New trail proposal in Moab needs public comments- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    frejwilk
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    New trail proposal in Moab needs public comments

    A lot of information here folks. Please bear with me.

    The Moab BLM office is considering a newly proposed trail system. The proposal is called Magnificent Seven as a reference to multiple sections of trail combining for a complete route system. Comments are being accepted until December 29. The bottom of this post has more information on how to comment, but basically the Moab Trail Foundation website has all the information.

    This system includes some sections of not currently legal (but fairly well known) "Green Dot" and "Blue Dot" trails. Many people here may know those trails. If you are familiar with them, great! In case you're not....

    The proposed system would designate new singletrack in the Gemini Bridges area leading toward Gold Bar Rim. It begins a short distance below hwy 313 along the Gemini Bridges rd. The initial part of the proposed route combines bits of abandoned seismic roads with sections of drop-dead gorgeous canyon rim singletrack. Just before reaching the bridges themselves, the route crosses the Gemini rd. More singletrack of the swoopy kind leads to the Metal Masher (Little Canyon rim) rd. Past this intersection, the Mag7 route twists some more on itís way down to the Gold Bar road (avoiding the sandy Little Canyon wash in the process). The Mag7 route then heads up some nicely rolling slickrock. Middle ring / SS heaven type terrain. The proposed route climbs this awesome rock past some jaw dropping (even for Moab) views, before meeting the Gold Bar road just before the rim. From here the system currently follows the designated Gold Bar / Golden Spike route to Poison Spider or the Portal trail. No singletrack sections are proposed across the top of Gold Bar Rim. That would be a long story (and I am not the one to tell it), but basically that section of trail was considered by the BLM two years ago and it was not approved.

    Here's something important to note about the proposal and the alternatives the BLM is considering. I'll try to keep this as simple as I can. The Moab BLM is considering three alternatives. One of those (alternative B) is no trail. That seems unlikely to me, but anything is possible . Alternative A (as considered by the BLM) is the full original proposal - Almost all singletrack from just below hwy 313 to Gold Bar rim. Alternative C (to be equally considered) is basically alternative A minus the spectacular, final 'Upper Gold Bar singletrack'. Alt C would descend (from halfway up to the rim) an old two-track back down to the regular Gold Bar jeep road approximately 1/2 way up. Basically, this is because that area was designated in the BLM's Resource Management Plan as 'no surface occupancy' (NSO) critical bighorn sheep habitat. Surface Occupancy can be interpreted to include a marked trail (even across slickrock). A glimmer of hope (for the singletrack) here is that the BLM biologists still assessed this specific section and didn't feel a trail would impact the sheep migration corridor - even though it has the NSO designation. Which of the alternatives are chosen remains to be seen. But more letters - especially well written ones supporting Alternative A - can only help.

    The Moab Trail Foundation website has all the info and links to submit comments for this trail. People should send comments to Katie Stevens at the Moab BLM (physical address and email are on the MTF website). Those comments should reference the EA (also linked). There is even a sample letter to help you, or at least edit from - It can be pretty overwhelming to read everything and then compose a letter.

    Thanks for reading.

    FW

  2. #2
    Ride and Smile
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    Proposal is bad?

    Help me out here.
    I'm reading the proposal and seeing that the green dot trail is NOT GOING TO BE IN THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. This would be very bad. When I was talking to Tracy at Chili Pepper, she was saying that if some parts weren't part of the original agreement then those parts could never be added in. She was speaking then about the other trail paralleling the gemini bridges trail.

    So we need to be clear on what would be good for the trail system here. I'm reading the proposal and seeing some really bad stuff losing green dot (is it blue?, I get mixed up) in it's entirety. Is that what they are proposing? If so how do we let them know that we want the whole trail? Gold Bar/Golden Spike kinda suck when you compare them to green dot.

    Can someone chime in and clarify?

  3. #3
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by axolotl
    Help me out here.
    I'm reading the proposal and seeing that the green dot trail is NOT GOING TO BE IN THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. This would be very bad. When I was talking to Tracy at Chili Pepper, she was saying that if some parts weren't part of the original agreement then those parts could never be added in. She was speaking then about the other trail paralleling the gemini bridges trail.

