LIBRARY

Welcome to our Water Rights Library.  This page will be used to provide links to documents and other information found throughout the internet that that might find helpful to you in learning more about this issue. We have the following categories of documents:

NOTE:  Some of these files are large, so be patient waiting for them to come up.

CONSTITUTION AND OTHER IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS / LAWS

CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

CONSTITUTION OF THE STATE OF MONTANA

CONFEDERATED SALISH AND KOOTENAI TRIBES RELATED TREATIES:

FEDERAL LAWS RELATED TO FLATHEAD INDIAN RESERVATION:

MISCELLANEOUS FLATHEAD RESERVATION INFORMATION:

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FLATHEAD IRRIGATION PROJECT AND COOPERATIVE MGT ENTITY

FLATHEAD JOINT BOARD OF CONTROL
The joint board was established to represent the water users of the Flathead Irrigation Project.  It is a local government with 12 board members or commissioners elected by irrigators through the county election process.  The Mission and Jocko Districts have 3 representatives each and the Flathead District has 5 representatives, and a member at large is selected by the 11 commissioners.  Acreage in the districts are approximately:

87,088      80% Flathead District
7,038        6% Jocko District
15,112      14% Mission District

The history of the project has been confusing and conflicted because of a tug of war between the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) and the non-Indian landowners who paid for the project.  Lands served by the project are 10% tribal and 90% private fee lands.

The Irrigator Water Use Agreement was called a private agreement between the tribe and irrigators and was originally intended to be an appendix to the compact is a further attempt to rewrite project history to give CSKT ownership of the all water in the project.  It also proposes that in exchange for the relinquishment of water rights, irrigators will receive a one size fits all allotment of water that ignores historical use and many irrigators will receive significantly less water which is likely to force them to curtail operations or may ultimately put them out of business.

Former commissioners of the joint board, many with tribal leases and other conflicts of interest, were positioned to approve that agreement until irrigators awakened to find out what they were doing.  This caused a huge divide in the irrigation community that continues today.

After irrigator elections replacing compact and water agreement proponents, and the recall of two commissioners earlier in 2014, the FJBC (Flathead Joint Board of Control) for the Flathead Irrigation Project was reinstituted in May 2014. This was necessary because the former joint board was officially disestablished on 12/12/13, after two commissioners in each of the Jocko and Mission districts withdrew their districts from the FJBC collapsing it in an attempt to try to force the water use agreement on their constituents.

To see court cases related to the project and water use agreement, visit the COURTS page of our blog.

COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT ENTITY
A 1948 federal act mandated the project management be turned over to the water users/irrigators once project construction debt was repaid.  This federal law however did not prevent the CSKT from trying to take over the management of the project although 90% of lands served by the project are owned by non-Indians.

Starting in 1926, a series of repayment contracts were initiated on 05/12/1928, 02/27/1929, 03/28/1934, 08/26/1936 and 04/18/1950.  Some of those documents are linked below:

1927 Repayment Contract Document
1949 Repayment Contract Document
1950 Flathead District Repayment Contract Document
1950 Jocko District Repayment Contract Document 3
1951 Mission District Repayment Contract Document

In addition to lawsuits, and continuing its aggressive push to take over the project, the CSKT attempted to “638 contract” with the federal government to manage the irrigation project in 2007.  This request was rejected by the Department of Interior.  Find that document here.

In 2010, the daily operations of the project were turned over to an quasi state, federal, tribal “entity” named the CME or Cooperative Management Entity.  This entity gave the CSKT a disproportional 50% of the board representation and Irrigators 50% of the representation for the management of the project.  In addition to it not being fair representation of irrigators, the reality of the board that it WAS TRIBALLY controlled.  Irrigator appointees to the board had a significant financial interest in tribal leases, and one irrigator appointee was a tribal member.  After the 2012 introduction of the water use agreement and very close public scrutiny, they changed their meeting rules to institute a policy that violated the Montana Open Meeting Laws and restricted irrigator participation.

Note:  A lesson to be learned from cooperative agreements with the tribe is that the tribe ignores state law when it is convenient for them, and they do what they desire running over any protections that Montana citizens thought the law afforded them.  After all, they are “sovereigns”, and that trumps everything, even the United States Constitution.

