Columbia River Treaty Symposium

00935.CWRA Special Session SS 1 eblast Page 1SM

University of Victoria (Fraser Law Building)    08:30 to 17:30 

The Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA), in partnership with the University of Victoria’s POLIS Project on Ecological Governance and the Centre for Global Studies, is hosting a one-day special symposium on May 28th to address the Columbia River Treaty in the context of transboundary water governance as part of the CWRA 2018 National Conference.

This Symposium’s main objectives are to identify key science and technical issues, raise awareness and explore various perspectives and discuss the future of the Columbia River and the Treaty. Canadian, American, and Indigenous experts and professionals, many with decades of experience from working on these important topics, will be sharing their knowledge and expertise.

This is a FREE event with early registration available to CWRA Members and Conference Delegates on ‘First Register, First Secured’ basis.

Session I: INTRODUCTION and OVERVIEW of the ISSUES

Barbara Cosens

Barbara Cosens
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Barbara Cosens is a Distinguished Professor with the University of Idaho College of Law, where she has taught for the past fourteen years.  Her teaching and research expertise is in water law, the law-science interface and water dispute resolution.  She is faculty on the UI Water Resources IGERT focused on adaptation to climate change in the Columbia River Basin. She co-chaired the Adaptive Water Governance project made possible through support from the NSF funded National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, and spent spring 2015 as the Goyder Institute in Australia comparing water law reform in the western U.S. and Australia during drought. In her outreach and engagement, she serves as an expert on the Columbia River Treaty as part of the Universities Consortium on Columbia River Governance.

Abstract:

The United States and Canada cooperatively share management of the Columbia River under the Columbia River Treaty which entered into force in 1964. Under the Treaty, the river is jointly operated for shared benefits from hydropower and flood control and is the largest producer of hydropower in the western hemisphere. Cooperative management of the Columbia River has led to substantial benefits to both countries including fueling the integration and growth of the Pacific Northwest as an economic region.  Simultaneously, the optimization of river development for two primary purposes and secondary purposes of irrigation and navigation has resulted in the degradation and loss of a broad range of ecosystem services.  Under international law, the U.S. and Canada could have agreed to modify or terminate the Treaty at any time and the Treaty has no fixed term.  The Treaty itself allows either Party to unilaterally terminate the Treaty in 2024 or later provided that it gives at least ten years notice. Neither party has exercised this option. The trigger for review and negotiation is the expiration in 2024 of the high level of assured flood control provided by the Treaty and its replacement by a lower level. The other provisions of the Treaty continue. While the scope of change in the Treaty is small, the scope of changes in the region and globally led to broad review and a call for modernization of the Treaty and the management of the Columbia River.  These changes include: (1) energy markets; (2) climate; (3) the status of Native American tribes and First Nations in the basin in relation to the water resource; (4) demand and legal requirements for public input to natural resource management decisions; and (5) the health of, and public values placed on, the Columbia River ecosystem.  This talk will focus on the history of the Treaty and its future in this unique moment in time that has opened a window of opportunity for rethinking the management, infrastructure and governance of the Columbia River. 

 

Richard Moy

Richard Moy
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Rich Moy was appointed as a Commissioner to the U.S. Section of the International Joint Commission (IJC) by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the U.S.Senate, effective July 11, 2011 and presently, he is in his 7th year on the Commission. Prior to joining the IJC, Mr. Moy worked as a land and water consultant and was a Senior Fellow at the Center of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy at the University of Montana. For 27 years, Mr. Moy focused on collaborative, strategic and science-based approaches to water policy, management and planning, Native American water rights, and trans-boundary and regional water and land issues for the State of Montana. He served as a member and chair of the 23-member Flathead Basin Commission, which has a statutory duty to protect water quality and the environment of Flathead Lake and basin.  Previous work included directing Montana's involvement in the High Plains Research Experiment for four years and working as a park ranger and ecologist in Glacier National Park.

Abstract: 

My presentation will focus on: a short history that led up to the negotiations of the 1909 Boundary Waters Treaty (BWT); how the International Joint Commission (IJC) works; a description of our involvement with the 1964 Columbia River Treaty (CRT) and IJC innovations that could benefit the Columbia.

