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It is our image we must protect


Guest k2dave
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Guest k2dave

Even though I am new at geocaching, I have noticed a increasing hostility towards us.

 

Even if you don't think you are hurting anything - if someone else does they will look down at us. We have to be more careful where we place our caches.

 

You could have a study saying that putting a cache in a location would help the environment but if one person thinks otherwise we have a problem.

 

It is our image we must protect - if that means bending over backwards to be 'environmentally friendly' then that's what we must do.

 

I think I beat this dead horse to death but would like to know what others think about this - on both sides of the issue.

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Guest MonteChristo

I'm new to GeoCaching too.. I'm interested: where do you see this "increasing hostility towards us"? Perhaps this hostility has not reached England yet.

 

In my opinion, Common Sense *should* cover the placement of Caches. So No trespassing on private property, no digging near graves or ancient monuments and so on.

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Guest k2dave

quote:
I'm interested: where do you see this "increasing hostility towards us"?

 

Basically on htis board. If you look at some other posts you will see stuff like 'how dare you put this cache on top on a mountain - I'm taking it' to ' I work for the national (park, forest, you chose) service and are concerned...' to ' Hey I'm a geocacher but due to all the hostility I'm bailing'. I don't have the time to search up the threads but they are there in this forumn for the finding. Some are just trolling but some are expressing valid concerns.

 

quote:
In my opinion, Common Sense *should* cover the placement of Caches. So No trespassing on private property, no digging near graves or ancient monuments and so on.

 

Well the USA is in the grips of environmental extreamist (IMHO) that won't let you dig a cat hole to take a dump. Forget about digging anywhere for caches (unless you own that land - but even then they might get you for something.)

 

I am of the opinion that the environment is pretty darn robust and can withstand geocaching activity w/o any damage.

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ly' then that's what we must do.


 

I agree we need to do all we can to show our best to those who are not familiar with geocaching. What could help is to take those unfamiliar or even those who say they are against geocaching on a cache hunt. They would find it is fun, family orientated, and generally safe.

 

Except for one biker jerk, I have been free from hostilities. People I talk to tend to think this is a pretty neat thing. But then I have not placed a cache yet, just hunted them.

 

We need the best press we can possibly get - always. I would LOVE to take a park ranger along with me some time. One-on-one in the woods. It is a challenge before us.

 

[This message has been edited by Lou C (edited 17 August 2001).]

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Guest CapnGadget

Dudes....

relaaaaaaaax...its just a few guys squabbling and fussing out of about 60,000 people engaged in the sport...and who knows how many people more in Europe and Asia and Australia...not to mention the gawd knows how many people who are not registered or just go with the geocacher for the walk.

Everyone I've ever told about this hobby has immediately responded positively and wanted to know more.

The only hostility I've encountered so far tends to be among the posters to the various forums LOL.

Happy caching - Cache In - Trash Out

Capngadget

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Guest McIrish

quote:
Originally posted by CapnGadget:

Dudes....

relaaaaaaaax...its just a few guys squabbling and fussing out of about 60,000 people engaged in the sport...and who knows how many people more in Europe and Asia and Australia...not to mention the gawd knows how many people who are not registered or just go with the geocacher for the walk.

Everyone I've ever told about this hobby has immediately responded positively and wanted to know more.

The only hostility I've encountered so far tends to be among the posters to the various forums LOL.

Happy caching - Cache In - Trash Out

Capngadget


 

Well put Capngadget. You can't please all of the people all of the time. No matter what you find as a hobby, someone out there will find a reason why you shouldn't do it. Just enjoy and do everything you can to protect the land. cool.gif

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I thought I'd dredge this old discussion up but go in a different direction:

 

( Please believe me that I am not anti-gun. I am pro-gun. )

 

I've seen a lot of posts about carrying guns when caching, signature lines about guns, and someone even posted a large photo in one of these forums of himself holding a pistol and making a "geocaching sign". Nothing terrible amongst friends like we all are, but.....

