The Fire District is hosting this Colestin Community Forum Page
in order to promote community here in the Colestin valley & Mt.
Ashland area, as well as to post announcements about local events
and happenings that are not officially part of fire district business,
but which are of general benefit to our whole community.
Anyone wishing to contribute to this page is welcome to email
CRFD's webmaster with material. If you would like to post your
local business services or products (particularly anything that
has to do with property work to reduce fire hazards), you are invited
to send us your information. Please observe that all announcements
must be to the purpose of the common good, and that we cannot accept
paid business advertising or partisan news.
We reserve the right to edit submissions for length and relevancy,
as necessary; we also reserve the right to reject submissions that
are deemed in poor taste (i.e., anything that is "an affront
to contemporary community standards") or that do not meet our
criteria for what is considered to benefit the common good.
For those wishing to obtain further community news beyond what is
posted here, we suggest that you contact Lisa Buttrey, publisher
of the community newsletter The Colestin Valley Buzz. (You
can call Lisa directly, at: (541) 821-5479, or email
Lisa through our website and we will forward your inquiry.)
There is also a list of local services posted on community resident
Rick Eckel's privately owned and managed website, "Colestin
Valley - South Side of Mount Ashland," online at: http://www.colestinvalley.com/.
You can also contact Rick through his website if you have
services that you would like to have posted.
(clicking on links here will take you down the page
to that item):
Goods and Services:
Wildlife Issues & Problems:
Cougar Behavior and Biology
Safety Tips for Living in Lion Country
for the Colestin Rural Fire District:
June 11th, 2011
- 7:00 PM
at the ZabaraH
Dance Studio in the Colestin valley
Karen Dwyer, a Co-proprietor of the ZabaraH Bellydance Company
here in the valley, is also a CRFD firefighter and an EMR (emergency
medical responder). In an effort to help the Fire District obtain
a new AED to replace an old and outdated one, as well as other
needed life-saving medical equipment not within our current budget,
she and her friends and neighbors have organized a Bellydance
Benefit within the community as a fundraising event for the Fire
The event is both a dinner and a bellydance show, and
a Raffle. Seating is traditional sitting on floor pillows.
The dinner will be a 5 [five]-course Moroccan dinner. There will
be bellydancing in between the dinner courses.
of 4/19/11, the dinner & bellydance benefit show is
now SOLD OUT!!
This is great news, and reflects some very wonderful community
support for this effort, which promises to be a really fun evening
while helping our local fire district! Thanks to all who have
purchased tickets (at $50 each) in support of this benefit!!
Remember: IF YOU MISSED THE
CHANCE TO BUY TICKETS TO THE BENEFIT, YOU CAN STILL HELP OUT AND
PARTICIPATE, BY BUYING A BENEFIT RAFFLE TICKET! (These have been
selling like hotcakes; there are some very nice prizes!)
Karen tells us that:
"... Raffle tickets may
be bought from me, Michele Zagorski or Martine Baker (the ZabaraH
Bellydance Company troupe)... raffle tickets are $1 each.
Windsor Best Western - one night stay thru Oct
2011-March 2012 (Ashland, OR)
Massage by Kay Henry, LMT - 1 hour ($65 value,
One Hour of Pure Bliss)
Northwest Outdoor Store - 50 gift certificate
(Hiking, Climbing, Kayaking, Camping Gear & Clothes)
Sundance Hill Designs Jewelry - $50 gift certificate
(Exquisite Handmade Artisan Jewelry Featuring Precious Gems &
Zagorska Organic Skin Care - $50 gift certificate
(Organic Lotions, Creams & Butters, "Beautiful Never
Felt So Good!")
Belle Sophie Interior Designs - $50 gift certificate
Themed gift basket (Includes Colestin Caprines
Goat's Milk Soap)
Raffle Drawing to
be held June 11th.
Raffle Winners will
be notified by phone.
Previous (excerpted) information (from Karen's 11/10/10 email):
"Sultans, Sultanas and of course...Bellydancers!
"Get ready for the event of the year!
The evening of June 11, 2011, mark your calendars! ZabaraH Bellydance
Company of Colestin, OR will be featuring a Benefit Show for
the Colestin Rural Fire [District]! ...
