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Issues

Interior Expands Common-Sense Efforts to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat in the West

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
News Release
March 5, 2010
Contacts:
Sharon Rose (FWS) 303-236-4580
Melodie Lloyd (BLM) 202-912-7412
Hugh Vickery (DOI) 202-208-6416
Interior Expands Common-Sense Efforts to Conserve Sage Grouse Habitat in the West

Western Bird Found ‘Warranted but Precluded’
from Endangered Species Act Protection

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of the Interior will expand efforts with state, local and tribal partners to map lands that are vital to the survival of the greater sage-grouse, a ground-dwelling bird that inhabits much of the West, while guiding and managing new conventional and renewable energy projects to reduce impacts on the species, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today.

Salazar made the announcement in conjunction with a finding by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that, based on accumulated scientific data and new peer-reviewed information and analysis, the greater sage-grouse warrants the protection of the Endangered Species Act but that listing the species at this time is precluded by the need to address higher priority species first. The greater sage-grouse will be placed on the candidate list for future action, meaning the species would not receive statutory protection under the ESA and states would continue to be responsible for managing the bird.

“The sage grouse’s decline reflects the extent to which open land in the West has been developed in the last century,” said Salazar. “This development has provided important benefits, but we must find common-sense ways of protecting, restoring, and reconnecting the Western lands that are most important to the species’ survival while responsibly developing much-needed energy resources. Voluntary conservation agreements, federal financial and technical assistance and other partnership incentives can play a key role in this effort.”

Adding the species to the candidate list will allow the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies an opportunity to continue to work cooperatively with private landowners to conserve the candidate species. This includes financial and technical assistance, and the ability to develop conservation agreements that provide regulatory assurances to landowners who take actions to benefit the species. One such agreement was signed last month in western Idaho, encompassing an area of over half a million acres.

“There is much we can accomplish for sage-grouse working with private landowners who care about the future of this iconic western species,” said Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Tom Strickland. “Voluntary conservation efforts on private lands, when combined with successful state and federal strategies, hold the key to the long-term survival of the greater sage-grouse.”

Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey, whose agency manages more greater sage-grouse habitat than any other government agency, said that the BLM will today issue guidance that will expand the use of new science and mapping technologies to improve land-use planning and develop additional measures to conserve sage-grouse habitat while ensuring that energy production, recreational access and other uses of federal lands continue as appropriate. The BLM guidance also addresses a related species, the Gunnison sage-grouse, which has a more limited range, and which is in the process of being evaluated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to determine whether it also warrants protection under the Endangered Species Act.

“Managing for sensitive and candidate species is nothing new to the BLM,” said BLM Director Bob Abbey. “Using sound science and effective on-the-ground coordination with our many partners, we will build on current accomplishments in managing for sustainable sage-grouse populations on our National System of Public Lands.”

The guidance, which supplements the BLM’s 2004 National Sage-Grouse Conservation Strategy,identifies management actions necessary at some sites to ensure the environmentally responsible exploration, authorization, leasing and development of energy resources in the priority habitat of greater sage-grouse.

Under the guidance, the BLM will continue to coordinate with State fish and wildlife agencies and their Sage and Columbian Sharp-tailed Grouse Technical Committee in the development of a range-wide key habitat map. This mapping project, which is not intended to replace individual State fish and wildlife agency core habitat maps, will identify priority habitat for sage-grouse within each of the western states and reflect this across the known range of sage-grouse.

Greater sage-grouse are found in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, eastern California, Nevada, Utah, western Colorado, South Dakota and Wyoming and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan. They currently occupy approximately 56 percent of their historical range.

If trends since the mid-1960s persist, many local populations may disappear within the next 30 to 100 years, with remaining fragmented populations more vulnerable to extinction in the long-term. However, the sage-grouse population as a whole remains large enough and is distributed across such a large portion of the western United States that Fish and Wildlife Service biologists determined the needs of other species facing more immediate and severe threat of extinction must take priority for listing actions.

The Service will review the status of the species annually, as it does with all candidate species, and will propose the species for protection when funding and workload priorities for other listing actions allow. Should the status of the greater sage-grouse sufficiently improve as a result of the efforts to be undertaken, the Service could determine that the protection of the Endangered Species Act is not needed.

For more information about the Service’s finding on the greater sage-grouse, click here.

For more information about the BLM’s efforts to conserve sage-grouse habitat, click here.

 

CCF launched www.HumaneWatch.org

In a landmark RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) lawsuit certain to have far-reaching implications for the animal rights movement, Feld Entertainment and the Ringling Brothers circus sued the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), its lawyers, and several other animal rights groups last week. The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom (CCF) unearthed the lawsuit in federal court records today. CCF is making the lawsuit available online at its newest website,www.HumaneWatch.org.

"America's farmers, ranchers, hunters, fishermen, research scientists, fashion designers, and restaurateurs have seen for decades how the animal rights movement can behave like a mobbed-up racket," said CCF Director of Research David Martosko. "But it's still shocking to see the evidence laid out on paper. In a treble-damage lawsuit like this, a jury could actually do the humane thing and finally put HSUS out of business completely."

In its February 16 lawsuit, Feld leveled bribery, fraud, obstruction of justice, and money laundering charges against HSUS and two of its corporate attorneys; three other animal rights groups; the Washington, DC law firm of Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal; and all three of that firm's named partners.

On December 30, 2009, Federal Judge Emmitt Sullivan ruled that these defendants collaborated to pay more than $190,000 to Mr. Tom Rider, a former Feld employee who was an elephant "barn helper" for two years in the late 1990s, in exchange for his impeached testimony against Feld in an earlier lawsuit-testimony Judge Sullivan declared "not credible" and disregarded in its entirety. That lawsuit was dismissed.

Feld is also suing Mr. Rider, and a nonprofit "Wildlife Advocacy Project" charity, claiming that Meyer Glitzenstein & Crystal used it to funnel money from their plaintiff clients to Mr. Rider. These clients included the Fund for Animals, which merged with HSUS in 2004.