The BWT is very progressive for its time and it treats the U.S. and Canada as equal partners. The long-term vision of the Commission is: “Healthy shared waters for present and future generations”. Two of our principal missions are to help our federal governments prevent and resolve disputes by pursuing the common good as an independent and objective advisor, and to alert governments to emerging issues of concern.  Our mandate is broader under the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement as the IJC is responsible for assessing how well the federal governments are meeting their requirements under the GLWQ Agreement.

The IJC has three very talented technical staffs in Washington DC, Ottawa and Windsor Ontario.  In addition, the Commission uses the expertise of 18 bi-national technical boards that includes representation from the Canadian and U.S. federal, provinces, and state governments, academia, water users, Tribes and NGOs.

The IJC was intimately involved the creation of the 1964 Columbia River Treaty.  In 1944, the governments asked the IJC for advice on developing the waters in the Columbia River basin with a focus on improved power production and additional flood control. Based on the IJC’s technical reports, the governments follow-up in 1959 and asked it to identify the governing principles for a treaty. The IJC technical information and principles provide the foundation for governments to negotiate the 1964 CRT. 

The IJC has developed a number of important tools that could benefit future negotiations of a renewed Columbia River Treaty.  They include: 1) the use of the Shared Vision/Decision Support Model that brings science and people together to find viable solutions to issues; 2) its guiding principles and governance structure for International Watershed Boards; 3) The broad and diverse membership on IJC’s Great Lakes Water Quality and Science Advisory Boards; and 4) the implementation of adaptive management strategies in the Great Lakes and other transboundary basins to address a changing climate.

 

Chief Wayne Christian

Chief Wayne Christian
Abstract & Biography

Coming Soon

Katrine Conroy, MLA

Katrine Conroy, MLA
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Katrine Conroy, Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister Responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and the Columbia River Treaty

Katrine Conroy was elected as the MLA for Kootenay West in 2009 and re-elected in 2013 and 2017. She served as MLA for West Kootenay-Boundary from 2005 until the riding boundaries were re-drawn. She is the Minister of Children and Family Development and Minister responsible for the Columbia Basin Trust, Columbia Power Corporation and Columbia River Treaty.

Successful in both community and career endeavors, Katrine has enjoyed careers as one of B.C.'s first female power engineers, as an early childhood educator, administrator and college instructor, and as a small business person.

With her husband, Ed, Katrine lives in Pass Creek where they run a successful ranch breeding prize-winning Polled Hereford cattle. Together they have raised four children and have nine grandchildren.

Sessions II & III: TECHNICAL & SCIENCE PRESENTATIONS

Speaker Abstracts and Biographies listed below

Jon O'Riordan

Jon O'Riordan
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Jon O’Riordan has worked as a senior public servant with the environment and resource sector with the Province of British Columbia for most of his professional life completing his career as the Deputy Minister for the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management. He has since worked as a senior policy analyst for the Polis Centre for Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria and with the Adaptation to Climate Change Team at Simon Fraser University.

Abstract:

The Columbia Basin faces increasing water insecurity in the future due in part to a changing climate and in part to competing demands for available water. There is general consensus that more precipitation in winter will fall as rain resulting in decreased summer flows. Demands for withdrawing water for irrigation will increase due to warmer summers and droughts while indigenous peoples on both sides of the border are actively promoting restoration of pacific salmon which require in stream flows for their migration. Rivers supporting healthy ecosystems are better adapted to accommodate these changes. This presentation will examine recent research undertaken by the Adaptation to Climate Change team (ACT) to create a more resilient basin, one that is better adapted to improving water security for all users.

 

Stephanie Smith

Stephanie Smith
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Stephanie Smith manages the Hydrology department at BC Hydro, where she has worked at the heart of the water-energy nexus in BC for over 20 years.  Her team is responsible for collecting and managing climate, hydrometric, and generation data, and providing weather forecasting and water supply forecasting for all BC Hydro’s hydropower reservoirs.  She is responsible for managing climate change research and coordinating adaptation strategy across the organization.  Stephanie is the Canadian Chair of the Columbia River Treaty Hydrometeorological Committee.  Stephanie volunteers with the Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA) and is a past- president of the BC branch of CWRA. She has a B.Sc. in Geography specializing in Climatology from the University of British Columbia. 