"Please tell/forward this to your friends,
family, neighbors, bellydancers and fellow fire fighters to
save this date on their calendars to help support a very worthy
"Colestin Rural Fire District is an all-volunteer
based fire [district] that provides critical year-round 24/7
fire and medical services to the Colestin community and beyond
(visit their website). This benefit will donate 100% of all
proceeds over production costs to help provide much needed $$$
for new life-saving equipment or replace old, worn out equipment.
"This is the event you have been waiting
for! More information to follow... If you are a bellydancer
and would like to dance or if you'd just like to volunteer for
the benefit, please email [or call] Karen.
"See you there!
ZabaraH Bellydance Company
Karen Dwyer (Caireen) ..."
And from her email of 1/24/11:
"Lovely Ladies and Gents!
"The Bellydance Benefit for the Colestin
Rural Fire District ... will now [include] a dinner show...
[featuring] an elegant 5-course Moroccan dinner with floor pillow
seating and of course our own beguiling Colestin bellydancers
for your entertainment! Our dance stage will be transformed
into a Bedouin tent!
"The dinner show will be held in our ZabaraH
dance studio ... date and time - June 11th at 7pm. Seating is
limited...there is space for only 12 guests, so if you or someone
you know is interested please reserve your tickets ASAP! Tickets
are being offered first to the Colestin community for two weeks,
then to the general public as of Feb 14th. There are only 9
tickets left! Tickets are $50/person. Please make checks out
to "CRFD" and mail them to me or I can pick them up.
"Come enjoy an enchanted evening
in a magical, exotic far-away land without ever leaving the
As above, if you are interested in purchasing Benefit
RAFFLEtickets, or if you would like to volunteer to help,
and for directions to the ZabaraH dance studio or any other questions,
please first call Karen at 541-210-7106. You
can also email Karen
here through the CRFD website and we will forward your email to
We very much appreciate the community's efforts to help the
District, and hope that this event is a huge success!!
Return to Topics List
GOODS & SERVICES
Dave McNeil dba The Woodsman - 541-890-4290
Dave lives on the Siskiyou Pass right above the valley and offers
General Contracting - CCB 191979 - licensed, bonded & insured;
Tree trimming & removals and small-scale logging;
Heavy Equipment Operations & Repair
Marley Jacob Pratt
February 6, 1985 - June 29, 2003
Marley was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 15. For
the past three years he beat the odds. He continued to live
and he continued to give to his family, friends and community.
Marley was a Junior Fire Fighter for CRFD. He always responded
when called and, as Chief Avgeris said, he would do anything
you asked him to. He was dedicated to this Fire District.
On Friday, June 17th Chief Avgeris and members of CRFD fire
fighting crew visited Marley to present him with the Fire
Fighter of the Year Award and, since he had turned 18, he
was given a badge signifying his promotion from Junior Fire
Fighter to regular Fire Fighter.
Sadly, Marley died two days later. He will be remembered
for his incredible attitude. He was in pain and he suffered
but he continued to serve as a role model to many because
he kept doing while others might have just given up.
All of the above photos are from Marley's web page.
You can visit Marley's incredible web page at www.marleypratt.com
The website has an Update Page (scroll down to "July
7, 2003") that includes further information for those
wishing to offer memorial
contributions in honor of Marley.
to Topics List
A Memorial - Glen Archibald
Glen Archibald died tragically during the spring of 2003. He
was a Colestin resident for 21 years. Many of us knew him and
were shocked and saddened by his sudden passing.
On Sunday, April 18th, 2003, a community Memorial Gathering
was held at the home of Indigo Ray, to share in a remembrance
of Glen. Our sympathies remain with his wife, Sandra, and their
children, Kira and Ian.
Return to Topics List
WILDLIFE ISSUES & PROBLEMS
Deer Disease Presence & Control
[This information from the OR Dept. of Fish & Wildlife was
provided to CRFD courtesy of Lisa Buttrey. We are re-publishing
her email of June 18, 2009, verbatim here:]
"Deer disease presence & control - Spread the
"Hello Volunteers and Neighbors,
"In recent days several deer have been found dead in the
Colestin. One was taken to the Forensics lab in Ashland for testing
and I spoke with Steve Niemela at Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife
(ODFW) for details about the forensic findings and about what
we humans can do.