    So we need to be clear on what would be good for the trail system here. I'm reading the proposal and seeing some really bad stuff losing green dot (is it blue?, I get mixed up) in it's entirety. Is that what they are proposing? If so how do we let them know that we want the whole trail? Gold Bar/Golden Spike kinda suck when you compare them to green dot.

    Can someone chime in and clarify?
    I think there may be some confusion here on which parts of this proposal you are thinking of as 'Green Dot'. Most of it IS included. The only parts of 'Green Dot' not included are the very beginning rim sections near the oil rig and the section right at the Gemini Bridges.

    The terms 'Green Dot' and Blue Dot' are not very popular with the BLM and this proposal simply uses different names. The names used also better describe where those sections are actually located.

    So, the beginning section is different. This is a critical desert bighorn habitat and no trail can currently be designated there. The proposal does create new trail along a smaller canyon nearby, then joins the original route when it hits state land. There is a fence near this point if you know the trail. The trail then joins the Gemini road just before the bridges (instead of crossing the bridges). That area is now closed to bicycles.

    The trail from that fence area (above the Four Arch canyon road) toward the bridges, the section on the north side of Gemini Bridges rd to Metal Masher, and the section from there to the Gold Bar road all use "Green Dot" trail.

    Gold Bar and Golden Spike may suck compared to Green Dot, but one doesn't replace the other. These are two different areas far away from each other. You may be thinking of "Blue Dot" going across the top of Gold Bar rim. Like I said before, I don't really want to get into an argument about that section. It's not part of this proposal and the BLM already considered it. They would be who to discuss that with. For anyone considering commenting on this one though, it's important to comment on what is being proposed.

    The "Blue Dot" climb from where "Green Dot" ends all the way up to Gold Bar rim is included in alternative A. Part of that climb is included in alternative C. Alternative C would leave the "Blue Dot" route near the Bride overlook.

    I hope this helps clear things up a bit.

    FW

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the heads up FW. Letter sent.

    Do you know if there's any chance of opening up the Blue dot discussion again in the future? Finishing off with Blue dot/Portal would really make this proposed trail an epic, must-do ride.

    Edit: Just read you response to Rick (axolotl). Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad the A option includes the Blue dot climb up to the rim. That's such a well-routed, scenic, fun climb and includes some of the best stuff on Blue Dot. Still wish they could include the Gold Bar Rim singletrack section though.
    Last edited by KRob; 12-15-2010 at 04:02 PM.
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  5. #5
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by KRob
    Thanks for the heads up FW. Letter sent.

    Do you know if there's any chance of opening up the Blue dot discussion again in the future? Finishing off with Blue dot/Portal would really make this proposed trail an epic, must-do ride.

    Edit: Just read you response to Rick (axolotl). Thanks for the clarification. I'm glad the A option includes the Blue dot climb up to the rim. That's such a well-routed, scenic, fun climb and includes some of the best stuff on Blue Dot. Still wish they could include the Gold Bar Rim singletrack section though.
    I do think there will be a push for a singletrack route across Gold Bar rim in the future. The currently painted route was considered when the BLM created the current Resource Management Plan. For various reasons, the Rockstacker, Pothole Arch, LPS trails ended up in the alternative that was chosen for the RMP and the Blue Dot ended up in the alternative that was not. Ther are obviously criterea that the BLM uses to decide these things and discussing those is a can of worms way too big for this thread.

    There are other routes in Moab that developed piece by piece over time. Part of that process was identifying and rectifying the individual problems, and part of it honestly was pressure felt from continued improvements (on other parts of the route) increasing demand / popularity.

    FW

  6. #6
    pedlr
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    Letter written!

    Thanks for the heads up, FW

  7. #7
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    Keep it going folks - this is important!

    Howdy, I just wanted to lend my support and keep this thread near the top so it prompts more letters.

    So many thanks to the people who are trying to make this happen.

    Cheers!

    Mel

  8. #8
    Cycling, FTW!!
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    Time is running out

    The comment period is almost over and at this point you pretty much will need to email your comments to the BLM. Like many of you, I am one of the slackers that has waited until the last minute to send my comments, but that is absolutely no reason to blow this off. COMPOSE AND SEND IN YOUR COMMENTS TODAY!

    Here is a link to a very nicely written sample letter that will help give you ideas for comments of your own.

