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Thread: proposed Susitna State Forest

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    Default proposed Susitna State Forest


    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    August 2, 2012

    CONTACT:
    Department of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry
    Doreen Dick, Accounting Clerk, 269-8463, doreen.dick@alaska.gov

    Board of Forestry Open House to discuss proposed Susitna State Forest


    What: The public is invited to an Open House to meet members of the Board of Forestry and ask questions or provide comments about the proposed Susitna State Forest.
    Maps, handouts, and other information will be available. Information is also available online at http://forestry.alaska.gov/whatsnew.htm.

    When: 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, August 15, 2012
    * While the event is an informal Open House, there will be a short presentation about the proposed Susitna State Forest at 7:30 p.m.

    Where: Alaska Division of Forestry, 101 Airport Road, Palmer

    More Information: The Open House coincides with the Board of Forestry meeting taking place in Palmer on August 15-16. The meeting agenda includes updates on wood energy projects, the Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force Report, and previously proposed legislation on the Susitna State Forest. There will be a public comment period each day: 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday and at noon on Thursday.

    For more information about the Board of Forestry meeting or the Open House, please contact the Division of Forestry at 907-269-8463, or visit the Board of Forestry webpage at http://forestry.alaska.gov/alaskaboardforestry.htm.
    ###
    Chuck

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    does state forest mean restrictions on wheelers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak47 View Post
    does state forest mean restrictions on wheelers?
    The first document in the first link provided in the OP pretty well answers that question.
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    To my knowledge there are no restrictions on any previously acceptable uses of the state land. Its just how its managed thats changed. I have written to Sen. Menard regarding my concerns about this bill and recieved a less than professional reply back. Her aide on the hand sent back a reply that was as follows. My concerns still stand and I oppose this new land designation. Wish I could make the meeting.....





    "Thank you for writing us regarding Senate Bill 159 Creating a Susitna State Forest. I understand your concerns and some of them are the exact reason we are creating the “State Forest.” Unlike federal lands these designated areas will be owned by the State and still under the control of the Department of Natural Resources, so that means that everything that is currently allowed on those lands will continue to be allowed, for example, snowmachining, hunting, fishing, trapping, mining, dogsledding, personal wood harvesting etc.

    This plan has been in the works for many years and public meetings in the past were held in Anchorage, Willow, Sutton, Glacier View, Trapper Creek, Sutton and Talkeetna. Just recently we held additional public meetings in Huston, Willow, Talkeetna, the Mat-Su and an additional Townhall meeting to discuss it as well as articles in the newspaper and several lengthy committee meetings in the Senate and now in the House. I am sorry that you have not heard of it before this. The primary purpose of this bill is to allow the Alaska Department of Forestry to manage for sustainable yield of timber harvest in perpetuity.



    I have attached maps of the area and additional information. Feel free to email or call any time.



    Thanks again,

    Steven H. Perrins II

    Legislative Aide for Senator Menard

    Alaska State Capitol Rm #9

    Juneau, AK 99801



    Juneau Office - (907) 465-6600

    Cell -(907) 717-7556

    Fax - (907) 465-3805

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    Hey there Outanabout.. You did not mention why you were opposed to creating the proposed Susitna State Forest.

    The discussion is not news. There has been talk of a Susitna State Forest for many years and formal planning with numbers of meetings and planning sessions for more than two years.

    I am in favor of the proposed Susitna State Forest. It will be managed very similarly to the Tanana State Forest and the SVSF Plan may look quite a bit like it. You will have opportunity to input in to the plan I believe. Watch for your opportunity to make comments on the proposed SVSF Plan coming soon, whenever.

    Wording will matter immensely. Everyone should read it. Planners will write the document and they are not foresters, field biologists or even area managers, intimately familiar with actually implementing successful management.

    Read "state land generally allowed uses". Your trails and precious 4-wheeler uses are provided. Note how well the Tanana Valley State Forest is managed. Compare TVSF management to the miserable cluster involved with doing the most simple of management tasks in and on forestry designated lands in the Mat-Su at this time. T

    he Mat-Su Burrow has gone the direction of the "Friends of Mat-Su", a greeny org of no use what-so-ever. They and their burrow' want to turn the place in to a defacto park surround by real parks. Have fun with that....

    It is horrible up here in the Interior...we have a workable 'Working Forest' in the TVSF, unbelievable access, infrastructure, lack of crowding, BLM lands added to the mix, boroughs that actually work and aren't corrupt, viable local value added forest product industries, access to firewood, improved wildlife habitat, protected fish habitat, and real conservation. Not the crap that is presently going on in the Mat-Su.