 

I think is it possible some people new to caching would see this and think that this is not the sport for them because they don't like to be around guns.

 

Also, people who are against geocaching can frequent these forums as well to gather "evidence" of the evils of geocaching. There is already a "member" who is using this site, and visiting caches to write an article about "the environmental damage caused by geocachers". (Somewhat biased)

 

Heaven help us if someone who wants geocaching to go away reads certain posts and publishes excerpts verbatim in a newspaper or at a city council meeting.

 

The Internet is available to all: our friends, our enemies, and those who are undecided. I think we ought to try to put our best foot forward and try to promote a positive image.

 

I've been involved in other activities (even employment) that was always under the scruitney of people hostile to that activity or occupation, and it is stuff like this that gets used against you.

 

So, maybe we could tone down the gun retoric and photos and all? (It never pays to advertise some things to the world.)

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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Well, I had to think about this post for a while, I am pro gun to a point, but I am much more pro 2nd amendment, I am very tired of un-educated (about guns) anti-gun people jumping on someone every time they mention a gun in a post or anywhere else (I am not saying that is what you are doing Dusty, really). I don't believe cowering from these self-righteous dolts just because they are vocal about their beliefs, is the answer.

 

I've had an engineer (with a P.H.D.) give me crap for buying an AK style semi auto rifle, saying that at least if it was a hunting rifle, there would be a reason to own it. I don't hunt because I don't enjoy killing critters (I admire people that hunt their own food, I just would not enjoy it); I enjoy killing paper and plinking (Safely, and legally). When I did have a concealed weapons permit, I wrote 'personal defense' in the reason for applying box. That is another LEGAL reason for owning a gun, not just for hunting.

 

It's a hobby for me, but I own a handgun for home defense as well as paper killing, it is legal, and it is something that, thank God, our forefathers saw fit to protect as, among other reasons, a last defense against a tyrannical government. So how 'bout cutting people some slack. I don't give horseback riders and mountain bikers crap for tearing up trails in the woods, it's their woods too, and I am glad they enjoy it. It makes it a little muddier for me, so what.

 

If you carry a handgun while caching, and you do it legally, what is wrong with that? There are critters out there that can harm you, not just people, and in some areas, it may be wise to carry. If you personally have a problem with that, it is YOUR problem, move to California where many people think like you, and have enacted laws that make it virtually impossible to carry. But don't give crap to law abiding people, and act like you're not being an a$$hole trying to force your beliefs on someone else.

 

Whew thanks for letting me get that out of my system. That said:

 

I post gun related threads on the Gun related boards I visit, I don't mention guns here unless replying to a gun related thread. I think the thread asking if others 'carry a gun while caching' is a legitimate thread, and pertinent to geocaching. But instead of just ignoring the post or, or replying 'no, I don't carry while geocaching' some fanatic anti-gun poster thought it was an open invitation to babble on and on about why guns are wrong, while insulting other posters, and have the nerve to say the thread was 'off topic' after they posted 2 giant posts of their anti-gun crap. I think THAT gives geocaching a bad name more than the casual ON-TOPIC occasional 'gun' posts.

 

I agree with your post Dusty if, in essence, it just says 'How bout toning it down a notch, lets talk about caching not guns. But would give it more weight if it came from a board admin. It's their job to set guidelines, and I try to respect that.

 

Edited to add link only.

 

_________________________________________________________

If trees could scream, would we still cut them down?

Well, maybe if they screamed all the time, for no reason.

Click here for my Geocaching pictures

 

[This message was edited by martmann on April 12, 2003 at 12:55 AM.]

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Good answer. (I was expecting the MOAP - Mother Of All Posts) for my posting.

Yes, my only point was to suggest toning down the gun talk.

 

In Missouri, I feel we are at a geocaching publicity crossroads. While the state Department of Conservation is undecided (and in some cases is against geocaching) the cities and counties are starting to officially allow it. As long as we can keep negative images to a minimum, I think we have a fair chance of getting geocaching everywhere in the state.