    Huge thanks to Moab Trail Foundation for putting together the Magnificent 7 trail proposal, lets show our support by sending comments to the BLM... TODAY!
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  9. #9
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    MTF website links not working?

  10. #10
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack
    MTF website links not working?
    It just worked for me. Hopefully that was just a temporary problem.

    In case anyone has trouble with the links. The website address is www.moabtrailfoundation.com. Emails should be sent to [email protected]. And the BLM Environmental Analysis can be found at http://www.blm.gov/ut/enbb/files/Mag...e_Trail_EA.PDF.

    Like Marko said, the deadline for comments received (not postmarked) is December 29. All positive comments will really help.

    FW

  11. #11
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    Sent in my letter; I also cross posted this on the Front Range forum. You may also want to post this up in the Passion forum (might get a more diverse group of people sending letters).

  12. #12
    Desert Seeker
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    frejwilk, email letter sent! Thank you for your clear explanation and for bringing this to the attention of forum readers. Never rode 'green dot'. Is it only enjoyable as a downhill shuttle ride from 313 or does it work as an out and back for climber types?

  13. #13
    Bored Carp
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    sent mine.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  14. #14
    JMH
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    Me three.

  15. #15
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    I am way late to this party, but very interested all the same. Does it still help to send a letter, or would it just get ignored at this point?

    I should check here more often that I do, but when trail access issues like this come up, it would be very helpful if you mtbr stalwarts could cross-post on utahmountainbiking.com as well as bogley.com

    That way it would reach a much broader audience and we could hopefully throw a little more weight around. I'll keep my fingers crossed to see what comes of this.

    Thanks

  16. #16
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilether
    I am way late to this party, but very interested all the same. Does it still help to send a letter, or would it just get ignored at this point?

    I should check here more often that I do, but when trail access issues like this come up, it would be very helpful if you mtbr stalwarts could cross-post on utahmountainbiking.com as well as bogley.com

    That way it would reach a much broader audience and we could hopefully throw a little more weight around. I'll keep my fingers crossed to see what comes of this.

    Thanks
    It wouldn't so much be ignoring as it would be that this specific process has moved on to the next step. The deadline for receiving comments was December 29. The area manager will now review the proposal (including comments).

    FW

  17. #17
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    Yeah, I'm bummed I missed the comment period. Hopefully everything will get pushed through.

  18. #18
    frejwilk
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    Mag 7 updates

    I thought an update on the Magnificent Seven trail proposal would be appreciated.

    The Mag 7 proposal was approved. Well, Alternative C was approved, for those familiar with the proposal. This is still awesome by the way! There was a 30 day period following the approval where appeals might have stalled the process. But none came and things are moving forward.

    As of March 23, the 'Arth's Corner', Little Canyon Singletrack', and Gold Bar Singletrack' sections of the Mag 7 system are open and signed. You can legally ride them right now.

    The 'Bull Run' segment is still awaiting an easement across UT state school trust lands to be finalized. It's all agreed upon - the paperwork just needs to be finished. Until then, the (signed) Arth's Corner trailhead just below the Gemini Bridges is where this route can be accessed.

    I'm not good at links, but here's the maps http://moabtrailfoundation.com/M7Maps.html

    Glesoine, this route is rideable (and enjoyable) in both directions. I suspect that once complete, it will be most popular to ride it down from hwy 313. Courtesy and practicality might take over then. As far as uphill vs downhill grades though, all of what has been approved as Mag 7 is good to ride in both directions. A side note is that the 'Gold Bar singletrack' section up to the Bride overlook is really fun to ride as an out and back. The downhill is definitely fun.

    Thanks to all those who commented on this trail proposal. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy some glowing reports from people riding these trails this year.

    FW

  19. #19
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    I thought an update on the Magnificent Seven trail proposal would be appreciated.

    The Mag 7 proposal was approved. Well, Alternative C was approved, for those familiar with the proposal. This is still awesome by the way! There was a 30 day period following the approval where appeals might have stalled the process. But none came and things are moving forward.

    As of March 23, the 'Arth's Corner', Little Canyon Singletrack', and Gold Bar Singletrack' sections of the Mag 7 system are open and signed. You can legally ride them right now.