"The new HumaneWatch website is the only place the public will be able to read this lawsuit," Martosko added. "We're publishing a treasure trove of information about the Humane Society of the United States, including lots of surprising documents that HSUS would rather remain hidden from its contributors."

Last week CCF launched www.HumaneWatch.org, an online watchdog project dedicated to analyzing HSUS's activities and keeping the group honest. It includes a blog, an interactive document library, and a growing body of information about HSUS-related organizations and staff.www.humanewatch.org

 

Ruthless killing of birds

Malta, Still a killing field for birds.

It is hard to believe that this misguided practice is still around in modern
society.

www.birdlifemalta.org

As hunters, we need to be the loudest voice condemming unethical practices such as the bird shooting in Malta each year.  I'm all for a season, but this shooting is occurring outside the legal season.  And shot birds are wasted, thrown away for a 'better' bird for taxidermy mounts.  It a poor image for hunters and all of us who hunt in any shape or form.  It will get hunting restricted even more if we as hunters don't speak out against it.

From my Blog:  www.seeaperegrinethankafalconer.blogspot.com
Hawk Mountain Pennsylvania  well-known for the concentration of migrating raptors. Shooters (I DON'T call them hunters) would shoot raptors by the thousands. It was considered 'good' conservation practice back then. It was distressing to see in the book: "Hawks Aloft: The Story of Hawk Mountain" the dead and dying raptors lined up like sardines. I'm so glad that that this misguided and sad era is now over in the United States. But, such practices are still around in regions of Europe, which is so distressing to hear about. Austria, Sweden, Malta are among several countries where legal hawk killing and persecution still occur. Falconers are striving to stop
the practice.

http://hawkmountain.org/index.php?pr=Chronology


Karen "Kitty"  Carroll     Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Maine Trappers Win Major Court Victory

U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation
801 Kingsmill Parkway, Columbus, OH  43229
Ph. 614/888-4868 • Fax 614/888-0326
Website: www.ussportsmen.org • E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 11, 2009
Contact: Greg R. Lawson (614) 888-4868 x 214
Sharon Hayden (614) 888-4868 x 226

Maine Trappers Win Major Court Victory

(Columbus, Ohio) – Trappers in Maine won a major victory as the state’s Federal District Court upheld the state’s trapping practices and blocked the establishment of a precedent that could be used by anti-hunting and anti-trapping groups nationwide.

In 2008, the Animal Welfare Institute and the Wildlife Alliance of Maine filed a lawsuit against the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DIFW) seeking a permanent injunction that would have essentially prohibited trapping in the state.  The lawsuit claimed that Maine’s trapping regulations violated the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because Canada lynx, a threatened species under the ESA, could be incidentally caught in traps causing “irreparable harm” to the population. 

Throughout the case, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation (USSAF), along with the Maine Trappers’ Association, Fur Takers of America, National Trappers’ Association, and several individual sportsmen, argued that the anti-trapping plaintiffs had to show that Maine’s trapping practices were a threat to the Canada lynx population as a whole.  The plaintiffs insisted that harm to one individual lynx was sufficient for the Court to prohibit trapping in the state.

On November 10th, Federal District Court Judge John A. Woodcock, Jr. ruled that Maine’s trapping practices did not irreparably harm the Canada lynx and denied the injunction sought by the anti-trappers.  Further, the Judge agreed with the state and the USSAF that “irreparable harm” is harm to a species as a whole and not simply one individual member.  

“Although the plaintiffs may appeal the ruling, the Federal Court’s decision is a monumental victory for the trappers in Maine and sets an excellent precedent that will make it harder for the antis to misuse the ESA in their attempts to ban hunting and trapping in other states,” states USSAF Vice President for Government Affairs Rob Sexton.

“We knew the evidence was on our side and are thrilled with outcome,” said Skip Trask, executive director of the Maine Trappers Association.  “The USSAF’s legal assistance was invaluable to the favorable outcome.”

Chick Andres, President of the Fur Takers of America commented, “Trappers nationwide should be grateful that the court saw through what the anti’s were trying to do.”

In 2008 the USSAF’s legal arm, the U.S. Sportsmen’s Legal Defense Fund, was granted permission to intervene in the lawsuit.  The case came on the heels of similar case, also in Maine, that was settled in late 2007 when the DIFW agreed to restrict trap sizes in areas where Canada lynx exist.

The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them.  The U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research.  Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. For more information about the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation and its work, call (614) 888-4868 or visit its website, www.ussafoundation.org.

 

Letter to IHEA re: lead issues

Karen (Kitty) Irene Tolson Carroll’s

Accipiter Enterprises™

Educational Birds of Prey

Birds of the GauntletTM ---- Free-Flight Raptor Programs

International Falconry Academy™

Bird Strike Force Pest Bird Control -- Naturally


Karen ‘ Kitty ‘ Carroll
P.O. Box 1300
Live Oak, Florida, 32064 USA
Phone: 386/776-1960
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
- Raptor breeding/rehabilitation
- Falconry courses/field trips/workshops
- Raptor equipment & facilities design/sales
- Apprentice falconer programs
‘The message of conservation through birds of prey since 1989’

Affiliate of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Alliance www.trca.org


International Hunting Education Association (IHEA)
2727 W. 92nd Ave., Suite 103
Federal Heights, Colorado 80260
phone: 303 430-7233
fax: 303 430-7236
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RE: Lead and wildlife


Dear Sir/Madame:


In the current issue of the International Hunter Education Association  Journal (www.IHEA.com)  Vol. 9, No, 3, (Fall, 2009) page 32,  is an article on lead ammunition. I understand the concern of gun hunters defending their position. I am a gun owner and gun hunter myself. I support all forms of hunting and Second Amendment rights.  I’ve been a licensed falconer since 1974. I'm a member of the NRA (life) and a Hunter Safety Instructor in Florida, and recently joined the IHEA,


The Peregrine Fund is mentioned in the article. The problem I have with the article is that the name 'Peregrine Fund' is grouped together with anti-hunting organizations. The Peregrine Fund www.peregrinefund.org was founded by falconers who are avid hunters, outdoors enthusiasts and were concerned about the dwindling numbers of peregrine falconers in during the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s. The P—Fund as many of us call it is the recognized leader worldwide in saving many raptor and other bird species from the brink of extinction. Their exceptional programs promote wise sustained use stewardship of wildlife resources, by focusing on raptors and birds. They educate the citizens of the respective native countries to conserve all precious natural resources. They became concerned about secondary lead poisoning of wildlife and held a conference in May of 2008 to address this important issue. Proceedings are available online at their website.