 

Some days, image is everything.

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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Probably nothing new to add here, but I would like to go on record saying that I prefer geocaching and this website NOT become a medium for promoting agendas, political, religious, or otherwise. This is a game, and is intended to be enjoyed by all, without having to encounter anyone's personal agenda every time we log in to this site, or open a cache. While the ideas may be perfectly rational and welcome, the promotion thereof through this sport is simply in poor taste. I am all for free speech, but I think to take a game and make it a means to promote your own ideas, be they widely accepted or WAAAAAAY out there, is just plain rude.

 

bunkerdave

6327_1900.bmp

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Image is very important. Having been involved in paintball sports for a couple of years, I've encountered several opinions against the sport because of the similarity between painball markers, and guns. It seems to me that most people, having formed a negative opinion, are very resistant to learning "the other side" of the issue. If someone is exposed early on to negative propaganda about caching, and its alleged environmental impact, what can we do to change their mind? There are too many people with too much time on their hands, who love to make it their personal mission to ruin other people's fun. I don't think there is any outdoor activity that couldn't be picked apart for the purpose of negative publicity. (fishing kills fish, hunting kills fuzzy animals, ATV's kill plants, hiking kills ants, sitting on a stump kills bacteria, blah, blah.) So, I plan to enjoy the sport untill it is a widely recognized outdoor activity with general public acceptance, or is banned altogether. Personally, if I had heard about the sport in a negatively biased article, I probably still would have given it a try. I guess what I'm tying to say is, I beleive people are predisposed to align themselves with certain political agendas, and there's not much we can do to alter their preconceptions.

 

"I'm not moving my car 'till you get my food right!"

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quote:
Originally posted by BloenCustoms:

... I believe people are predisposed to align themselves with certain political agendas, and there's not much we can do to alter their preconceptions.


 

True.

Let's not give them ammunition against us.

And a good image can convince the undecided towards our favor.

 

DustyJacket

Not all those that wander are lost. But in my case... icon_biggrin.gif

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[ignoring gun issue]

 

The debate between Geocachers and "environmentalists" will never end. Why? Because both sides are right, and both sides are wrong.

 

Like any other issue, the issue of whether geocaching is harmful to the environment is not black or white, it's a nice hearty shade of gray. Geocaching, by its very nature, urges people to trek into the great outdoors. Any person who trods the earth leaves a mark. It only takes a few people to walk in a single file line to create a trail that will be visible to the human eye for years to come (satellites have now been used to find caravan routes in the middle east that were traversed by nomads with camels hundreds, if not thousands of years ago).

 

So, from an environmental standpoint, if you go outdoors you'll leave a trace, regardless of how careful you are. Even if you stay on a path you simply ensure that the path will become more permanent. So then the question becomes: So what? Yes, vegetation will have difficulty growing on a path, and may take years to recover, but eventually it will disappear, and so long as one doesn't trek into an area filled with endangered species, the damage will not be permanent, and will generally involve little more than an unsightly bare patch of dirt. So, in most cases, the "tremendous impact" generated by cachers will amount to little more than an area which some people will consider unsightly. The damage which is caused is rarely more than a change in the appearance of the landscape, and as any geologist will tell you, this is nature, only faster.

 

Does that mean we should all run willy-nilly into the woods, digging holes for caches? Only if you don't care how the environment looks, in which case you can plant your cache in the restroom at your local Starbucks. It does mean, however, that we should try and strike a balance between enjoyment and responsibility (a bummer, I know).

 

But what if you decide to geocache in your local park? That's hardy lawn grass, it won't show any impact of your being there, right? Well, not directly. But of course, that grass will need more fertilization, and manufacturing fertilizers creates some truly toxic chemicals, which, once again, will damage the environment for years. And the park maintenance crew will show up with all their lawn equipment, which will produce noise (sound pollution) and a lot of nasty exhaust, not to mention burning oil, which is a limited resource. So have you really averted causing damage? If anything, by using the park you may have had even more of an impact on the environment. And the more you use the park, the more likely the park service is to try and minimize your impact by paving trails and planting educational signs all over the place ("Look Martha, a sign saying to stay on the trail. How beautiful and natural").