    The 'Bull Run' segment is still awaiting an easement across UT state school trust lands to be finalized. It's all agreed upon - the paperwork just needs to be finished. Until then, the (signed) Arth's Corner trailhead just below the Gemini Bridges is where this route can be accessed.

    I'm not good at links, but here's the maps http://moabtrailfoundation.com/M7Maps.html

    Glesoine, this route is rideable (and enjoyable) in both directions. I suspect that once complete, it will be most popular to ride it down from hwy 313. Courtesy and practicality might take over then. As far as uphill vs downhill grades though, all of what has been approved as Mag 7 is good to ride in both directions. A side note is that the 'Gold Bar singletrack' section up to the Bride overlook is really fun to ride as an out and back. The downhill is definitely fun.

    Thanks to all those who commented on this trail proposal. Hopefully we'll get to enjoy some glowing reports from people riding these trails this year.

    FW
    Nice! This is flying through, I am a little surprised. I talked at length with Tracy Reed about the route since I haven't done all the sections, I am stoked to get out there.

    FW - I ordered pizza a few times while I was down there, do you work at Paradox? Very, very good BTW.
    Last edited by JMH; 03-25-2011 at 10:45 AM.

  20. #20
    alien exchange student
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    Hug a local (and maybe buy them a beer)

    Folks, we just can't say enough about the locals who have worked to propose, design and develop trails in Moab. The development of new stuff over the past 5 years has been incredible.

    Cheers to all who participated!

  21. #21
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMH
    Nice! This is flying through, I am a little surprised. I talked at length with Traci Reed about the route since I haven't done all the sections, I am stoked to get out there.

    FW - I ordered pizza a few times while I was down there, do you work at Paradox? Very, very good BTW.
    Tracy has been out there working to get these sections open. It is really incredible how quickly things are coming together for Mag 7.

    I'm glad you enjoyed our pizza. Or more accurately, my wife's pizza. She hasn't fired me yet..

    FW

  22. #22
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    This is awesome news! Can't wait to get down there

  23. #23
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    I put the Mag 7 on the Classic Moab Map by Lat 40 to help better define where it is. That map they have on their page just made my head hurt. I did not include the upper section of the Blue Dot as I'm understanding that section is closed with the choice of Alt C. I did include the section of the Blue Dot that passes the Bride Overlook as represented to be legal. Of course this is just a rough in of my interpretation of their map.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/goatshell/5580945783/" title="Mag 7 by Goat in a Turtle Shell, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5095/5580945783_c0025980a7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="398" alt="Mag 7"></a>

  24. #24
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by mountaingoatepics
    I put the Mag 7 on the Classic Moab Map by Lat 40 to help better define where it is. That map they have on their page just made my head hurt. I did not include the upper section of the Blue Dot as I'm understanding that section is closed with the choice of Alt C. I did include the section of the Blue Dot that passes the Bride Overlook as represented to be legal. Of course this is just a rough in of my interpretation of their map.

    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/goatshell/5580945783/" title="Mag 7 by Goat in a Turtle Shell, on Flickr"><img src="https://farm6.static.flickr.com/5095/5580945783_c0025980a7_b.jpg" width="1024" height="398" alt="Mag 7"></a>
    Good Job. I think the upper 'Bull Run' area pictured on your map will include more new trail than shown. Especially as it approaches and skirts the small canyon visible on the map. But that section will be new, and hasn't been built (pending a SITLA easement), so it's hard to lay out the actual route on a map. I know the maps from the proposal don't make things easy.

    Until the easement mentioned above is officially signed off on, it's important to note that not all of the proposed Mag 7 trail is open.

    What is currently open is everything below the 'Crip's Hole / Four Arch Canyon' rd depicted on the above map. There are signs posted at trail / rd intersections all along the open sections, so it should be pretty straightforward for people riding it. My wife and I rode from the Four Arch Canyon rd down to the Gold Bar rd this week and routefinding was not an issue.

    FW

  25. #25
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by frejwilk
    Good Job. I think the upper 'Bull Run' area pictured on your map will include more new trail than shown. Especially as it approaches and skirts the small canyon visible on the map. But that section will be new, and hasn't been built (pending a SITLA easement), so it's hard to lay out the actual route on a map. I know the maps from the proposal don't make things easy.

    Until the easement mentioned above is officially signed off on, it's important to note that not all of the proposed Mag 7 trail is open.