"The deer are succumbing to Adenovirus Hemorrhagic disease.
It is passed deer to deer in saliva or by nose to nose contact.
This disease can be a serious threat to deer populations and was
responsible for many deer deaths in Ashland last year and also
for an [sic] decade long precipitous decline in deer populations
in our southern Oregon area starting in the 90s (in the past 5
years or so, populations have been increasing).
"What can we do?
"There is no cure for the disease, but there are a few simple
steps we can take to not exacerbate the problem.
"1) DO NOT FEED DEER. Anything that brings deer together
in unnatural congregations can promote the spread of the disease.
REMOVE SALT LICKS used by deer.
"2) Report any sickly or dead deer to ODFW. For Oregon
residents call Steve below, or if he is not available, anyone
in the office will do. In the case of California residents, also
to California authorities. Sickly deer may be listless to the
point of paralysis, have bloody diarrhea, or some Colestin residents
saw frothing at the mouth.
"3) If you find a dead deer, best practice is to bury
it to avoid any other deer coming into contact with it. It is
also possible to take the carcass to the Valley View Transfer
station. You may be assessed the regular dumping fee, or they
may waive the fee. Please do not cross the CA - OR stateline with
a diseased carcass!
Assistant District Wildlife Biologist
Rogue Watershed District
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
Phone: (541) 826-8774 ext. 239
FAX: (541) 826-8776
Return to Topics
Community announcement: Cougar Alert Update
the cougar population in our region has been increasing, we
need to continue to be aware of cougars coming nearer to our homes.
Past reports have included a cougar in the lower Hilt area and
another near the Mt. Ashland ski road.
summer, the availability of cougar food (deer, etc.) lessens their
interest in preying upon domestic animals or local livestock.
In winter, however, when deer, elk and other wildlife populations
relocate and become less available, cougars may seek food sources
nearer to the human population. This means our pets, livestock,
and our children may be at risk.
winter and spring, there were six known incidents of domestic
pet killings attributable to cougars. Other pets and livestock
were stalked and threatened. Most of these incidents were within
close range of district residences, two occurring on home porches.
caution all residents to maintain vigilance when outdoors. Young
children in our district remain at serious risk, even those just
"right outside," and should be supervised when outdoors at all
For details on local cougar attacks, information on cougar behavior,
and safety tips for cougar encounters, read on:
(As of Fall, 2004:)
While the cougars' own food prey is now in greater
abundance with the fall season, they are still around in our area.
(Last year, a Mail Tribune news report mentioned that this could
be because of a new parasite-carried virus that has been discovered
to be affecting cougars in the past few years.) During the past
year, new sightings have occurred, indicating the continued need
for personal vigilance when outdoors.
This means our pets, livestock, and our children
remain at risk.
Cougar problems last fall included a cougar in
the lower Hilt area, and another one near the Mt. Ashland ski
road. This is in addition to a cougar that was killed last fall
as it stalked and attacked livestock in the lower Colestin area.
During the 2002-3 winter and spring a year ago, there were six
known incidents of domestic pet killings attributable to cougars.
Other pets and livestock were stalked and threatened. Most of
these incidents were within close range of district residences,
two occurring on home porches.
(Previous Summary - October, 2003): Over the past several months,
there have been five known incidents of domestic pet killings.
Other pets and livestock, including a horse, have been stalked
and threatened. Some of these incidents have been very recent,
and all have been within close range of district residences, two
occurring just outside of homes on porches.
Most recently, a cougar sighting was reported in early May by John
Connors in the lower Colestin area off of the main road near Spaulding
Creek Road (just north of the SS Bar Ranch Road) on the California
side of the State line. The sighting occurred after dark in the
evening, and involved a cat of undetermined gender appearing near
a back porch. No animals/pets were disturbed. Cougar tracks were
positively identified at this property on the following day.
Within the same time frame, David Stan also reported finding fresh
cougar tracks at his property in the same vicinity, but without
Previously, a cougar incident occurred in the early morning hours
of the night just before 3 a.m., on Saturday, April 12th. A cougar
attacked and killed another neighborhood dog, belonging to Jacek
and Michelle Zagorski, who live to the southeast of the SS Bar Ranch
buildings near Hilt.