The CME ceased to exist in 2013 after the Mission and Jocko districts of the irrigation project collapsed the FJBC, a signatory on the Transfer Agreement, leaving a management void that needed to be filled.  The Mission Irrigation District, with by far the largest number of acres served by the project, attempted to fill that gap, but were ignored completely by the Department of Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA).  The BIA unilaterally reassumed management of the project, ignoring the fact that federal statute dictates that management of the project is supposed to be in the hands of the irrigators.  Here are their recent letters concerning the reassumption:

Reassumption Letter 01/15/2014
Flathead Irrigation Project Reassumption Letter 03/11/14

On 04/02/2014, the Flathead and Mission Irrigation Districts filed a TURNOVER COMPLAINT to stop the BIA takeover of project operations.

On 07/28/2014 an AMENDED TURNOVER COMPLAINT was filed in this lawsuit.

With evidence that policies are being implemented by the BIA that are detrimental to the ability of irrigators to plan their operations, on August 28, 2014 the Flathead Joint Board of Control filed a MOTION AND BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, EXPEDITED DISCOVER AND REQUEST FOR HEARING.  That document can be found here.

COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT ENTITY WEBSITE

BIA DOCUMENTS RELATED TO FLATHEAD IRRIGATION PROJECT AND THE COOPERATIVE MANAGEMENT ENTITY (CME) :

CME Transfer Agreement 
CME Plan of Operations
BIA Environmental Assessment
Reservation Land Status Map 2004 
Flathead Irrigation Project Map

OTHER FLATHEAD IRRIGATION PROJECT DOCUMENTS

1909-1923    Water Rights Book A
1909-1923    Water Rights Book B
1930             Flathead Power Development – Scattergood
1938 (1946)  BIA – Flathead Project
1946             Walker Report
1985             FIP Comprehensive Review 10/85 – Volume 1
1985             FIP Comprehensive Review 10/85 Volume 2
1994             Dutton Report
2001             Bureau of Reclamation – Flathead Project

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DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR CIRCULARS / LETTERS

GENERAL DOCUMENTS

1908           GENERAL LAND OFFICE REGULATIONS Concerning Right of Way Over Public Lands and Reservations for Canals, Ditches and Reservations and Use of Right of Way for Various Purposes – June 6, 1908

1912            CIRCULAR 102:  Laws and Regulations Related to the Reclamation of Arid Lands by the United States – April 29, 1912

1912           CIRCULAR 178: Openings and Sales of Indian Lands – October 5, 1912 

1918          GENERAL RECLAMATION CIRCULAR:  Laws and Regulations Relating to the Reclamation of Arid Lands by the United States February  6, 1918 as Amended to September 6, 1918

1989         Solicitor letter discussing the filing of irrigator water rights

FLATHEAD PROJECT SPECIFIC DOCUMENTS

2007         638 Contract Denial Letter

INSTREAM FLOW LETTERS:  When it became apparent that the compact was not the “slam dunk” the negotiators thought it would be, the federal government flexed its muscles in an attempt to put the public on notice that they would go after our water using other means if necessary.  In addition to calling a “special meeting of the FJBC”, here are two letters sent out with the same chilling message.  We all know water is a very valuable resource.  We also know why the feds want it, but don’t know why the state / compact commission was so willing, almost eager to concede it to them in this compact.

Keep in mind, the current proposed compact and water use agreement propose to increase instream flows on the project by a whopping 400% without as much as an analysis of its impacts on irrigators, or to determine how much water is needed for fish.

Letter Dated 02/19/2013
Letter Dated 05/22/2013
CSKT Response to 05/22/13 Letter
Flathead Irrigation Project Reassumption Letter 03/11/14

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U.S. CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO FLATHEAD PROJECT