    Your only hope is a Susitna State Forest. The other thing...isn't working.

    But hey! It is terribly cold up here, the light thing is is is well, its just awful, the people don't try to drive over you here. Whatsup with THAT? All kinds of moose and grouse to hunt. So yeah! Don't get a state forest down there....suckers!

    Oh yeah! And vote for Mark Mastellar for Mat-Su Borough Mayor. ROFLMAO!!!

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    MEETINGS AND WEBINARS SCHEDULED REGARDING PROPOSED SUSITNA STATE FOREST

    (Anchorage, AK) - The Division of Forestry will host two community meetings and two webinars on the proposed Susitna State Forest in December.

    Community Meetings
    • Tuesday, December 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Willow Community Center in Willow, located at Mile Post 69.7 of the Parks Highway.
    • Thursday, December 13, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at the Trapper Creek School Gym at 6742 Petersville Road, Trapper Creek

    The agenda for both meetings will include a short presentation about the proposed Susitna State Forest, starting at 7 p.m. Maps and handouts will be available. The public is encouraged to ask questions or provide comments during the community meetings.

    Webinars
    • On Dec. 10, the Division will host two webinars, one from 2-3 p.m., and the second from 7-8 p.m. The webinars will include a presentation about the proposed state forest and a question-and-answer period.


    For more information about the meetings or webinars, please contact the Division of Forestry at 907-761-8389, or visit the Division of Forestry webpage at .

    From http://dnr.alaska.gov/shared/mediare...State%20Forest

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    Quote Originally Posted by ak47 View Post
    does state forest mean restrictions on wheelers?
    Designations always come with restrictions...if not now, in the future. No real need to declare a forest as a forest unless you want to stop or curtail people doing something there.

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    Restrictions aren't specifically described for the proposed new Susitna State Forest. Designating a State Forest where indicated on the maps (see the link below) will also allow continued provision of new and additional agricultural lands, land disposal areas for private ownership on state lands not proposed for state forest designation that surround the area.

    Note the following site as originally provided by Hiline in the original post of this thread: http://forestry.alaska.gov/whatsnew.htm

    I checked it by googling State of Alaska Division of Forestry and the maps and proposal are still valid and still being considered.

    What State Forest designation will do:
    -Ensure a land base where commercial and personal use timber may be managed properly in perpetuity utilizing the laws that govern timber sales and the current public process important in determining and identifying timber sales on state lands.
    -Ensure that the designated lands will remain as "designated State Forest" state lands and that they will not be subdivided and sold off.
    -All uses currently being practiced on state lands will also be allowed on state forest lands and State Forestry will be the lead organization through which the planning process will begin and be administered.
    -State forest designation will not exclude other traditional uses by which the state currently offers permits etc. such as trapping cabins, guide use areas, commercial recreation permits etc.
    -All the other agencies that currently have a stake or say in the management of these lands will still have a stake and say in the management of the State Forest, the process for determination will move through the Division of Forestry in the designated Forest rather than through the Division of Lands to State Forestry. ADF&G, Habitat Div., DEC, Parks etc. will all have due deference as indicated by statute or within appropriate area plans and the State Forest Plan.

    I believe designating the Susitna State Forest will be good for forest management, improved wildlife habitat management, good for the economy, improve planned and controlled access without destroying the wilderness attributes currently in place and provide for the maintenance of fish rearing habitat, critical habitat areas, endangered species if any, wetland values and the whole host of values that are currently regulated using sustainable conservation principles.

    The Tanana State Forest (see the link above and search TVSF) is a legislated model of how a state forest works. The proposed Susitna State Forest will be administered much the same. In a previous comment on this thread I described some of the actual benefits we enjoy here in the Tanana Valley due directly to the successful management and administration the State Division of Forestry provides by the presence of the TVSF.

    While the boundary designations may not be perfect, I believe the concept and implementation of this forest as it is currently proposed is good.
    I am in favor of ratifying this state forest as proposed rather than risking it later being locked up as a park or wilderness area. Retaining state lands as a designated state forest is a good thing for the preservation of multiple uses utilizing principles of sustained yield and allowing public use in perpetuity.

    I urge others happy with the Tanana State forest and ratification of the proposed Susitna State Forest to contact the State Forester and their local legislator and tell them you approve of the new state forest.
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    I'm working on trying to get a hard copy or PDF copy of this management plan. No luck so far. Its difficult to comment on something when you cannot read what's in it. Maybe they should just approve it, then we will see what it contains and how it affects us... Sound familiar, but a bit off topic.


