then.

Some will say you have to change tactics or go where the ducks are. Nice idea but there are leases involved and that is a problem.

I will roll the dice that I can shoot some teal and a few greys early.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
now that we have a longer split again in the east zone. it allows me to venture across the state line and hunt in Arkansas while we are closed. I just hope the stunt they pulled on the coastal zone doesn't hit the east zone ever. I think nov. 7 is entirely to early regardless of the area. only thing that will be down is blue wing teal and some spoons and a few other non desirables. heck most fields wont even be flooded yet.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
my 2 cents on it all:
the commisioner may have a biology degree but so what. He is still a political apointee. He has been politically apointed to positions in 5 lobbyest organizations and is the land manager of a large private hunting property. that means his decison making is influenced by more than just 'hard data'. Understantable but still not right. He is not joe blow weekend duck hunter.

I have a biology degree too and I have data in all my journals that say I kill more birds in January than in November soo...'hard data' is often realative to who collects it and posts it, as many who deal with statistical data well know.

Public opinion should carry weight in the process b/c as he well knows just as I do, Data can vary in subsets of the sample groups within the whole subject population. In other words, within the costal area certain geographic areas will have variences different than the norm. This is what acounts for why some like me have differnt over all statistical results in our seasons and would like a middle ground to the season dates.

He made a decision based on his opinion of 'hard data' b/c it went along with what he agree's with, with out acounting for varience. Science is good but it is not always absolute.

In the end it is what it is. I'll hunt regardless of the dates but it dosent change the fact that right is right and wrong is wrong. IMO to totally and absolutely disregard public opinion in this case was wrong.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I think declaring the first week a waste or even a second teal season is hyperbole. Gadwall and pintail will be here. If you look at harvest data for the past decade teal in combination are the biggest part of LA bags, but it's also clear that LA (in the main) is a mixed bag state with no one species dominating. This is in contrast to other mid continent states. Dragging through the courts isn't ideal and just wastes resources. Buy you some big ol cans of OFF and gets some # 4 and HUNT!
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
harvest data , harvest data, I am tired of hearing them two words,, how can you have harvest data from that early if our season usually opens one to two weeks later , the only harvest data you getting is from teal season , and what area is this data coming from the other zones where they got the openers that benefit them cause of the land management employees elected to benefit themselves and their friends instead of all la hunters,, like I stated earlier I have not seen anyone recording data in our area in a very long time so is this data you talk about made up or is it true,, no offense to mr larry,, oh and I read in comments (kenspecks,pathfinder)if they had the same data as mr larry well then why was their opinions and season date choices so different
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
The data I'm talking about is largely based on parts survey (wing bees). I know for sure there are a few Hopedale hunters in that mix because my friends were sending wings and now I'm sending wings. I would rather open a week later but I'm sure I'll have something for the gumbo pot come 11/7. The coastal zone is broad and has a very diverse set of habitats so I'm sure some folks are correct when they say early November sucks where they hunt but on the whole it shouldn't be a total loss. Just trying to make lemonade here.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
For me its not about that first week sucking or being a complete loss. Its really about two basic things.

First its less about the first week sucking and more about the loss of one to two weeks of hunting in January when I tend to do well. So a lack of compromise.

Second, its about the commissioner basically telling every one to 'F' off that he knows what is best for everyone b/c he is smarter than us and better at knowing what the season should be. And he uses this 'hard data' crap to justify it. Typical politician BS.

How many times do you think he trudges it out on public land hunting like us poor folk? or nice and cumfy warm in a private blind? Funny too how one of the other commisioners resigned right after he voted in favor. He is not Jhon Q public weekend duck hunter.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Totally concur with that part.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
If half as many hunters where as passionate about invasive aquatic species such as SALVINIA we would truly be a sportsman paradise once again.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
No other game/species is set by public opinion, only data. All marsh hunters I know south of LA14 and along LA82, especially Pecan Island past Grand Chenier, want more November and December days.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Well great Big Pecan I guess everyone in America should go by what hunters south of LA14 and along LA82 want, right?