Due to animal noises heard at the time, two dogs were originally
thought to have been attacked, but the second dog returned home
after the incident. Both dogs were outside in an area close to the
house when this occurred. No sign of the dog that was attacked or
a cougar were found just following the time of the attack.
Later on the same day, however, a large male cougar was sighted
on the property in question, and was shot within the vicinity of
livestock and the residence. Remains of the dog that was attacked
were found within the cougar's digestive system.
Several more cougars are thought to still be at large
in our area, including a female with cubs. The Colestin - Mt. Ashland
area has two known cougar dens, one in the south-west end of the
valley and one near the Siskiyou Summit near the Tunnel 13 area.
Young children in our district are at serious risk, even those just
"right outside," and should be supervised when outdoors at all times.
Please keep your pets inside at night as much as possible, and be
aware that livestock are also at risk.
If you sight a cougar, report the incident immediately
to the proper authorities:
Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife: (541) 826-8774
California Dept. of Fish and Game: (530) 225-2300
Because these agencies may not have personnel immediately available
for assistance, we also urge you to contact the fire district. We
are available "24-7" for immediate assistance:
Call CRFD / Steve Avgeris for immediate assistance: (541) 488-1768
In Oregon, a property owner may track and shoot a
mountain lion / cougar that is causing damage on your own property,
without a permit. You must bring the carcass to the Department for
these authorities to take data on the animal.
In California a permit is required to shoot a cougar,
and the permit process is somewhat complicated, but begins with
reporting incidences of suspected mountain lion damage.
Return to Topics
A related story concerning cougars
appeared in the Thurs., October 30th, 2003, edition of the Mail
Tribune, entitled, "Hunters
kill cougars for protection."
"Oregonians shoot an average of two dozen cougars
during encounters deemed a public-safety hazard." -
Mail Tribune file photo
The following information is reprinted in full with permission from
The Colestin Valley Buzz (March / April, 2003, issue, published
by Lisa Buttrey):
Number of Cougar Encounters Rises
November 20, 2002 - Night, Near the Buddhist Temple:"We dog-sit
2 dogs on a regular basis and one of them, leo - a very big dog,
goes in and out of the house a lot. In the middle of the night I
hear this horrible cry. I jump up, open the door and it's Leo just
outside the door with a mountain lion that is bigger than he is.
They both freeze at the sight of me. I call for Leo to come in,
which he did immediately. Then my dog, Huckleberry came running
out and fortunately the cat took off. Leo's head was all wet and
his ear has a hole in it, but otherwise he's fine. None of the animals
in my house wanted out during the night for quite a while after
that." --Teri Thomas
February 3, 2003 - 3 AM, Fire Station One:"I awoke to the
horrible sounds of an animal being attacked, but when we investigated
that night we could find nothing. By daylight we found blood and
fur, but no remains of our dog have ever been found. Professional
hunters have investigated and found sparse evidence of mountain
lion tracks in the area. The tracks suggested a mother and two cubs.
Pets are easy prey, especially at this time of year when the deer
aren't back up valley yet, and the cubs are being schooled on how
to hunt." --Elizabeth Morgan
February 12, 2003 - 1 AM, Southeastern valley:"Our dog Maple
went missing the early morning (1:00 am) of February 12. My other
dog was barking constantly and frantically for over an hour. I did
not hear anything before the dog was barking, but I was sound asleep.
I searched but never found any trace of the missing dog. She was
small, maybe about 20-25 pounds.
These two dogs were always together and never strayed far from the
house so I suspect that the mountain lion was very close when Maple
was taken. I don't have any positive proof that it WAS a mountain
lion but my experience with coyotes is that they are very vocal
and as I said I didn't hear anything but my dog barking.
I talked to Fish and Wildlife in Oregon (541-826-8774 - Rosemary)
and reported my dog. In Oregon you can track and shoot a mountain
lion on your property. In California (530-225-2300 - Tina) there
is a whole process that you need to go through in order to get permission
to shoot the animal. The first step is that the incidents are reported
and then if there is a pattern it is referred to a warden... I'm
being referred to Warden Brian Boyd." --Sandra Archibald
Early March, 2003 - Night, Southwestern Valley:"We ourselves
haven't had any actual actual attacks here. What has occurred, though,
is that a gravesite of a goat that died this past December was dug
back up, and the carcass was eaten into. (I was not able to bury
the body sufficiently in December, due to mud; for the time being,
it was only covered by about 8-10 inches of soil with a sheet of
old plywood over that.) I found this out about 4 days ago when I
noticed that the ground at that site had been disturbed. The stomache
area (main body flesh and innards) was eaten out of the skeletal
frame of the body; the extremities and head were left alone. This
is, in Christy Lehman's experience, the exact type of behavior exhibited
by cougars on carcasses.