 

So, in the end, geocaching is damaging the environment. There's no way around it. But, as responsible people, we can do our part to help alleviate some of that damage by doing the following:

 

* Cache in, trash out. The one thing you can do that will actually help the environment look better the more you tramp around in it.

 

* Hide caches well, to discourage people from distributing their contents far and wide.

 

* Move all caches after 50 visits. Move them far enough to discourage using the path that was used before (yes, you'll cause a new path, but at least your great-great-grandchildren won't be seeing it from space).

 

* Be aware of the area where your cache is being planted. If endangered or protected species are in the area, plant it elsewhere.

 

* Keep a supply of trash bags in your cache to encourage others to pack trash out.

 

- Indiana Cojones

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quote:
Originally posted by Indiana Cojones:

[ignoring gun issue]

 

The debate between Geocachers and "environmentalists" will never end. Why? Because both sides are right, and both sides are wrong.

 

Like any other issue, the issue of whether geocaching is harmful to the environment is not black or white, it's a nice hearty shade of gray. Geocaching, by its very nature, urges people to trek into the great outdoors. Any person who trods the earth leaves a mark. It only takes a few people to walk in a single file line to create a trail that will be visible to the human eye for years to come (satellites have now been used to find caravan routes in the middle east that were traversed by nomads with camels hundreds, if not thousands of years ago).

 

So, from an environmental standpoint, if you go outdoors you'll leave a trace, regardless of how careful you are. Even if you stay on a path you simply ensure that the path will become more permanent. So then the question becomes: So what? Yes, vegetation will have difficulty growing on a path, and may take years to recover, but eventually it will disappear, and so long as one doesn't trek into an area filled with endangered species, the damage will not be permanent, and will generally involve little more than an unsightly bare patch of dirt. So, in most cases, the "tremendous impact" generated by cachers will amount to little more than an area which some people will consider unsightly. The damage which is caused is rarely more than a change in the appearance of the landscape, and as any geologist will tell you, this is nature, only faster.

 

Does that mean we should all run willy-nilly into the woods, digging holes for caches? Only if you don't care how the environment looks, in which case you can plant your cache in the restroom at your local Starbucks. It does mean, however, that we should try and strike a balance between enjoyment and responsibility (a bummer, I know).

 

But what if you decide to geocache in your local park? That's hardy lawn grass, it won't show any impact of your being there, right? Well, not directly. But of course, that grass will need more fertilization, and manufacturing fertilizers creates some truly toxic chemicals, which, once again, will damage the environment for years. And the park maintenance crew will show up with all their lawn equipment, which will produce noise (sound pollution) and a lot of nasty exhaust, not to mention burning oil, which is a limited resource. So have you really averted causing damage? If anything, by using the park you may have had even more of an impact on the environment. And the more you use the park, the more likely the park service is to try and minimize your impact by paving trails and planting educational signs all over the place ("Look Martha, a sign saying to stay on the trail. How beautiful and natural").

 

So, in the end, geocaching is damaging the environment. There's no way around it. But, as responsible people, we can do our part to help alleviate some of that damage by doing the following:

 

* Cache in, trash out. The one thing you can do that will actually help the environment look better the more you tramp around in it.

 

* Hide caches well, to discourage people from distributing their contents far and wide.

 

* Move all caches after 50 visits. Move them far enough to discourage using the path that was used before (yes, you'll cause a new path, but at least your great-great-grandchildren won't be seeing it from space).

 

* Be aware of the area where your cache is being planted. If endangered or protected species are in the area, plant it elsewhere.

 

* Keep a supply of trash bags in your cache to encourage others to pack trash out.