Many falconers including myself hunt with a variety of methods.  Some with firearms and archery, others with other ‘primitive’ methods, such as falconry, coursing with dogs, ferrets and terrier work.   An excellent article on this subject written by falconer and outdoor writer Stephen Bodio was published in the March 1987 Issue of American Hunter Magazine. A copy of that article is on the enclosed disk on the PDF files. Also and out of print book by Dan Mannix called ‘A Sporting Chance’ also talks about alternative forms of hunting. I also hold a raptor rehab permit.  I have seen myself and talked with other   wildlife rehabilitators about the secondary poisoning of wildlife from the remains of field dressed game and the lead fragments left behind. A friend of mine who is an accomplished competitive rifleman and also a falconer has seen firsthand the effects of secondary poisoning in wildlife. Lead residue and particles in our waterways from fishing tackle is also becoming an issue of concern. It is being examined by wildlife authorities and is also being prohibited in certain areas. I have read in the American Rifleman publications about the research being done to offer alternatives to lead based shot and projectiles in firearm ammunition.


Although this concern about lead poisoning can be used as a back-doors tool to curtail gun ownership, stop gun hunting and even fishing by anti-hunting groups. The Peregrine Fund and similar sustained used wildlife organizations need to be categorized correctly and separately, from the anti-hunting protectionist groups. In fact, this year, for the first time in 35 years the US Fish & Wildlife Service and several states allowed the live capture of migrating (passage) peregrines for use in falconry. This is a sustained-use practice the Peregrine Fund supports.


I only request that all of the information is presented before students. Allow them the opportunity to see all of the data concerning lead in wildlife. How to safely field dress animals and prepare game for the table. Have them review the written precautions on handling lead ammunition and firearms enclosed with every gun owner’s manual. That way, they can make an informed decision on using lead or non-lead ammunition.


Sincerely,


Kitty Tolson Carroll


I have enclosed a CD which has a PDF copy of the Stephen Bodio Article called “The Sport of Kings” for your review. BTW: The woman with the red-tailed hawk in the article is me .


I also have a blog on the falconer’s leading role in peregrine recovery: www.seeaperegrinethankafalconer.blogspot.com

 

The Wolves, The Wildlands Project, and Yoopers

The reintroduction of large carnivorous predators in MI, specifically wolves, is part of a diabolical, bi-national Wildlands Project “re-wilding” and “restoration” scheme to help the one-world order globalists gain dictatorial land use control of every square inch of America.

It’s being implemented through an organization of the same name, the Wildlands Project (TWP), which is a partnered member of the United Nations’ International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).  The IUCN and its partnering members aid and abet achievement of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, particularly one having to do with redeveloping all nations for environmental sustainability.

TWP, working in tandem with the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society to implement many bi-national Wildlands Project initiatives, is getting tremendous help with its sicko scheme from nationally and internationally partnering, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as from some U.S. government agencies. Several of these organizations and agencies are also members of the IUCN, a.k.a. the World Conservation Union.

The long USA-IUCN membership list includes the Nature Conservancy (TNC), NatureServe (a data base gathering TNC by-product), Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation (NWF), Defenders of Wildlife, National Audubon Society, George Wright Society, the Dept. of Commerce–NOAA, Dept. of Agriculture-Forest Service, Dept. of Interior–Fish and Wildlife Service, Dept. of Interior–National Park Service, Dept. of State–Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency.

At last count, 74 American based IUCN NGOs, plus their supportive tag-along, groupie organizations, and government agencies were assisting the Wildlands Project in the taking of our right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, as guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America. 

The Virginia based Nature Conservancy has chapters in every state and thousands of members who may not know what sort of outfit their dues really support, especially when some large corporations gift TNC with thousands of employee memberships.  However, it reads well when TNC claims to have over a million members.    

The National Wildlife Federation is comprised of one conservation organization per state.  Michigan’s affiliate is the Michigan United Conservation Clubs (MUCC), which is a conglomeration of conservation and sportsmen’s clubs that pay dues to the MUCC.


At least one local sportsmen’s club, which has taken a neutral stand on wolves, buys MUCC memberships for each club member.  Those who don’t want one aren’t welcome in the local club.  However, most folks accept membership without realizing that the MUCC supports the NWF, which supports the IUCN, which supports the Wildlands Project, which is “rewilding” a minimum 50% of America, which will be strictly off-limits to people.  Much of the remaining 50% will be highly restricted use and, yes, TWP wants to reduce human populations.

Some IUCN NGO members partner with government agencies, as the Nature Conservancy does with the MI-DNR, Federal  Forest  Service,  Army

Corps of Engineers, etc.  By being allowed to do this, they’re able to implement re-wilding and restoration schemes, like TNC’s UP Conservation Plan, Global Fire Initiative, and Global Invasive Species Initiative, etc.

In essence, without realizing it, we’ve been paying our natural resource management agency personnel to do an NGO’s bidding.  And, though bringing wolves back into Michigan may not be a direct TNC program, wolves are definitely an important targeted species in TNC’s UP Conservation Plan.

Some Wildlands Project “re-wilding” partners have been allowed to manipulate the Endangered Species Act (ESA) so as to re-introduce wolves, cougar, and other species that really aren’t endangered at all.