Coincident with this time-frame, we heard lots of serious barking
on the part of our two housedogs and three livestock guardian dogs
on or about the night before I found the carcass dug up. It has
not been disturbed since, and our dogs have not been overly agitated
as they were on the one night in question. However, they do all
seem to periodically react to the presence of something unusual,
although I am often here, and have not seen anything. We are not
attempting to cover the carcass back up, other than replacing the
plywood, with the idea that it may lure the cougar back for more,
when we would be able to report it and have it dealt with. This
is a very scary situation, for both pets and livestock, and especially
for children in our area who could be in danger." --Betsy Bradshaw
February 20, 2003 - Night and Day, Southwestern valley:"On
Thursday Feb. 20th our dog Shasta mysteriously disappeared during
the night. We called our neighbors and posted a notice on the bulletin
board. No one ever saw her. We did not find a carcass of any kind.
However, we did hike around looking for any signs of her. We found
only mountain lion tracks and scat.
A week later our other dog Ashley disappeared while eating breakfast
in front of the shop. We also searched for her and called the neighbors.
This time I saw the mountain lion through the bushes twice at the
same location. I called California Fish and Game and was informed
that I had a right to protect my property but that I could not hunt
it and that they would only intervene when livestock was damaged.
About nine days later on March 8th I was talking with my sister-in-law
and I looked out the kitchen window and saw a mountain lion stalking
my horse. The horse was lying down on the ground trying to soak
up some sun. It had no idea it was about to be pounced on. I bounded
out the door as fast as I could, the door slamming behind me! My
sister-in-law was concerned about my unusual behavior and looking
out the window saw what had upset me so much. The mountain lion
heard the noise and abandoned its prey as I came screaming towards
it. I have since taken my horse to Yreka. I didn't want to wait
until the horse was killed before I took action again.
Martha and I feel we have been violated. We have lived here for
twenty years and never worried at all when the grandchildren were
playing outside on the swings. However, it has changed our comfort
level and is challenging our concept of how we are to live in harmony
with nature." --David Stan
Return to Topics List
Cougar Behavior and Biology
(most of this info comes from www.atasteofeldorado.com)
Mountain lions (Felis Concolor) are the largest native North American
cat except for the slightly larger jaguar. They are primarily nocturnal,
shy, elusive, and solitary (except during the breeding season and
when young are traveling with the female). They are very fast over
a short distance, but due to relatively small lung capacity, cannot
run great distances. They are agile tree climbers.
Males are generally larger than females averaging 130 to 150 pounds
and 72-90 inches in length. Females average 65-90 pounds. Pads on
the forefeet are larger than those on the hind feet. Heel pads on
both the fore and hind feet have a distinctive three-lobed appearance.
Claw marks seldom show in cougar tracks.
Mountain lions are mainly nocturnal, preferring to hunt at night.
Deer are their favorite prey.
They have also been known to prey on beaver, porcupines, rabbits,
skunks, domestic livestock, pets, and other small mammal, birds,
and even fish.
Larger animals are usually killed by a bite to the back of the
Lions usually remove the viscera and eat the heart, liver and lungs
first. Uneaten portions of prey are often cached (covered with vegetation,
dirt, snow, or other debris). These food sources are generally fed
upon until consumed or they spoil. Lions generally move the carcass
and re-cover it after each feeding. Dens can be found in any concealed,
Male lions roam widely, females less widely, especially when the
cubs are small. Adult male home ranges often encompass more than
100 square miles. Adult males use their hind feet to scrape duff
into a small pile to declare their territory. These scrapes or 'scratches'
are often 6-12 feet wide.
Females generally occupy ranges from 20-60 square miles. Females
breed first at two or three years old, then every 18-20 months thereafter.
Young may be born at any time of the year; the gestation period
is 88-97 days. Litters range from one to six, generally two or three.