All other species of animals in the state that we hunt are not migratory animals. with the exception of Dove. Makes it entirely different b/c those animals have static populations densities in set geographic locations. So take that crap somewhere else please.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Well, Asechikan242 the dates are set for the Coastal Zone, not everyone in America. I just voiced that those of us south of LA14 prefer. Regardless of how you view it, a set season is a time frame within the Federal guidelines that maximizes harvest potential. The facts of historical data show higher bags during November and December for coastal hunters.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
And your comment was silly and arrogant.

the costal zone traverses the Entire southern half of the state from west to east including lake Ponchatrain and Bourgne. Not just south of LA14 and along LA82.

That is a huge diverse area of land to set based on one little corner of SW LA. or from data collected from limited areas of the costal zone. Not one piece of real data has been collected in my area for at least 6yrs, I promise. We mostly get overlooked in my area of the costal zone.

Also to base it on all other species hunted in the state is dumb b/c as I said deer, squirrel, rabbit, hogs, etc.. don't migrate. They have a static population. management is entirely different.

And last of all, of course people kill more ducks in Nov and Dec. There are more hunters per sq mile. And stupid ducks. If you opened in Dec that would be when we kill the most. its common sense.

The data isn't collected in a way to show hunter per sq mile vs duck populations in late season, but there are fewer hunters in jan. not fewer birds. data can show what you want it to. I have personal logs that show I statistically kill more birds in Dec and Jan so why not compromise and make the season what was originally proposed.

second weekend in NOv, and one extra week in jan. its that simple.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I am 100 percent with you ASECHIKAN 242, in nov the parking lot is full at the launch , then comes second split hunters start hunting deer and the cold fronts start and the parking lot is empty , they rather be in a warm deer stand then sitting in the cold marsh, I think I figured out why west la wants early opening that is when rice fields are harvested and the few birds that are down run for the feast ,then mr lazy hunter plops himself down in a big probably store bought heated rain proof blind and shoots ducks,, not my idear of hunting but to each own, nothing like waking up in a cold camp lighting the stove to warm up old school perkulator coffee black iron skillet biscuits, hopping in the boat with the crisp morning cold to wake you up and sloshing around in the marsh with good friends ,, now that's hunting memories the way papa taught us in south lafourche
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
You guys can always opt to go back to the east zone.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Lorraine66-those are good times and good memories.