1907 Secretary of Interior Letter – Irrigation of Flathead Reservation
1908 Estimate for Irrigation of Flathead Reservation
1909 Lands Reserved for Power and Reservoir Sites
1910 Withdrawal of Power Sites
1910 Secretary of Interior Letter – Certain Power Sites
1910 Secretary of Interior Letter – Land Reserved Flathead Reservation
1912 Senate Report – Lands Bordering Flathead Lake
1914 House Report Investigate Irrigation Projects on Indian Lands
1915 Appropriation for Irrigation
1916 Secy of Interior Letter – Flathead Land Reserved Power / Reservoir
1926 Supplemental Appropriations Flathead Irrigation
1927 President of U.S. – Flathead Irrigation
1929 President of U.S. Flathead Irrigation
1930 Flathead Power Development
1934 Survey of Indians – On Developing Flathead Power
1939 Secretary of Interior Deferring Collection of Construction Costs
1939 Deferring Collection of Charges Flathead
1946 Supplemental Appropriation
1947 Deferring Collection of Construction Charges
1948 House Adjust Irrigation Charges Flathead
1948 Senate Adjust Irrigation Charges Flathead
1949 Amending Act to Adjust Irrigation Charges Senate
1949 House Report – Eliminating Lands from FIIP
1949 Amend Act to Adjust Irrigation Charges House
1950 Amending Public Law 554 Flathead Irrigation
1950 Amending Provisions of 1948 Act
1950 Eliminate 12 Acres Flathead Irrigation Project
1962 Appropriation for Flathead Irrigation and Power Systems
1964 House Appropriation for Completion of Irrigation and Power
1964 Senate Appropriation for Completion of Irrigation and Power

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ARTICLES AND COURT DECISIONS RELATED TO INDIAN WATER RIGHTS:

ARTICLES:

BILODEAU, KATHERINE:  THE ELUSIVE IMPLIED WATER RIGHT FOR FISH: DO OFF-RESERVATION INSTREAM WATER RIGHTS EXIST TO SUPPORT INDIAN TREATY FISHING RIGHTS? –

BROOKS, NATHAN:  REPORT FOR CONGRESS:  INDIAN RESERVED WATER RIGHTS, AN OVERVIEW 2005

COHEN, FELIX S:  ORIGINAL INDIAN TITLE

FLIES, SHERI:  NAMEN 2: DO THE TRIBES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO REGULATE NON-INDIAN RIPARIAN RIGHTS ON FLATHEAD LAKE?

FOLK-WILLIAMS, JOHN A.: THE USE OF NEGOTIATED AGREEMENTS TO RESOLVE WATER DISPUTES INVOLVING INDIAN RIGHTS

LAMB, MICHEAL F. : ADJUDICATION OF INDIAN WATER RIGHTS:  IMPLEMENTATION OF THE 1979 AMENDMENTS TO THE MONTANA WATER USE ACT

MACINTYRE, DONALD D:  QUANTIFICATION OF INDIAN RESERVED WATER RIGHTS IN MONTANA:  STATE EX REL. GREELY IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF SAN CARLOS APACHE TRIBE

MILLER, JODY:  TAMING THE RAPIDS: NEGOTIATION OF FEDERAL RESERVED WATER RIGHTS IN MONTANA

MORRISON, SHARON M.: COMMENTS ON INDIAN WATER RIGHTS

NELSON, ANDREW:  CIOTTI:  PRESERVING FEDERAL PROTECTION OF INDIAN RESERVED WATER RIGHTS IN MONTANA

OHAIR, JENELLE, MORRIS:  THE FEDERAL RESERVED RIGHTS DOCTRINE AND PRACTICABLY IRRIGABLE ACREAGE:  PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE

PUBLIC LAND AND RESOURCES LAW REVIEW STAFF:  NAMEN:  RIPARIAN RIGHTS ON FLATHEAD LAKE

SIMMS, RICHARD A. :  NATIONAL WATER POLICY IN THE WAKE OF UNITED STATES V. NEW MEXICO

STEIN, JAY F.:  THE McCarran AMENDMENT AND THE ADMINISTRATION OF TRIBAL RESERVED WATER RIGHTS

WILLIAMS, JASON:  BEYOND MERE OWNERSHIP:  HOW THE CONFEDERATED SALISH AND KOOTENAI TRIBES USED REGULATORY CONTROL OVER NATURAL RESOURCES TO ESTABLISH A VIABLE HOMELAND

WILLIAMS, SUSAN:  INDIAN WINTERS WATER RIGHTS ADMINISTRATION:  AVERTING NEW WAR

COURT DECISIONS:

RECAP OF LAWS AND SIGNIFICANT RESERVED WATER RIGHTS COURT CASES(Note is not all inclusive, let us know of others)

CIOTTI I:
1999-12-30-04807A7A-CB8E-4357-86DA-7EA4C9787201
64988-76LJ_starner
066459-76L_ciotti