There are over 50,000 wolves in Canada, but because they weren’t prevalent in the states, the re-wilders have been given liberty to re-introduce them as a nonessential experimental species in some “distinct population segments” (DPS) of America.  The MI-WI-MN DPS is part of the US Fish & Wildlife Service Ecosytem Management Team’s Region 3, and wolves purportedly migrated here naturally.


The ESA has also been used by re-wilders as an enabling tool to list all sorts of endangered species, even vegetation and insects, that really aren’t in danger of extinction, but sure come in handy to prevent traditional land use, especially since most live on private property.

Since the ESA was enacted in 1973, less than a dozen species have been recovered and removed from a list that now reaches almost 1,300.  But, the Defenders of Wildlife and others are still allowed to file countless expensive lawsuits when the Fish & Wildlife Service doesn’t hop to adding even more.  Then there’s Michigan’s list and the IUCN’s “red list” to contend with.  Truth be told, it’s the human species that’s endangered.

To add to the scheming, most NGO partners feed like bloodsuckers on grants from several government agencies, as well as from a host of philanthropic outfits such as the Charles Mott Foundation.  The Environmental Protection Agency alone has doled out millions to NGOs, and so has the Fish & Wildlife Service.

To promote acceptance of wolves, which TNC uses as a target species, the MUCC and NWF partnered with the Timber Wolf Alliance, a program of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin.  They set up an “education” project to help “socially engineer” school children and naïve adults into believing that large wolf populations are a necessary part of nature; that wolves have human like qualities since they have family units with a mom, pop, aunts, uncles, siblings and cousins.

What children aren’t being taught is that, in India, for instance, wolves carry off and kill many little kids who wander outside their villages; that, rabid or not, wolves have attacked people in Canada and Alaska.  What isn’t being taught is that, while wolves’ favorite food is whitetail deer and beaver, they’ll still kill family pets and Johnny’s 4-H cow when need and/or opportunity presents itself.

They don’t record and let children listen to Bambi being run down and eaten alive by a pack of frenzied wolves, as it bleats in fear and pain until shock makes it mute.  Nor do they tell the children about 'spree killing' when wolves attack and leave their prey to die without taking so much as a bite of flesh, and that the 'spree killing' can involve as many as thirty sheep a night or entire flocks of chickens or domestic ducks. 

When “re-wilders” “re-introduce” or “protect” wolves, cougar, or any species to specific areas of America, they’re able to implement land control by setting aside thousands of acres of habitat, which they claim endangered species need to flourish.    

Think of this as a pyramid scheme with wolves at the top and field mice and the grass mice live in near the bottom.  Then consider what insects and other species are needed to keep the soil and vegetation in perfect condition for mice and you’ll have a better idea of why TNC designates wolves as a target species and then sets about restoring habitat for everything “nested” under them.

The Wildlands Project and their partners are redeveloping America as they envision it prior to the arrival of European settlers who wanted to escape the tyranny of greedy, dictatorial power mongers. 

It seems, however, that, as American ancestors of those freedom-seeking settlers, we’ve let our guard down and allowed tyranny to come ashore in the form of radical environmentalism trumpeted by conniving UN program partners with more on their mind than listening to the howl of wolves in the pristine wilderness.

Unfortunately, our elected leaders and agency employees seem more willing to ride the environmental gravy train to global knighthood by trampling our property and constitutional rights than they are willing to send the eco-partners packing.

 

NRA-Backed Wicker Amendment Adopted By Senate

NRA-Backed Wicker Amendment Adopted By Senate

During consideration of H.R. 3288 (FY 2010 Transportation--Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill), Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) offered NRA-backed Amendment 2366 to reform policies regarding the transportation of firearms on Amtrak trains.  Currently, passengers who choose to travel by passenger rail in the United States cannot transport a firearm in checked baggage as they can on airlines.

Known as the Wicker Amendment, this measure was adopted by the Senate on Wednesday, September 16, by a vote of 68-30, and would allow law-abiding Amtrak passengers the ability to securely transport firearms in their checked baggage while traveling by Amtrak train.

Wicker offered a similar amendment to a budget resolution on April 2.  That NRA-supported amendment was adopted by the Senate by a 63-35 vote. Unfortunately, the amendment did not survive the conference committee and was not included in the final budget resolution.

"Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights restricted for any reason, particularly if they choose to travel on America's federally subsidized rail line," said Wicker.

Wicker's appropriations amendment would cut more than $1.5 billion in taxpayer funding to Amtrak if the railroad does not change its policy to allow passengers to securely transport firearms in checked baggage.  The policy change would also broaden gun owners' choices in choosing how to travel, and benefit Amtrak by encouraging more business from shooters and hunters.

"Sportsmen who would like to use an Amtrak train for hunting trips cannot do so because they are not allowed to bring a firearm in checked luggage, something that is done every day at airports across our country," Wicker said during floor debate.

Many Mayors Hear Your Voice: Grassroots politics is alive and well in the United States, as gun owners have been making their voices heard to their mayors. In the past few weeks, gun owners have been contacting their mayors who joined New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG).

The result:  MAIG has lost over 50 members because gun owners took action to tell their mayors the truth about this organization.  Many of the mayors who have resigned from MAIG have indicated they were unaware of the full extent of their anti-gun agenda.  They now know they were mislead by MAIG's claims that it was only concerned with "illegal" guns.

In response to NRA-ILA's efforts to inform voters and mayors regarding the truth about MAIG and its anti-gun agenda, Bloomberg's group has contacted mayors repeating their claim that they are only concerned with "illegal" guns, claiming that NRA is misrepresenting their agenda.  But the facts are clear.