 

- Indiana Cojones


 

"So what?" is right. Why is it important for us to preserve the virginal quality of the wild? So that future generations can enjoy it? How, I ask, may future generations enjoy a wilderness they are not allowed to visit? How about hunters? They are a valuable resource for wildlife managers in keeping game populations in control. Would the trampling of some grass in the woods by hunters offset the environmental damage caused by a ravenous, out of control deer population? Think about what you're asking when you suggest that caches be moved after 50 finds. They would all have to be re-approved!

 

I love being outdoors, and I understand that my right to enjoy nature is limited to activities that leave the environment in a condition that will not be unpleasant for the next visitor. But to suggest that people have a responsibility to have less impact than other indiginous species doesn't sit well with me. I have every right to walk down an existing trail. And I will not be made to feel guilty for doing so.

 

"I'm not moving my car 'till you get my food right!"

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Furthermore, I'm not qualified to recognize endangered species. If I wish to find an existing cache, should I find out if it is in an area where there are endangered species before I go? Should cache approvers research that aspect before approval? Should caches in high impact areas be archived? Is it fair that less concerned cachers can log a cache in a sensitive area, while environmentally concerned cachers can't?

 

"I'm not moving my car 'till you get my food right!"

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quote:
Originally posted by BloenCustoms:

Furthermore, I'm not qualified to recognize endangered species. If I wish to find an existing cache, should I find out if it is in an area where there are endangered species before I go? Should cache approvers research that aspect before approval? Should caches in high impact areas be archived? Is it fair that less concerned cachers can log a cache in a sensitive area, while environmentally concerned cachers can't?


 

You won't need to worry about endangered species when looking for a cache if the person who placed it checked. It should be easy, as the park service loves to put up signs warning of area closures for just such reasons. Mind you, I don't think this should be a requirement, any more than it should be required for the cache approvers to check whether caches are on private land. It's a suggestion.

 

As for whether it's fair, of course it's not fair. Is it fair that bank robbers can get rich, but I can't? icon_rolleyes.gif

 

If you don't care about anyone but yourself, by all means pave a highway through old growth forest and nail your cache to a spotted owl.

 

I'm not telling anyone to do anything. I simply wanted to remind people that their actions, no matter how careful, always have an impact. Both good and bad. I'm not making rules here, just suggestions. And, I might note, I never suggested anyone needs to have less of an impact than indigenous species. You might want to re-read my post.

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I guess what I was trying to convey by bringing up indiginous species is that I don't believe that multiple cache visits have any more impact than game trails leading to water. Animals will use the trails repeatedly over time. We all know from Newton that our actions have consequences. I don't belive it is selfish to want to walk in the wilderness. Here in Louisiana, I have cut a lot of line while working for a surveyor. In as little as two years, the trails are comletely overgrown again. Granted, we have a long growing season, and all of it has been on private land, but the land does heal itself over time. I have yet to place a cache in a pristine wilderness. I only have two that are in "wild" areas. One is subject to seasonal flooding on a scale that would entirely obliterate any sign of visitors. The other is a few feet off of a boardwalk trail that is a far more obvious sign of man's presence than the green box stashed nearby. As to the spotted owl, there is currently a moratorium on locationless caches.

 

How can you buy or sell the sky

or the warmth of the land

It's strange to us

We don't own the freshness of the air

or the sparkle of the water How can you buy them from us

The white man doesn't understand our ways

He's a stranger who comes in the night

and takes from the land just what he needs

The whites must treat the beasts of his land,

as his brothers not his enemies

He leaves his father's grave and his birthright

His birthright is forgotten

The air is precious to the red man,

cause all things share the same breath

The white man won't notice the air he breathes

Like man dying for many days

One thing we know that the white man will

We know our god is the same god

You may think you wish to own him,

Own him as you wish to own our land

But he is the body of man

and the earth is precious to him

Continue to contaminate your bed,

and you will suffocate in your waste

 

-letter attributed to Chief Sealth, 1852

 

The city of Seattle bears his name today.