    You are right, there are no specific restrictions described in the brief, it sounds so warm and cuddly, of course it does. What you said above...

    "improve planned and controlled access without destroying the wilderness attributes currently in place and provide for the maintenance of fish rearing habitat, critical habitat areas, endangered species if any, wetland values and the whole host of values that are currently regulated using sustainable conservation principles."

    That just screams to me, restrictions, control, designations, permits, paperwork. And listen, Im not a pave the planet who gives a **** person at all. But where does it stop. First this, then little by little more areas will be designated, then you have incompatible uses, then you have recreation corridors, then you have closing orders, then you have....

    I lived in Fairbanks for nearly a decade during the 2K's. I only experienced the TVSF once on ATV other than driving by it so I cant comment on it too much. I have browsed through the management plan http://forestry.alaska.gov/management/tvsfmp.htm and some things jumped out at me.

    The plan is divided into much smaller subunits, as are all management plans. And then we have "management intent", "subsurface designation", and best of all, "prohibited surface uses", which is my favorite. This is how they control the land, under these words.

    Heres another great tool they use, "The first list of activities requires an authorization to occur, so can be prohibited by simply not issuing a permit for the activity."


    In my online activities I found quite the history of this plan. It dates back to the mid eighties, when it failed to be approved.

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+forest&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+forest&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+forest&hl=en

    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id...e+forest&hl=en

    This state really does have a history of talking development projects to death. But it is interesting the attitude change in 26 years.
    Last edited by outnaboutnak; 12-24-2012 at 11:25. Reason: I hope everyones sensitive eyes can handle the asterixed out d a mn in my writings. Goodness!

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    I spent a few minutes at the forestry office today and got some more information about the forest. The management plan will be written after the forest is approved, and with more public input and a citizens advisory type board/panel. They have 3 years from approval to come up with a management plan as well.

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    I admit that I dont know all the details of this plan, but this seems like it is geared towards an easing of restriction on forest lands for commercial timber and other types of resource extraction.

    I personally listened to Ms. Menard explain it, and I got the distinct impression it was being mainly done in the interest of NPI, Usibelli, etal...I may be wrong, and I will admit it if I find out that I am....but I do not see another REAL reason for them to create this State forest.

    I am not against resource extraction or timber harvesting, but I am against calling a spade a heart.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I admit that I dont know all the details of this plan, but this seems like it is geared towards an easing of restriction on forest lands for commercial timber and other types of resource extraction.

    I personally listened to Ms. Menard explain it, and I got the distinct impression it was being mainly done in the interest of NPI, Usibelli, etal...I may be wrong, and I will admit it if I find out that I am....but I do not see another REAL reason for them to create this State forest.

    I am not against resource extraction or timber harvesting, but I am against calling a spade a heart.

    I think you are right, you misunderstand the State Forest concept.

    The main reason people, including myself, favor the proposed new state forest is that such will ensure the land base remains state land.
    State and National Forests have always been places people could recreate and at the same time they provide the land/timber base where an even flow of wood products is sustainably managed by professional foresters, biologists and others.

    The locally based private sector that produces wood products we all use also likes "state forests" because they provide a designated location where they can depend on a resource base available competitively to provide the timber needed for their industry. My preference is value added local processing. In the absence of local industry (often excluded because there is no dependable resource base) export companies vie for the resource when the export demand (the price) allows. Only a few, very small, operators would be afraid of such a designation because they feel they have a corner on a resource and they don't want competition. This wouldn't be a good supposition however if they wanted their kids to inherit the business or have a chance for normal growth that cost increases will require.

    A designated "State Forest" is a land base that remains "state" and is not subject to future lockup, subdivision as private parcel or fragmentation by exclusive dictum. Most people who have lived in states that have designated state forests understand they insure that that land remains in state ownership available for multiple uses including appropriate forest and wildlife habitat management. This is good for us that live here in the Mat-Su.

    NPI quit logging here when the export chip market went soft. Usibelli is a coal company they have no interest in a State Forest, they mine coal.

    Sorry you misunderstood Ms. Menard but don't put on the Chicken-Little suit just yet and continue to look into the State Forest concept. I think you will find it is ultimately a good idea that keeps state land as state land in the future.
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaskan Woodsman View Post
    I think you are right, you misunderstand the State Forest concept.

    The main reason people, including myself, favor the proposed new state forest is that such will ensure the land base remains state land.
    State and National Forests have always been places people could recreate and at the same time they provide the land/timber base where an even flow of wood products is sustainably managed by professional foresters, biologists and others.