MAIG has never taken any direct action regarding illegal guns. (Click here to read more about MAIG.)  All of their priorities, from repealing the Tiahrt amendment, to opposing interstate Right-to-Carry reciprocity, have been targeted at law-abiding gun owners.  Law enforcement groups, like the Fraternal Order of Police, have made their support for the Tiahrt amendment clear.  The Tiahrt amendment protects not only ongoing criminal investigations, but also the lives and safety of law-enforcement officers. (To read what FOP President Chuck Canterbury wrote on the Tiahrt amendment click here.)

The real reason MAIG opposes the Tiahrt amendment is because it interferes with the efforts of anti-gun mayors like Bloomberg, Boston's Thomas Menino (a MAIG co-founder), and Chicago's Richard Daley to bring bogus lawsuits against lawful firearm manufacturers.  These suits are designed to punish gun makers for the acts of criminals, and to use the courts to impose strict regulations on gun sales that legislatures have rejected; gun regulations that negatively impact law-abiding gun buyers, but have no impact on criminals.

MAIG opposition to Right-to-Carry reciprocity is a clear example of their opposition to legal gun ownership and self-defense.  Reciprocity would only apply to those who have permits, and then only if all local laws are followed.  Criminals and gunrunners do not undergo background checks, take training courses, and seek certification to obtain a carry permit--law-abiding gun owners do.

Gun owners must keep up the pressure on their mayors to ensure that their rights are respected.  If your mayor is a member of MAIG, contact him and let him know the truth about this anti-gun group's real agenda. (To find if your mayor is a member of MAIG, click here.)  If your mayor is one of those who has resigned, call and thank him for his support.

Clearing Up the Rumors: The Truth About The "Gun Tax Bill" Over the past few months, NRA-ILA has received hundreds of e-mails warning us about "SB-2099," a bill that would supposedly require you to report all your guns on your income tax return every April 15.

Like many rumors, there's just a grain of truth to this one.  Someone is recycling an old alert, which wasn't even very accurate when it was new.

There actually was a U.S. Senate bill with that number that would have taxed handguns¾nine years ago.  It was introduced by anti-gun Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and it would have included handguns under the National Firearms Act's tax and registration scheme.  This has nothing to do with anyone's Form 1040, of course.

Fortunately, S. 2099 disappeared without any action by the Senate, back when Bill Clinton was still in the White House.  We reported about it back then, just as we report about new anti-gun bills every week.  Now, it's time for gun owners to drop this old distraction and focus on the real threats at hand.

To read a story by NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox on this and other rumors, please click here.

Triggering The Vote! With each election, Americans go to the polls and make decisions that affect-for better or worse-the future of freedom in America. 

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 72 percent (142 million) of the eligible voting age citizen population (197 million) were registered to vote in 2004. This means that as many as 55 million people were eligible to vote, but unregistered-and therefore did not participate in the November 2004 elections.  Far too many gun owners and hunters are among them. 

NRA has created a new affiliate, the NRA Freedom Action Foundation (NRA-FAF), which focuses on nonpartisan voter registration and citizen education.  The NRA-FAF has been recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt charity under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Donations are fully deductible. 

The NRA Freedom Action Foundation, in turn, has launched a new campaign-Trigger the Vote.  And to serve as Honorary Chairman, we brought on board one of America's most persuasive action heroes-Chuck Norris.  Visit www.TriggertheVote.org to hear his message. 

You can be part of the campaign.  Visit the website, recommend it to friends-and use it to persuade any unregistered gun owners, hunters or shooters you may know to get on board by registering to vote. 

Visit www.TriggertheVote.org today-and Trigger the Vote in your community.  

2009 Gun Rights Policy Conference: This year's Gun Rights Policy Conference (GRPC) will be held in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 25, 26, & 27, at the Airport Renaissance hotel. The theme of this year's conference is "Challenges Ahead."

Celebrating its 24th year, the conference is a great place to meet national gun rights leaders and your fellow grassroots activists.  This year's conference promises to be action-packed, with more than 50 notable speakers, including NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre.  Discussion topics will include city gun bans, youth violence, "smart" guns, concealed carry, federal legislation, legal actions, gun show regulation, and state and local activity.  There will also be a preview of upcoming court cases and a review of the U.S. Supreme Court Heller Decision.

Registration, conference books and materials, receptions, and a Saturday luncheon, are free.  Participants are required to pay for their own lodging, travel, and other meals.  For more information, or to register for this year's GRPC, please call (800) 426-4302, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., PDT, or visit www.saf.org/default.asp?p=GRPC, to register on-line.

STATE ROUNDUP (Please note the only items listed below are those that have had recent action.  For other updates on state legislation, please go to the state legislation section at www.NRAILA.org, and check each week's issue of the Grassroots Alert.")

CALIFORNIA: Two Anti-Gun Bills Head to Governor's Desk in California On Friday, September 11, the California Assembly passed Assembly Bill 962 by a 44 to 31 vote.  AB962 now joins Senate Bill 585 on the desk of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) where they await his consideration.  Please contact the Governor immediately and respectfully urge him to veto these bills.  AB962 would require individuals purchasing ammunition to be fingerprinted and registered at the time of sale, and mandates that dealers keep these records and make them available for inspection by the California Department of Justice.  Ammunition retailers would also have to store ammunition in such a manner that it would be inaccessible to purchasers.  Finally, mail order ammunition sales would be prohibited under AB962.  Over 20 years ago, Congress abolished similar requirements because ammunition sales records were found to be useless for solving crimes.  AB962 is a dire threat to our Second Amendment rights in the Golden State.  SB585 would prohibit the sale of firearms and ammunition on the property or inside the buildings that comprise the Cow Palace in Daly City, just outside of San Francisco.  SB585 is a stepping-stone to banning gun shows on all publicly-owned property in California.  Please contact Governor Schwarzenegger TODAY and respectfully urge him to veto AB962 and SB585. The Governor can be reached by phone at 916-445-2841 or via fax at 916-558-3160.  To e-mail Governor Schwarzenegger, please visit http://gov.ca.gov/interact.