 

[This message was edited by BloenCustoms on April 12, 2003 at 01:30 PM.]

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You're right, how long the path would stick around would certainly depend on the environment. I have mixed feelings on the boardwalk, though. I'm of the type that goes outdoors to avoid seeing any indication of humanity, which is difficult to do when following a pre-defined path. The parks service means well, but they can be pretty obtuse when it comes to thinking about how to do things (our local Parks and Open Space recently announced that their job was, basically, to make the parks as convenient as possible for the thousands of visitors they don't want every year). I think if they could have their way, the parks service would set aside huge tracts of land which we could look at, but never enter.

 

Your mention of flooding gave me an idea for a cache. In an area that gets frequent heavy flooding, hide a cache high up in a tree so it can be accessed when the flood waters rise high enough to reach it by boat. icon_smile.gif

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Might be a cool idea. I'd thought about doing the tree thing with mine when the first flood soaked the contents. But, another local cacher placed one in a flood zone using an ammo box. The cache was submerged for months, and when he was able to retrieve it, the contents were only slightly damp. I replaced the container with an ammo box, so we'll see how it holds up when the river rises again. Right now, the bigggest threat is the poison ivy in the area. icon_biggrin.gif

 

Certainly, that is probably the most common reason for going into the woods. I remember finding a creek in the Whiskeytown recreation area in CA. Really nice spot, untill I saw a toothbrush bleaching in the sun on the rocks. I guess it's the same feeling you get when you discover some great song noone's ever heard, then you turn on the radio and it's all over the top 40. Perhaps the park service is losing sight of their mission. If we need to preserve areas from human contact, then we should do that, completely. But if an area is to be open for human activity, I believe cachers have every right to enjoy those areas along with the backpackers, campers, etc. Assuming a cache doesn't come apart and spill it's contents all over an area, and is removed when it is archived, it probably will have less lasting impact than a campfire. There are places in Austrailia where you can see signs of campfires thousands of years old, lying just under the surface. Humans do of course leave signs of their passage. To get back on topic though, maybe one way to present our image to non-cachers, is to compare the degree of impact of the various human activities in a given area. I just don't think a cache will cause any more damage than a scout troop, or church group hiking through. Already, caching is banned in national parks. It seems obvious that the park service has made their stance known. One of the "backcountry" trails I hiked in the Great Smokey Mountains NP was very obviously established with park service ATV's. I don't think that spoiled the experience for me. It was unsettling finding a huge bear doot containing aluminum foil and food wrappers, however. That trip was five years ago, before caching was even around. That poor bear's intestinal diffuculties were caused by a long accepted activity, backcountry camping. If the owner of that food had suspended the food from a tree like they're supposed to, it wouldn't have happened.

 

Unfortunately, the park service (or people in control thereof) probably won't rescind their ban on caches. So, yes, something needs to be done to prevent other land managers from getting the same negative image.

 

""

 

[This message was edited by BloenCustoms on April 12, 2003 at 10:18 PM.]

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There is an environmetal backlash brewing in the USA.

 

I'm becoming rather sick of all the crap.

 

We have "Cavers" willing to steal caches to protect a cave that is so vandalized that a geocache could only help clean it up. I'm sure there are worse out there.

 

Take a look around you. If envronmental extremism wins the urban box you are in now will become your playground. But don't even think of walking in the park. That's a microhabitat for our animal friends and verboten for us Humans.

 

Geocachers are not a pack of carniverouse wolves chasing down every last sensitive spot on the plant. We are chasing down a box. Oh my, we are such a threat to the world and everything in it!

 

Funny thing is every time I find a cool spot, some moron who drinks keystone beat me to it and dumped his 12 back because his truck can't handle the weight of hauling it back with him.

 

We are a target only because we are somewhat organized and have a handy dandy website.

 

==============================

Wherever you go there you are.

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