Juvenile markings (spots) disappear by fifteen months.
Return to Topics List
Safety Tips for Living in Lion Country
Because people and mountain lions increasingly occupy the same
geographical areas, encounters are expected to increase.
Here's what you can do to reduce your chances of encountering
a mountain lion near your home:
DON'T FEED WILDLIFE: By feeding deer, raccoons, or other wildlife
in your yard, you will inadvertently attract mountain lions, which
prey upon them.
'DEER-PROOF' YOUR LANDSCAPE: Avoid using plants that deer prefer
to eat; if your landscaping attracts deer, mountain lions may be
close by. Fence your yard with see-through fencing material to keep
deer out and pets from roaming.
LANDSCAPE FOR SAFETY: Remove dense and/or low-lying vegetation
that would provide good hiding places for mountain lions, especially
around children's play areas; make it difficult for mountain lions
to approach your yard unseen.
INSTALL OUTDOOR LIGHTING: Keep the perimeter of your house well
lit at night - especially along walkways - to keep lions visible.
COVER YOUR GARBAGE: Store garbage in cans with tight-fitting lids
so odors do not attract small mammals.
KEEP PETS SECURE: Roaming pets are easy prey for hungry lions.
Especially at night, either bring pets inside or keep them in a
kennel with a secure top. Fence your yard with see-through fencing
material. Don't feed pets outside; this can attract other mountain
KEEP LIVESTOCK SECURE: Where practical, place livestock in enclosed
sheds and barns at night (especially during calving or lambing seasons)
and be sure to secure all outbuildings. Consider getting a trained
livestock guard dog.
KEEP CHILDREN SAFE: Keep a close watch on children whenever they
play outdoors. Make sure children are inside between dusk and dawn.
Teach your children what to do if they encounter a lion.
What should you do or not do, when approached by a mountain
Here are some suggestions based on studies and analysis of attacks
by mountain lions, tigers, and leopards:
DO NOT HIKE ALONE: Go in groups, with adults supervising children.
KEEP CHILDREN CLOSE TO YOU: Observations of captured wild mountain
lions reveal that the animals seem especially drawn to children.
Keep children within your sight at all times.
DON'T JOG IN THE FOREST: Running may trigger an attack.
DO NOT APPROACH A LION: Most mountain lions will try to avoid a
confrontation. Give them a way to escape.
DO NOT RUN FROM A LION: Running may stimulate a mountain lion's
instinct to chase. Instead, stand and face the animal. Make eye
contact. If you have small children with you, pick them up if possible
so they don't panic and run. Although it may be awkward, pick them
up without bending over or turning away from the mountain lion.
DO NOT CROUCH OR BEND OVER: In Nepal, a researcher studying tigers
and leopards watched the big cats kill cattle and domestic water
buffalo while ignoring humans standing nearby. He surmised that
a human standing up is just not the right shape for a cat's prey.
On the other hand, a person squatting or bending over looks a lot
like a four-legged prey animal. If you're in mountain lion country,
avoid squatting, crouching or bending over, even when picking up
DO ALL YOU CAN DO TO APPEAR LARGER: Raise your arms. Open your
jacket if you are wearing one. Again, pick up small children. If
the animal does not flee and shows signs of aggression (crouching
with ears back, teeth bared, hissing, tail twitching and hind feet
pumping in preparation to jump) be more assertive. Throw stones,
branches, or whatever you can reach without crouching or turning
your back. Wave your arms slowly and speak firmly in a loud voice.
The idea is to convince the mountain lion that you are not prey
and that you may be a danger to it.
FIGHT BACK IF ATTACKED: A hiker in Southern California used a rock
to fend off a mountain lion that was attacking his son. Others have
fought back successfully with sticks, caps, jackets, garden tools
and their bare hands. Since a mountain lion usually tries to bite
the head or neck, try to remain standing and face the attacking
REPORT ANY INCIDENT TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES: Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife (541) 826-8774 or California Department of
Fish and Game (530) 225-2300. In Oregon, a property owner may shoot
a mountain lion that is causing damage [on their own property],
without a permit. You must bring the carcass to the Department for
them to take data on the animal. In California the process is more
complicated, but it begins with reporting incidences of suspected
mountain lion damage.
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