Big pecan-yeah well since I get opt my zone can I opt my season dates too...oh wait...no your SW LA commissioner buddy decided he know better than the leading state wildfowl biologist and the rest of overall majority of coastal zone hunters.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
wish we could go to east zone at least we would get a nov 21 opening and be able to hunt till the end of January that is what we are protesting 'DUH',,,,, wow hit that one on the money you still got that store bought fiberglass duck blind you inquired about a few years ago on this site,, lol (sorry dude could not resist )remember what goes on net stays there
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I have a question that maybe people on here can shed some light on. How the hell can comissioner say that birds are easier to hunt earlier in the season just bc it was moved to the 1st weekend in Nov??????? I guess if those birds got to come down here and just hang out and not be hunted till the 2nd weekend of december then they wouldnt be as easy to hunt???????? That doesnt make much sense to me, but im just a simple coona** without any special bachelor degrees, but i do have a little common sense. what makes birds harder to hunt anyway? The obvious answer for MOST places (if the birds are here and we have food, water, & weather) is hunting pressure. So the way it seems is that it wouldnt matter when the season opened, the birds are always gonna be easier to hunt in the 1st 3 weeks of the 1st split. Thats doesnt seem like very relaible data to be standing on.
2. I hunt the coastal zone exclusivley, and im against this early opening crap, mainly for one reason. I hunt a mixed landscape from bayous to marsh to ricefields. Yes we kill alot of ducks early, but we also do well throughout the season, and for me im not a numbers hunter. I'd like to limit out everyday but those days that we come out with more birds than most people is more rewarding bc we put in alot of work. When the season closes in January and i ride through the ricefields around crowley, welsh and thornwell, and the Lacasssine NWR and see gobs of ducks, i'll be thinking man i sure wish i could be hunting those birds, but wait i cant bc some dude went with some pretty unreliable data a screwed a bunch of people. Is it really that hard to give some guys an early opening and the others the late closing they desire, kinda a middle of the road decision?
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Actually Lorraine66, I have 8 fiberglass ducks blinds that I bought from Louisiana Sportsman advertiser, R&H Fiberglass in Loranger. They sure are nice in the Pecan Island marsh I've been hunting since 1980. You want more days in January. Our end wants more in November. We won. You lost. Are you going to now take your football and go home, or just keep whining?
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
wait...so you have 8 duck blinds in your marsh and you cant kill birds in January? Think I found your problem and its not season dates bro.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Asechikan242, you want some cheese with your whine too? We'll stay happy with the dates, and ducks, on our end.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
nothing you have commented has made any sense and oh wow you been hunting since 1980 clearly that makes you an expert ,and I am not impressed that you have the resources to buy 8 blinds ,so go sit in your heated blind (oh it will be 90 degrees for the opener)and let us do the real hunting
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Lol I'll feed the troll.
No don't need the cheese or wine I can kill birds any time of the season even January. I don't have to bitch and complain and screw others for a limit
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Asechikan242, the only whining is coming from you. All I merely said was people in a certain area like the dates, historical data supported the dates and no other season is dictated by popular opinion. You can't seem to handle that as indicated by your comment that people are getting 'screwed'. In my opinion, the commissioners listened to the voices of reason, and that voice won. Try to have a good hunting season. I know I will.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I hunt Southwest LA marsh and don't like the new dates...why you ask, because I can kill all the blue wings I want in September. Will I kill ducks with the new dates; without a doubt yes, but the majority will be blue wings with maybe a few Gadwall mixed in. My hunting logs going back the last 6 years show this. I'd personally rather kill 3 or 4 Gadwall per hunt than limit out on teal in 10 minutes and the particular marsh I hunt the Gadwall start showing up in good numbers late November/early December. I realize that prime areas of fresh marsh might be different, but those are the facts for my area as evidenced by good hunting logs. For everyone who can't seem to kill ducks later in the season I'd suggest leaving the permanent blinds, try using 3 or 4 decoys, hunt between 10am-1pm...adapt to the late season challenges and you'll kill quality ducks, at least in my area. The other issue I see is the rice field guys getting screwed this year due to a lot of the rice being late. Second crop will most likely still be standing in a lot of those areas come the first weekend of November. Hopefully enough hunters will complain and get the zones changed for next year to get those areas north of I10 either in the East or West Zone.
Of course I could be wrong and the entire coastal zone could have a stellar first weekend with cold temps, so who knows?
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Big Pecan?
What and who were the voices of reason? Larry Reynolds is not a voice of reason? What data made up this 'voice of reason?' What would you say the point of the survey was if it was going to have zero effect on setting season dates?

I hunt south of the Intracoastal, and I am OK with the dates, but I would prefer a second Saturday opener. I would not be alright with the date if it were a day earlier, much less Nov 1st if that is when the 1st Saturday would happen to fall. Not sure where you think all of your gray ducks, pintails, spoons, and scaup are going to go if the season opened a week later. Not to mention that greenwings are not here thick in early November. More and more of them show up later in December and January the colder it gets.

Why is a reasonable date (2nd Sat in November) such a bad thing? You've got to remember that the coastal zone encompasses many rice field hunters, and several of these guys will not be hunting opening day as their rice will not be cut.

Sure there are plenty of birds here in early November, but bottom line is, harvest data is better in November because the birds are much less educated. Not to mention everyone who owns and shotgun is out there hunting for the first few weeks. The same can not be said about January after the 1st. The first three weeks of the season are always going to be easy, and I would hope that you realize that no matter when the season starts, days 40-60 are going to be tougher than days 1-30.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
I have no dog in the fight as far as the coastal area but I hope the idiots don't decide to start changing east zone dates the next time it rolls around for discussion. I feel the pain of the coastal rice hunters, some wont even have water or fields ready. Im mainly irritated we didn't get the extra speck.
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
Big Pecan, that's what I have wanted since 2001,for them to put us back in the East Zone, they should have never changed it in the first place. East and West Zone split at the Houma Navigation canal the way it used to be, that way our season would be ending on the same day as Arkansas and Mississippi duck season ends. There are no rice fields in southeast Louisiana!
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Re: LWF Commissioner says what?
mr larry made the recommendations for a second week opener just mr chad shot it down and got three other commissioners to follow his lead and did exactly opposite from what was advised from mr larry
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