    What is currently open is everything below the 'Crip's Hole / Four Arch Canyon' rd depicted on the above map. There are signs posted at trail / rd intersections all along the open sections, so it should be pretty straightforward for people riding it. My wife and I rode from the Four Arch Canyon rd down to the Gold Bar rd this week and routefinding was not an issue.

    FW

    Thanks for the heads up on whats officially open. Some buddies and myself are headed there next weekend April 7th-11th. The route I'm planning is to park at the Gemini Bridges/ Gold Bar parking lot and ride Gemini Bridges Road to Four Arch Canyon and then take the singletrack back to Gold Bar using the currently open Mag 7 trails and then drop the Portal. I wanted a good visual of what I was planning.

  26. #26
    pedlr
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    [QUOTE=mountaingoatepics]I put the Mag 7 on the Classic Moab Map by Lat 40 to help better define where it is. That map they have on their page just made my head hurt. I did not include the upper section of the Blue Dot as I'm understanding that section is closed with the choice of Alt C. I did include the section of the Blue Dot that passes the Bride Overlook as represented to be legal. Of course this is just a rough in of my interpretation of their map.
    \

    Thanks for the map, it sure helps. We're riding it tomorrow.

  27. #27
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    Just got back from riding it today. It's sure to be one of the new classics. Well done Trail Mix, the trail rocked! The singletrack rode quite well both ways even though it seems like it would best from 313 down. My recommendation would be to drive in from highway 313 to the trailhead at the Crit Hole road. Coming from this direction you can drive in and park a low clearence vehicle. From there you can ride it as an out and back. I'm not sure the exact distance but I think it was around 15 miles of mostly singletrack. Signs at the trailhead said the upper part of Bullrun single track will be open by June adding about 5 more miles of singletrack starting from highway 313.

    Thanks for the heads up on the trail Frejwilk! We grabbed the daily special pizza at Paradox (Bacon, Shallot and Kale) in your honor afterwards. The perfect end to an awesome day!

  28. #28
    frejwilk
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    Parking

    Quote Originally Posted by Utah Superfly
    Just got back from riding it today. It's sure to be one of the new classics. Well done Trail Mix, the trail rocked! The singletrack rode quite well both ways even though it seems like it would best from 313 down. My recommendation would be to drive in from highway 313 to the trailhead at the Crit Hole road. Coming from this direction you can drive in and park a low clearence vehicle. From there you can ride it as an out and back. I'm not sure the exact distance but I think it was around 15 miles of mostly singletrack. Signs at the trailhead said the upper part of Bullrun single track will be open by June adding about 5 more miles of singletrack starting from highway 313.

    Thanks for the heads up on the trail Frejwilk! We grabbed the daily special pizza at Paradox (Bacon, Shallot and Kale) in your honor afterwards. The perfect end to an awesome day!
    Thanks. It's great to see people enjoying this trail (and personally, it's great to hear when they're enjoying Paradox!)

    I wanted to address parking for people accessing the trail from Crip's Hole / Four Arch Canyon rd. The Crip's Hole road is the good place to ride from for now, but not a good place to park. For those driving down the Gemini rd, I'd recommend parking at the four way junction of the Gemini rd and Metal Masher. It's an obvious large open area and is less than a half mile from that Crip's Hole access.

    In a few weeks, people will be riding from the beginning of the Bull Run segment and there will be trailhead parking (plus it will only be a mile below hwy 313 anyway). It would be sad to see a parking lot spring up on Crip's Hole road for just a few weeks of use.

    Parking is a concern when new trails are proposed on Moab. So this is an important point.

    FW

  29. #29
    Rolling
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    What a sweet trail system...now that it's 'Almost' legal. Dumbed-down, but legal. The mag-7 with the true Gold bar rim route and Portal is one of the best trails ever. Too bad the sheep had to migrate and ruin one small bite....but here's to the sheep....they were here first.


    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y228/lidarman/RDM_0320b800.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

  30. #30
    frejwilk
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    <a href="https://photobucket.com" target="_blank"><img src="https://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y228/lidarman/RDM_0320b800.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    Great photo. What kind of camera do you use?

  31. #31
    Heads up Flyboy!!
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    a photolog of my 1st trip to Moab which includes Mag 7 to Portal. Good stuff fellas!

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