Abstract:

Planning and operating the Columbia River Treaty reservoir storage involves a complex interaction of expertise and modelling across the basin using long historic data sets. This presentation will examine the current planning and operating methodology in the context of a changing climate and will open the discussion on what challenges future climate change might present going forward. 

Markus Schnorbus

Markus Schnorbus
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Markus Schnorbus is a hydrologist with the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium (PCIC) with an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Royal Military College (1991) and a MASc in Forest Hydrology from the University of British Columbia (2003). Markus currently leads the Hydrologic Impacts theme at PCIC.

For the past 15 years Markus has worked with hydrologic models to investigate the effects of land use and climate change on the hydrology of watersheds throughout British Columbia. Most recently, Markus and his team have been working to produce hydrologic projections for the Peace, Fraser and Columbia basins for use in the development of adaptation plans for water resources management.

Abstract:

Hydrologic modelling has been applied to assess the impacts of projected climate change within the entire Columbia River watershed. Hydrologic projections were based on a suite of five global climate models driven by two emission scenarios to project potential climate responses for mid-century (2041–2070) and end-century (2071-2100). Climate projections were statistically downscaled and used to drive a macro-scale hydrology model at high spatial resolution. This methodology covers a large range of potential future climates for the region and explicitly addresses both emissions and global climate model uncertainty in the final hydrologic projections. Results from the modelling exercise will be used to explore potential changes in the availability of surface water throughout the basin. Particular emphasis will be placed on understanding changes in precipitation patterns and cryospheric storage and how this results in changes in the spatial and temporal distribution of future runoff and streamflow.

 

Marvin Shaffer

Marvin Shaffer
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Marvin has a BA, Honours in Economics from McGill University and Ph.D from UBC. He has been president of his own consulting firm for over 40 years, specializing in energy transportation and natural resource economics. He was lead negotiator for the province of BC establishing the provisions governing the return of the Canadian Entitlement to the Downstream Benefits after the expiry of the original 30-year sale over the late 1990 - early 2000 period.

Marvin has also taught economics courses at the University of Tasmania and Queensland in Australia and at UBC and SFU in Vancouver. He currently teaches a course on benefit course analysis in the Public Policy Program at SFU. Marvin wrote a text on Multiple Account Benefit Cost Analysis published by University of Toronto Press in 2010.

Abstract:

The downstream power benefits (DSBs) from the Columbia River Treaty arise because the Treaty dams and operations in Canada increase the energy capability and dependable peak generating capacity of the hydroelectric generating stations in the US. Though originally forecast to fall over time, the DSBs, calculated by comparing potential power output in the United States with and without the Treaty dams, have remained very significant, averaging some 9000 Gwh of energy and 2500 MW of capacity in recent years. These benefits are shared equally between Canada and the United States, with Canada’s entitlement amounting to some 4500 GWh of energy and 1250 MW of capacity, similar in size to the output from Site C.

Under the Treaty, the magnitude of the DSBs have been calculated on the basis of the estimated impact of the Treaty dams and operations on US energy capability and peak generating capacity, with water flows designed to optimize power production. The actual impact on power output, however, depends on actual operations. The parties can and have modified water flows to serve fish and other important resource values. Nonetheless, the power benefits from the Treaty dams and operations are still very significant and important.

The impact on peak generating capacity is particularly important with increased penetration of wind and solar supply in the PNW and California. The premium value of the DSBs derives its ability to complement these increasingly important renewable resources – backing up wind and making room or filling in for solar as it ramps up and down in the morning and evening hours. This role and value of the DSBs needs to be fully recognized when considering the design and opportunity cost of changes in Treaty operations to serve non-power goals.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt
Abstract & Biography

Biography: 

Dr. Hyatt is a research scientist at Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) Pacific Biological Station (PBS) in Nanaimo, B.C. He has worked as a teacher (Okanagan University College 1976-1978), environmental consultant (1978-1980) and fisheries scientist (DFO 1981-present). He heads the Salmon in Regional Ecosystems Program with research interests focused on: (1) the status of salmon populations in Canada’s Pacific Region, (2) climate effects on salmon in freshwater and marine ecosystems, and (3) development of tools to improve fisheries management. 