MICHIGAN: Workplace Protection and Campus Carry Introduced in Michigan! In an effort to strengthen workers' rights in Michigan, a number of pro-gun bills (HB5302, HB5303, SB792, and SB793) were introduced that would protect workers' rights to lawfully store their personally-owned firearms in their vehicles, while prohibiting an employer from retaliating against an employee who exercises his or her rights. Also introduced this past week was Senate Bill 747.  This legislation would allow permit holders who are at least 21 years old to carry a concealed firearm on college and university campuses by removing these locations from the list of prohibited places.  At this time no action is required.

MISSSISSIPPI: NRA License Plates Now Available! Support your NRA by purchasing a specialized tag today!  NRA license plates are now available through your county tax collector's office.  The cost is $31, with $24 of that going to the NRA Foundation State Account to promote firearms training, youth hunter education, shooting range development and other programs specifically in Mississippi.
For a list of county tax collectors and office locations, please visit http://www.mstc.state.ms.us/info/offices/mvlinfo.htm

MISSOURI: Warren County Commission to Consider New Outdoor Youth Shooting Range on Monday, September 21! On Monday, September 21, the Warren County Commissioners will consider allowing a new outdoor youth shooting facility to be constructed.  If approved by the Commissioners, the new range will be located in the southern part of Warren County and will provide new opportunities for youth-oriented shooting sports in the area.  This range will give young, novice shooters the opportunity to learn proper firearm safety, hone their skills, and exercise their Second Amendment freedoms in a safe, controlled environment.  The vote will take place at 2 p.m. at 107 W. Walton St. in Warrenton.  Gun control advocates are actively pressuring commissioners to oppose the proposed shooting range.  The Warren County Commissioners need to hear from NRA members TODAY!  Please contact Warren County Commissioners Arden Engelage, Hubert Kluesner, and Dan Hampson at (636) 456-3045 and respectfully voice your support for the youth shooting range.   Email addresses can be found here.  Also, please try to attend the Monday, September 21 meeting and show your support.

OREGON: Opportunity to Expand Hunting Programs in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that it will begin to draft a plan for the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that will guide refuge management for the next 15 years.  The 187,000-acre refuge located in Harney County is one of the largest freshwater marshes in the country.  Waterfowl hunting is available on approximately half of Malheur Lake and upland bird hunting is available on approximately one quarter of the refuge.  One of the issues that the Service will be addressing is the adequacy of access and facilities for all of the wildlife dependent uses, like hunting and fishing, and opportunities to expand these programs.  The Service is inviting comments from the public to gather suggestions and information on the scope of the issues to consider during the planning process.  Comments are due by October 15, and can be e-mailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Include "Malheur CCP" in the subject line of the message.  Public meetings will be held and announced on the refuge's website at http://www.fws.gov/malheur.  For further information you may call 541-493-2612.  It is important that those who hunt and fish in the refuge become active participants in the planning process to ensure that sportsmen's interests are well represented in the plan that will be drafted.

TENNESSEE: Knoxville to Consider Removing Firearm Ban in Parks! On Tuesday, September 22, at 7:00 p.m., the Knoxville City Council will finally vote on an ordinance that would remove the long-time ban on firearms within city parks.  Please contact the Mayor and members of the City Council and urge them to support efforts to overturn the current gun ban in city parks.  If you are able, please attend the City Council Meeting in support of our Second Amendment rights.  Citizens will be given the opportunity to speak.  Please get there early! Mayor Bill Haslam can be reached by calling (865) 215-2040 and Council Members can be reached at (865) 215-2075. The hearing will be held in the City Council Building, located on 400 Main Street.

Bartlett to Consider Opting out of New Park Carry law! On Tuesday, September 22 at 7:00 p.m., the Bartlett City Aldermen will meet to consider an anti-gun ordinance which would ban the possession of all firearms in local parks, even by those who possess Right-to-Carry permits.  If passed, this ordinance would strip gun owners of their right to carry a firearm for self-defense in all Bartlett parks.  The hearing will be held at Bartlett City Hall, located at 6400 Stage Road.  It is vital that you not only make plans to attend this hearing but also contact Mayor Keith McDonald at (901) 385-6444, and the City Alderman at (901) 385-6444, and voice your opposition to this ordinance that would eliminate your right to self-defense in local parks.

Knox County Attempting to Opt Out of New Park Carry Law On Monday, September 28, at 2:00 P.M, .the Knox County Commissioners will be hearing a resolution to opt-out of carrying firearms in county parks. The meeting will be held at the City County Building located at 400 Main Street in Knoxville. Please call 865-215-2534 in advance to be placed on the list to speak at the meeting.  If you are unable to attend the meeting, please contact County Mayor Mike Ragsdale at 865-215-2005 and the County Commission at 865-215-2534 to voice your opposition to the resolution. You can also e-mail the Commissioners at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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TEXAS: State Representative Dan Flynn to Host Town Hall Meeting on Monday, September 28 NRA members in Hunt, Rains & Van Zandt counties are encouraged to attend an upcoming town hall meeting for State Representative and strong Second Amendment supporter, Dan Flynn (R-2).  The event is being hosted by the Texas Conservative Coalition, a conservative caucus of members of the Texas Legislature, and will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, September 28, at the Fletcher Warren Civic Center, 5501 South Business Highway 69, in Greenville.  Two key NRA-backed bills did not pass during the 2009 legislative session: a proposal prohibiting employers from enforcing policies against hard-working Texans who store firearms in their locked motor vehicles while parked at work, and a measure allowing Concealed Handgun Licensees to protect themselves on college and university campuses.  Rep. Flynn co-sponsored both bills, but House leaders failed to set either of them for a timely vote by the full House.  This is your chance to personally thank Rep. Flynn for his support and to urge him to push House leaders for a floor vote on both issues next session!  If you plan to attend the meeting, please RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

VIRGINIA: Please join your fellow Virginia freedom-lovers at "An American Event", to be held on Saturday, September 26, at Ritchie Lake Pavilion in Bealton. Gates open at 11:00 a.m., with events commencing at 1:00 p.m.  The event will include activities for all age groups, including Colonial and World War II military encampments, vintage military air show, pony rides, moon bounce, monster trucks, live music, free food, surprise speakers and more. If you are interested in donating food, time or energy, please contact the organizers at 703-537-5445 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Monetary donations will be given to aid wounded soldiers.  With Virginia being one of only two states holding elections this year, your NRA-ILA Campaign Field Representative, Greg Mortensen, will be in attendance working NRA-ILA's voter registration kiosk and discussing how you can get more involved in our efforts to elect pro-gun candidates to office this year.  Greg can be reached at:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 571-292-4796.