    The locally based private sector that produces wood products we all use also likes "state forests" because they provide a designated location where they can depend on a resource base available competitively to provide the timber needed for their industry. My preference is value added local processing. In the absence of local industry (often excluded because there is no dependable resource base) export companies vie for the resource when the export demand (the price) allows. Only a few, very small, operators would be afraid of such a designation because they feel they have a corner on a resource and they don't want competition. This wouldn't be a good supposition however if they wanted their kids to inherit the business or have a chance for normal growth that cost increases will require.

    A designated "State Forest" is a land base that remains "state" and is not subject to future lockup, subdivision as private parcel or fragmentation by exclusive dictum. Most people who have lived in states that have designated state forests understand they insure that that land remains in state ownership available for multiple uses including appropriate forest and wildlife habitat management. This is good for us that live here in the Mat-Su.

    NPI quit logging here when the export chip market went soft. Usibelli is a coal company they have no interest in a State Forest, they mine coal.

    Sorry you misunderstood Ms. Menard but don't put on the Chicken-Little suit just yet and continue to look into the State Forest concept. I think you will find it is ultimately a good idea that keeps state land as state land in the future.
    Whether they were created for timber resource management/extraction or not, the National Forests of today are undoubtedly anti resource extraction. Its a way to lock up the land plain and simple. Look at the Chugach, there are restrictions on everything, from where you can go and what you do it on, to who you can do it with. Now hopefully the state manages things differently as they are generally good about those kinds of things.

    Usibelli should be watching this closely or any other coal mining companies. It borders and may even overlap partly the proposed Canyon Creek Coal lease. Not only that, but the Beluga/Yentna/Susitna basin contains a major coal field throughout the area, underneath the proposed State Forest.

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    The proposed state forest appears on the map as sort of fragmented and unconnected in places. This is because other land uses have been planned and accommodated around the "state forest" that do not include cutting timber. These other uses including agricultural development, private subdivision (see how many parcels have been surveyed in the Susitna-Yentna country that will never be bought already), recreational river corridors, critical habitat areas etc. are not necessarily compatible with timber cutting.

    Also consider that most forest higher than 1,500 feet elevation is not well suited to commercial timber production and forest regeneration. Forestry on many highlands is currently impractical so much of it hasn't been designated for state forest.

    The state forest won't negate other forest uses including currently allowed access and everything else currently accepted on state designated resource lands and lands classified as primary and co-primary forestry.

    Establishing a new "state forest" in the Susitna Basin will allow the Alaska Dept of Natural Resources, Division of Forestry (DOF) to actively manage those lands according to the laws, statutes, regulations and the constitution while also providing for the other values of that land. State Forestry becomes the lead land management agency rather than the division of lands. Designating that land "State Forest" means the Div. of Lands transfers land management leadership to it's Division of Forestry.

    ADF&G does not have land management authority except on designated State Refuges and Critical Habitat areas. ADF&G works with DOF to manage wildlife and habitat on forest lands. ADF&G must be listened to (deferred to) by regulation and statute when regarding forest management on state land. These are important checks and balances the fact which helps the two departments address each others concerns.

    Unless you are a remote land surveyor or given to conspiracy theories...the Susitna State Forest, as proposed, in my opinion is a good idea. If I had a suggestion it would be to write in to the designation that:

    "Legal hunting, fishing, and trapping on "state forest" lands shall not be prohibited."
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    So we would be taking state owned land in the Susitna valley off the market then....
    The first step in locking up land is "naming" it.
    Mike
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    I am under the impression that this bill has died. Anyone have the scoop?

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    I am under the impression that this bill has died. Anyone have the scoop?
    I hope so, I believe I signed up for email updates and have recieved none, but that doesnt mean anything!

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    Quote Originally Posted by outnaboutnak View Post
    I hope so, I believe I signed up for email updates and have recieved none, but that doesnt mean anything!
    It appears to me that this bill is parked in the Resources Committee. I can't tell whether it is dead or not. I looked it up on the address provided and it appears as follows, near as I can tell:



    The Governor's transmittal letter dated January 17, 2013, follows:

    "Dear Speaker Chenault:

    Under Article III, Section 18 of the Alaska Constitution, I am
    transmitting a bill relating to creating the Susitna State Forest and
    relating to negotiated timber sales to meet local needs. The creation of
    the Susitna State Forest will aid in development and increased access
    to lands, and in turn, increase timber sales for small mills and
    commercial firewood businesses. This legislation ensures the long-
    term availability of timber supply to support commercial and personal
    use, creating economic growth and job opportunities for Alaskan
    communities.