Dr. Hyatt has held adjunct faculty appointments at several universities and has recently served as a science advisor and manager for fisheries climate change programs in two federal agencies. Kim’s involvement with Columbia River salmon issues originates from his roles in developing a decision support system to ensure fish friendly flows in the regulated Okanagan River system and as DFO’s principal science advisor on Columbia River salmon of Canadian origin.

Abstract:

In its’ original free flowing and undeveloped state, the Columbia River supported a larger and more diverse set of indigenous, recreational and commercial fisheries than has been the case during its’ several decades of development and management as a highly regulated river system. Further, annual expenditures of hundreds of millions of dollars on habitat remediation and salmon supplementation programs have generally failed to restore healthy, self-sustaining populations of wild-origin salmon even in those portions of the basin in which they continue to persist. Despite this general result, two decades of research and active restoration work on wild-origin and hatchery-origin Sockeye Salmon in the Okanagan sub-basin have exhibited remarkable success in the face of challenges associated with complex interactions among fish harvest, hatchery supplementation, hydro-system regulation and habitat development. Given that production variations of most Columbia basin salmon are controlled by interactions among these same processes, this talk will (1) examine why Okanagan Sockeye Salmon restoration has been exceptionally successful, (2) summarize lessons learned from this case history that may be applied to increase prospects for successfully maintaining and/or restoring Columbia basin salmon elsewhere and (3) comment on future challenges that may threaten sustainable management of existing Columbia basin salmon populations or the restoration of others.

 

Kelvin Ketchum

Kelvin Ketchum
Abstract & Biography

Biography: 

Kelvin Ketchum has a Masters degree in Civil Engineering (water resources) from UBC.  His career with BC Hydro spanned 36+ years, with over 25 years in the reservoir operations group.  He focused primarily on reservoir operations for the Peace and Columbia rivers, and was heavily involved in the implementation of the Columbia River Treaty (CRT).  For much of this time, Kelvin managed a group of up to 20 operations planning and system modelling engineers.

Kelvin worked closely with his U.S. and Canadian counterparts on the CRT Operating Committee, and was the Canadian Chair of this committee for 13 years.  He led the Canadian team in developing the first CRT agreement to modify reservoir operations to benefit fisheries in both countries.

Since retiring from full-time work, Kelvin has continued to give presentations on reservoir management around BC.  In 2016, Kelvin went to Sudan with the World Bank to give a short course on the CRT to Nile River management staff from 3 countries.  In his spare time, Kelvin enjoys singing in choirs and playing piano & tuba.

Abstract:

Kelvin Ketchum will describe the flood risk management measures that are in currently in place for the Columbia River and its tributaries (especially the Kootenay River) under the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) and related agreements.  He will draw on his 35+ years of experience to show examples of how current CRT flood risk measures have substantially reduced flood damages in both countries since the late 1960’s.  He will also describe how CRT flood risk measures are expected to change in 2024 (CRT’s 60-year anniversary) unless there is further agreement between the two countries.

Greg Utzig

Greg Utzig
Abstract & Biography

Biography: 

Greg Utzig (M.Sc., P.Ag.) is a conservation ecologist and land use planning consultant based in Nelson, British Columbia. He has over 40 years experience in environmental impact assessment, watershed analysis, terrain and vegetation mapping, habitat inventory and modeling, and a wide range of activities related to forest management, biodiversity protection and climate change adaptation. He has contributed to various reports concerning the environmental impacts of reservoirs on the Columbia/ Kootenay River system in BC and the potential for mitigating those impacts.  He is a member of the Columbia Basin Regional Advisory Committee, the Upper Columbia Basin Environmental Collaborative, and has participated in the International Collaborative Modeling Workgroup. Whenever he can avoid his computer, he spends his time on Kootenay Lake or in the surrounding mountains.