Reloading Clinics: Are you looking for a way to beat the high prices of ammo or are you having trouble finding your favorite ammo in stock at your local gun shop?  The Virginia Shooting Sports Association (VSSA), the Official State Affiliate Association of NRA, has the answer.  VSSA will be hosting reloading clinics around the Commonwealth starting in September.  There will be clinics for both metallic shell reloading and shotgun shell reloading.  The courses are designed to enable shooters with little or no prior experience in reloading to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and ability to produce safe, consistent, and accurate reloaded ammunition.   The clinics will be held at the Gander Mountain stores in Fredericksburg, Richmond, Roanoke, and Winchester.  For more information on cost and dates, go to http://www.myvssa.org/reloading.htm, or e-mail Dave Myers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Class sizes are limited so register today!

WISCONSIN: State Senate Scheduled to Vote on Hunting Reform Bill! On Tuesday, September 22, the Wisconsin State Senate will vote on Senate Bill 243, which would repeal the current requirement that bow hunters wait at least three days after buying their hunting license before they begin hunting. This important reform legislation would remove a burdensome hurdle that negatively affects local and visiting hunters alike in the Badger State.  Please contact your State Senator and respectfully urge him or her to support SB 243.  You can contact your Senator by phone at (608) 266-9960. To find out who your State Senator is and for more contact information click here.

 

Wilderness Areas

Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of into law. This law designates 52 new wilderness areas and adds acreage to 26 existing areas, a total addition to the NWPS of over 2 million acres.

In the United States, there are approximately 100 million acres of wilderness areas in the United States. I’m not sure if this includes these new figures or not. There are several designations of wilderness areas. There are protected areas,  which can be either a strict nature reserve  or a  protected wilderness.      

Such areas remain relatively untouched by humans. Of course, there are large tracts of lands in national parks and other protected areas that would also qualify as wilderness. However, many protected areas have some degree of human modification or activity, so a definitive estimate of true wilderness is difficult.

In Wyoming, we have large tracts of land that is designated as ‘wilderness’ and  it is in accessible to everyone except those who are able to walk, or go on a llama trek, (walking with the llama carrying the supplies) or by horseback, and some groups are even trying to outlaw horses.

The Cloud Peak Wilderness area, near my home, is 189,000 acres of wilderness, much of it roadless and all closed to motorize vehicles, except for those on government business. So, you have to work for the government to get access.
Black Tooth mountain in the Cloud Peak Wilderness area, the closest most people ever get to the peak. Rapid Creek, right along a gravel road, called Red Grade, it is prestine, and beautiful, and accessable from the road.
According to the Wilderness.net website, this area is managed as the Cloud Peak Primitive Area and has been as far back as 1932. It runs for 27 miles along the the Big Horn Mountain Range, and includes many sharp summits and towering sheer rock faces, such as Black Tooth Mountain, standing above glacier-carved U-shaped valleys.    

Named for the tallest mountain in the Bighorn National Forest--Cloud Peak at 13,167 feet--the Wilderness is blanketed in snow for a large part of the year. On the east side of Cloud Peak itself, a deeply inset cirque holds the last remaining glacier in this range. Several hundred beautiful lakes cover the landscape and drain into miles of streams. The forest is a mix of pine and spruce opened by meadows and wetlands.

What I wonder is two-fold. I do appreciate the fact that some wilderness is good, but what I don’t understand is why we set aside such large tracts of land that can be enjoyed by only a few hardy souls? Why can’t more people enjoy the towering mountains up close, the beautiful lakes and the last glacier in this range?
Loxahatchee Wildlife Refuge, Fl. Much is inaccessable, but much is, either by car or even by canoe.
Wouldn’t it be a better use of nature to open up the wilderness areas on a limited basis, having some roads, information centers, or even areas that you have to rent a space on something like a snow cat which they use on the glaciers in Canada.

Why is a lot the wilderness only open to a few people?  My mother is older and has Parkinson’s disease and cannot, simply cannot, walk very far, especially over boulders.  My cousin is disabled. Both would like to be able to see the beauty of the wilderness, but cannot, because it is not available to them.  Shouldn’t our natural beauty be available to all?

Hunters, too, unless they walk or go horseback, are not able to access the wilderness areas to hunt. Many of them are vast, and very rough. A few established roads would be a great help.

I’m not advocating completely developing them at all, but a few roads into some of the beautiful lakes and mountians would be boon to everyone.

I like National Parks for that reason, and I’m glad we have them. They are an invaluable resource for everyone to enjoy.  I would be more in favor of the National Park system running wilderness areas, or the Forest Service, which maintains National Forests as a Land of Multiple Use.         

We need, I think, less inaccessible wilderness and more multiple use lands. We probably can’t change what is wilderness now, but this is something to think about when you hear some of the louder voices on the eco-fringe promoting them.

 

HR 1916, HR 2062 and HR 2188

WRTC membership:

In a nutshell, there is a proposed bill to increase penalty for taking a migratory bird (duck, dove etc.)to a felony with up to $50,000 and two years in prison.  This is an extreme penalty!

I received the following email from Mr. Horn’s office to Bill Murrin:

Bill,

Thought you and/or some of your members might be interested in the attached bills related to the MBTA.  HR 2062 ratchets up penalties for intentional take.  HR 2188 has some federal money behind it for joint federal-private migratory bird conservation projects, as well as establishing a governing board (with positions open to a variety of stakeholders) to oversee those joint conservation projects.  Regulations governing HR 2188’s application and approval procedures will follow enactment.