    The Governor's Administrative Order 258 established the Alaska
    Timber Jobs Task Force with federal, State, private industry, and
    community members. The Alaska Timber Jobs Task Force was
    charged with reviewing and recommending actions related to
    management of State-owned forest land, establishment and expansion
    of legislatively-designated State Forests, and State timber harvesting
    statutes and regulations. In its report to the Governor, the Task Force
    recommended the creation of the Susitna State Forest.

    This bill establishes the Susitna State Forest in the Matanuska and
    Susitna Valleys from suitable State land classified for forestry or
    general use management by the State land use plans for the region -
    the Susitna Matanuska Area Plan, the Southeast Susitna Area Plan,
    and the Fish Creek Management Plan. These lands are currently
    managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) for timber
    harvest and other multiple uses. The proposed Susitna State Forest
    includes 33 parcels totaling approximately 763,200 acres in 14 large
    management blocks, and would join the Haines State Forest (est.
    1982), the Tanana Valley State Forest (est. 1983), and the Southeast
    State Forest (est. 2010) as part of the State Forest system established
    under the Alaska Forest Resources and Practices Act (FRPA, AS
    41.17).

    This legislation will also support the growing interest in biomass wood
    energy projects in local communities, which require a long-term,
    sustainable wood supply. Wood biomass can provide cheaper, locally
    01-18-2013 House Journal 0077

    produced, and renewable energy. Additionally, the economic activity
    associated with the biomass production will stimulate local economies
    in communities throughout Alaska. This legislation expands
    conditions under which the State can offer negotiated timber sales to
    encourage the use of these local energy sources.


    This bill also addresses the Task Force's recommendation to expand
    the conditions and increase the flexibility under which the State could
    offer negotiated timber sales to meet local manufacturing needs. Under
    the existing statutes, DNR may not offer negotiated timber sales larger
    than 500,000 board feet unless the sale area has high unemployment,
    underutilized manufacturing capacity, and an underutilized timber
    supply that will lose value due to insects, disease, fire, or conversion
    to non-forest uses. These criteria prohibit larger negotiated timber
    sales in many areas of the state that are actively managed for forestry,
    and where there is high demand for wood for timber products and
    biomass energy. This bill authorizes DNR to offer negotiated timber
    sales statewide within the limits of the sustained yield supply, and
    subject to a best interest finding.

    This legislation will make a meaningful difference to Alaska's
    economy. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this bill.

    Sincerely,
    /s/
    Sean Parnell
    Governor"



    I can't tell whether this is the actual bill or not.

    It as written doesn't appear to restrict access...

    It seems to be the Gov. summary. Any help? Lets print it here.
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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    Sounds like blow back for the "timber sale moratorium" the MSB imposed after the public outcry over the NPI resource giveaway in the upper Susitna. .. "Increased flexibility to negotiate timber sales" and all that...

    i say it ain't broke so lets not let political hacks try to "fix" it. Akwoodsman, I don't see how the current system is not working as you said. I mean the land is there, available to the public for recreation, hunting, fishing, trapping, atvs, etc, why would anyone support changing that unless they had something personal to gain?

    Not accusing you of anything, I just don't understand ...WHY?

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    Sounds like blow back for the "timber sale moratorium" the MSB imposed after the public outcry over the NPI resource giveaway in the upper Susitna. .. "Increased flexibility to negotiate timber sales" and all that...

    i say it ain't broke so lets not let political hacks try to "fix" it. Akwoodsman, I don't see how the current system is not working as you said. I mean the land is there, available to the public for recreation, hunting, fishing, trapping, atvs, etc, why would anyone support changing that unless they had something personal to gain?

    Not accusing you of anything, I just don't understand ...WHY?
    Div of lands is apparently in favor of streamlining the timber sale process since it is not their expertise. There are State Forests throughout the state. The process works very well within those state forests. "Making" a state forest within lands already "designated" as forest management or resource management lands is proposed as a way to ensure those designated lands remain as a working forest that will allow forest management, habitat improvement and not hatcheted up into designations later we can't access such as in wildlife refuges, critical habitat areas, bogus ag projects, and subdivisions so remote and useless no one will ever select a lot there and actually do anything with it and other private land or park like lock ups. Designating a state forest means the land will remain multiple use we can all enjoy instead of later designated as what I said above. Most of it will never be accessed for actual forest management like harvesting because it is too far away from where it would be needed. It is a simple and easy remedy, I will look into the bill again, it is important how it is written.
    That country was so hungry even the ravens were packin' a lunch.... HUNGRY I tell ya'!!

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