Abstract:

The mainstem Columbia and Kootenay Rivers have been extensively altered by dams and reservoirs. Mapping of pre-dam aquatic, wetland/floodplain and terrestrial ecosystems has demonstrated that each reservoir was unique in the types, amounts and proportions of ecosystems impacted.

Aquatic habitat assessment has demonstrated significant losses of riverine habitats, with low elevation, low gradient rivers having the most significant losses. Lakes have been replaced by reservoirs and littoral habitats have been impacted by seasonal variations in water levels.

A risk assessment, based on losses as a proportion of terrestrial habitats available in the Columbia Basin, demonstrated that loss-induced risks were: very high for very wet forests, wetlands and gravel bars; high for wet forests, cottonwoods and shallow water/ponds; and medium high for intermediate forests. Losses of lake and river shoreline habitats ranged from high to medium high.

Fish species assessments describe varying impacts, depending on the life history of the species. Impacts included loss of riverine habitat affecting some stage of the life history, nutrient losses, changes in flow regimes, changes in water quality/turbidity, habitat/population fragmentation, and entrainment. In contrast, species that were able to take advantage of the increases in reservoir habitat may have benefited.

Wildlife impacts have been evaluated using habitat loss information and species-habitat associations. The highest impacts were associated with wetland and riparian specialists such as amphibians, waterbirds, waders, songbirds, bats and aerial insectivores. The dams have also impacted ecological functions and processes, including altered hydrologic regimes and floodplain processes, as well as natural disturbance regimes, trophic dynamics and nutrient cycling. Pre-dam gross primary productivity in the footprints has been reduced by approximately 95%.

Various compensation options have been identified, including ecosystem restoration and creation; habitat securement, stewardship and management; and species-specific projects. More recent studies have assessed opportunities associated with changes in reservoir operations, including some that may require adjustments to the Columbia River Treaty.

Kim Hyatt

Kim Hyatt
Abstract & Biography

Anadromous Fish Passage and Reintroduction Above Chief Joseph and Grand Coulee Dams by Stephen Smith and Keith Kutchins

Session IV: SPEAKER PANEL on ‘Where We Go From Here’

Speaker Abstracts and Biographies listed below

Kathy Eichenberger

Kathy Eichenberger
Abstract & Biography

http://engage.gov.bc.ca/app/uploads/sites/6/2012/03/BC_Decision_on_Columbia_River_Treaty.pdf

Biography:

Kathy Eichenberger is the Executive Director, Columbia River Treaty Review, Electricity and Alternative Energy Division, BC Ministry of Energy and Mines. Since October 2011, she is responsible for leading all aspects of the Columbia River Treaty (CRT) review, including technical, legal, environmental and economic studies, as well as First Nations and public consultation. Kathy is also leading a provincial team which is undertaking preparations for potential negotiations with Canada and the United States improve the CRT within its existing framework. Kathy is a hydraulic engineer by profession.

Jim Heffernan

Jim Heffernan
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Jim Heffernan is a Policy Analyst with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, where his work is focused on the regional effort to modernize the Columbia River Treaty. Under direction from tribal governments, he worked with federal and state representatives on the Sovereign Review and Technical Teams on the regional collaboration effort that led to U.S. Entity Regional Recommendation on the Future of the Columbia River Treaty after 2024, submitted to the U.S. Department of State on December 13, 2013. Jim continues to work with tribal leaders and staff for the 15 tribes in the Columbia Basin Tribes Coalition to ensure that ecosystem-based function, including fish passage and reintroduction to Canadian spawning grounds, is integrated as a third key element of a modern Columbia River Treaty.

Jim received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University. He earned a Juris Doctor and Certificate in Environmental Law from the Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College (now Lewis and Clark Law School).