Also, FYI, a hearing will be held tomorrow on these and HR 1916 (which raises duck stamp prices):


Migratory Birds

House Natural Resources — Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife

Subcommittee Hearing

Insular Affairs, Oceans and Wildlife Subcommittee (Chairman Bordallo, D-Guam) of House Natural Resources Committee will hold a hearing on legislation related to migratory bird populations.

Date
Wednesday, May 13, 2 p.m.

Place
1324 Longworth Bldg.

Note
Witnesses added

Agenda
HR 1916 — Migratory Bird Habitat Investment and Enhancement Act

HR 2062 — Migratory Bird Treaty Act Penalty and Enforcement Act of 2009

HR 2188 — Joint Ventures for Bird Habitat Conservation Act of 2009

Witnesses

Panel
Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich.

Panel
Paul Schmidt - assistant director for migratory birds, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior Department

Kristin Saunders Evans - assistant secretary for land resources, Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Dale Humburg - chief biologist, Ducks Unlimited, Memphis, Tenn.

Andrew Manus - director, Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy of Delaware

Bob Sallinger - conservation director, Audubon Society of Portland, Portland, Ore.


David E. Lampp
Attorney
Birch, Horton, Bittner & Cherot, P.C.
1155 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 1200
Washington, D.C.  20036
(202) 659-5800 - Phone
(202) 659-1027 - Fax

Bill Murrin made me aware of the attached that will be going to committee tomorrow to be discussed.  He sent me the following email:

After having read H.R. 2188, this is the type of act that supports conservation by expanding the development for migratory bird habitat. We should behind this type of legislation.

After having read H.R. 2062, this is a type of act that demonizes man by lifting wildlife to a superior status above him by animal protectionists. This religious belief system wishes to destroy non-believers by making felons of them, taking away their liberty, and ruining their economic ability to provide for themselves as evidenced by the provisions in this proposal. The category of felony is for very serious crimes that are destructive of one's fellow man or of society. A felony conviction removes certain constitutional rights, such as the right to bear arms. The punishment must fit the crime and unless you are of the opinion that taking a migratory bird illegally is equal to the taking of another human being's life, this act should be killed in committee.

If there was a population of hunters who were doing serious damage to migratory bird populations, it would be understandable to provide for stiffer penalties through sentencing and fines, but I am unaware of migratory bird populations being destroyed by poachers, or any other violators, and to make felons of poachers is an over reaction. We don't need to ratchet up penalties.. We need to enforce the crimes now on the books. In addition, to improve bird populations, we need to support conservation efforts in order to improve and increase habitat as demonstrated in H.R. 2188, so that when poaching takes place, it will have no impact on wildlife populations.

Thanks,
Bill

Therefore, please send an email or phone your congressman and let them you know that you oppose the severe penalties outlined in HR2062 and you are in support of HR2188.

You can contact them at the link below.

The following site is so you can get your representatives phone number to tell them you want them to oppose HR 2062

http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/

You may all pass this on to any friends that  you think will help with this.

Thanks, Jim Ingram

 

Hemorrhagic disease outbreak being tracked by Southeastern cooperative wildlife disease study

Sloughing or cracked hooves are one of the signs that a whitetail is suffering from, or has recently survived, hemorrhagic disease.

The Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study (SCWDS) at the University of Georgia is currently tracking an outbreak of hemorrhagic disease in whitetails in the eastern United States that is associated with this year's widespread drought. The SCWDS manual states, "Hemorrhagic disease is by far the most important endemic infectious disease of white-tailed deer in the Southeast.  The disease occurs annually, but its distribution and severity of occurrence are highly variable.  Occurrence may involve only a very few scattered, mild cases or may appear as dramatic, highly visible outbreaks.  Neither EHD nor blue tongue viruses are infectious for humans." Hemorrhagic disease is a common problem in late summer, but this year?s outbreak appears to be severe.

"We usually see most of our cases in September and October. We picked up our first case on July 27 this year, and right now we have positive cases from Virginia , Georgia , Mississippi , Tennessee , Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Indiana ," said Dr. David Stallknecht with SCWDS. "We have a lot more pending cases, too. It looks like it's going to be a bad year, and every single confirmed case we have so far is from an area that's in a drought."

Hemorrhagic disease is caused by bluetongue virus (BTV) and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus (EHDV), which are spread by blood-sucking midges, known as 'gnats' or 'no-see-ums.' The gnats are abundant in late summer, and they thrive in dry, hot conditions, which explains the increased problem with hemorrhagic disease this summer. Dr. Stallknecht said that the EHDV-2 strain, a common strain of virus in the Southeast, is responsible for all of the positive cases so far this year.

The number of local deer that ultimately die during an outbreak depends on a number of factors, including the abundance of midges, the particular strain of the virus, and how much natural immunity is present in the deer population. In areas where hemorrhagic disease outbreaks are less common such as the North and West, there is less immunity, and outbreaks can take a heavier toll.

Deer infected with a hemorrhagic disease virus may appear lame or lose their fear of humans; swelling of the head, neck and tongue may be apparent, as well as excessive salivation. Deer managers and hunters may locate dead or dying deer near water sources, as the fever associated with infection leads to intense thirst. A varying percentage of deer in specific outbreaks will survive the infection, and if harvested in early fall by hunters, they usually exhibit 'sloughing' or cracked hooves and healing ulcers on the tongue and lining of the mouth.

If you locate a dead or dying deer where you hunt and you suspect disease of any kind, contact your state wildlife agency as soon as possible.

For more details about hemorrhagic disease, click here for a link to a recent article from QDMA's Quality Whitetails magazine: Click Here

Click here to visit the Web site of the Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study: Click Here

Click here to view an updated map of drought conditions across the United States : Click Here

 

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