Abstract:

Modernizing the Columbia River Treaty offers an opportunity to integrate ecosystem-based function as an equal purpose with coordinated power generation and flood risk management. Ecosystem integration means more stable water levels in reservoirs and more natural river flows, particularly in dry to moderate water years. A critical element of ecosystem integration is the reintroduction of salmon to historical habitats above U.S. and Canadian dams. Restoring access to these cooler water habitats is critically important for salmon viability in the face of climate change. Columbia Basin reservoir management has detrimentally diminished natural flow regimes for fish and their habitats. Without revisions to the Treaty, flood control will change after 2024. U.S. reservoirs will be drafted deeper before calling upon Canada for additional flood storage. These changes will degrade reservoir and river fish habitats and will reduce spring and summer flows to the detriment of salmon viability. Coordinated flood risk management with Canada after 2024 will prevent additional impacts to ecosystem function. The tribes believe a comprehensive regional flood risk management review will inform discussions with Canada. Reservoir operations should provide more stable water levels, enhance spring and early summer flows and restored estuary health by ensuring a more natural freshet and adequate flood protection.

Jay Johnson

Jay Johnson
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Jay Johnson is the Chief Negotiator and Senior Policy Advisor to the Chiefs’ Executive Council of the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA), a southern interior Indigenous Nation in BC. Jay has worked with the Okanagan Nation to represent and advance indigenous governance, title and rights interests for over fifteen years. On behalf of the Chiefs Executive Council of the Okanagan Nation he has led a variety of natural resource and energy sector negotiations and governance files, including the Columbia River Treaty negotiations and implementing a ground-breaking indigenous ‘Enduring Relationship’ agreement with BC Hydro. He is the BC First Nations Leadership Council`s provincial coordinator of the BC First Nations Gaming Committee, has been a special advisor to three BC cabinet ministers and has worked on international development projects in Jordan, Egypt, Mexico and the Caribbean. He holds an MA in International Political Economy from Dalhousie and is a PhD Candidate at the University of Alberta. He has taught political science, international relations and indigenous governance at the University of Alberta, Athabasca University and the University of Victoria where he, his wife and two sons currently live.

Abstract:

This Columbia River Treaty (CRT) presentation is an overview of the needs and aspirations of Canadian First Nations in the Columbia Basin highlighted through the lens of the Syilx- Okanagan Nation in its joint efforts to help negotiate a better and more balance Columbia River Treaty for generations to come.

Outlined in the presentation are the CRT related impacts, key factors, processes and indigenous needs that have led to the drastic readjustment in the role that Canadian Columbia Basin First Nations play in the current CRT re-negotiations process.

Alexandra Banford

Alexandra Banford
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Alexandra Banford is a Chief Negotiator with the provincial Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation (MIRR). She has responsibility for negotiations and integrated planning across the South Area of the province, including the Cariboo, Thompson-Okanagan, and Kootenay-Boundary regions. She has been in government for over 10 years, and within MIRR for over 7 years, in varying negotiation and program management roles.  Alexandra has also spent time in Ottawa, working with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.

On a day to day basis, Alexandra works with First Nations partners, industry, and local governments to build lasting, long-term relationships. How these relationships are built and sustained through agreements is a key aspect of the work.  She is motivated by concepts of intercultural collaboration, social inclusion, and constitutionalism. She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria, and her master’s degree at Royal Roads University. Alexandra grew up on Haida Gwaii, and now calls Victoria, B.C. home.

Ken Warren

Ken Warren
Abstract & Biography

Biography:

Thirty-seven years in Crown-Indigenous relations, primarily in British Columbia. Since retiring from the federal public service in 2011, Crown consultation coordinator for the Columbia River Treaty and liaison with the Province of British Columbia. Before retirement, 17 years representing Canada in the British Columbia treaty process as lead negotiator with, among others, the Ktunaxa Nation and Westbank First Nation. Earlier, seven years in litigation support with an emphasis on Aboriginal rights and title cases and six years in Indian reserve land management.

Abstract:

Indigenous Peoples of the Columbia basin were not included in the negotiation and implementation of the Columbia River Treaty. That historic omission will not be repeated in negotiations on the future of the Treaty. The presentation will summarize Canada’s engagement with Indigenous Peoples of the basin, identify some of the issues and objectives raised by Indigenous Peoples during the review of the Treaty (2012-2014) and describe current plans to engage Indigenous Peoples in Treaty negotiations with the United States.

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