CIOTTI 2:  Ciotti II CSKT vs ClinchIN

CIOTTI 3:  CSKT vs Stults

UNITED STATES v. NEW MEXICO

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DOCUMENTS RELATED TO LAND PATENTS AND ABORIGINAL TITLE

 ORIGINAL INDIAN TITLE by Felix Cohen

ABORIGINAL TITLE CLAIMS IN THE INDIAN CLAIMS COMMISSION:   UNITED STATES V. DANN AND ITS DUE PROCESS IMPLICATIONS by Caroline Orlando

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MONTANA WATER RIGHTS INFORMATION

1977 AL STONE WATER RIGHTS SEMINAR

1978 EXISTING WATER RIGHT REPORT TO LEGISLATURE

1988 EVALUATION OF MONTANA’S WATER RIGHTS ADJUDICATION PROCESS

MONTANA WATER COMPACTS / DNRC / 2008

MONTANA WATER RIGHTS BUREAU

MONTANA WATER RIGHTS DATABASE QUERY SYSTEM

MONTANA’S WATER – Where is it? Who can use it? Who decides? House Joint Resolution No. 4 

BASIC MONTANA WATER LAW – Ted J. Doney

HEADWATERS TO A CONTINENT  – Susan Higgins, Montana Watercourse 

INSTREAM FLOW POLICY IN MONTANA:    A HISTORY AND BLUEPRINT FOR THE FUTURE – Matthew J. McKinney

GUIDE TO MONTANA WATER MANAGEMENT

NATIVE AMERICAN WINTERS DOCTRINE AND STEVENS TREATY WATER RIGHTS – RECOGNITION, QUANTIFICATION AND MANAGEMENT – Rachel Paschal Osborn

CHANGING CHANGES:  A ROAD MAP FOR MONTANA WATER MANAGEMENT – Ziemer, Bradshaw, Casey

SOIL STUDIES FOR OUR AREA:  
Walker Report: https://westernmtwaterrights.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/120813-walker-report.pdf
Soil Survey:  https://westernmtwaterrights.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/soil_survey.pdf

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MONTANA WATER RESOURCE SURVEY BOOKS

Deer Lodge
Flathead
Granite
Lake
Lincoln
Mineral
Missoula
Powell
Ravalli
Sanders
Silver Bow

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CSKT RESERVED WATER RIGHTS COMPACT DOCUMENTS:

http://dnrc.mt.gov/rwrcc/Compacts/CSKT/Default.asp

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MONTANA CODE ANNOTATED:

TITLE 2:   State Agency Actions Related to Private Property
TITLE 2:   CHAPTER 3 Montana Open Meeting Law
TITLE 2:   CHAPTER 15 Reserved Water Rights Compact Commission
TITLE 18  CHAPTER 11:  State Tribal Cooperative Agreements
TITLE 85: WATER USE
TITLE 85  CHAPTER 2 PART 7:  Indian and Federal Water Rights
TITLE 85: CHAPTER 7:  Irrigation Districts
2013 Guide to Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA)
Attorney General Guidelines to Montana’s Private Property Assessment Act

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TRIBAL COMPACT PROPOSAL DOCUMENTS

The elements of the existing proposed compact were borne out of the tribe’s proposals to the state in 2001, 2007 and 2010.  For years the state rejected the tribe’s demands, but something changed after 2010 and the state ultimately gave in to all the tribe’s demands in the current compact.

2001 Compact Proposal
2010 Compact Proposal

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INDIAN CLAIMS COMMISSION AND COURT OF CLAIMS DOCUMENTS

In 1946, President Harry S. Truman signed into law the Indian Claims Commission Act, creating a special judicial body allowing Indian tribes to file claims of all kinds against the United States government.  Any claim against the United States, extending back to the American Revolution, could be brought before the Commission.  To be valid, however, the claims had to be brought within five years of the passage of the Act.  Any claims not brought before August 13th, 1951 would be forever barred by the statute.  Despite the deadline, claims that arose from events prior to 1946 continue to be brought by Indian tribes.  The important goal of the Indian Claims Commission has been largely forgotten or ignored, as courts persist in allowing tribal suits. 

INDIAN SETTLEMENTS LIST

Here are documents specific to the CSKT:

INDIAN CLAIMS COMMISSION

CLAIM RELATED TO PAYMENT FOR CEDED LANDS AND OTHER ISSUES:

Docket 61 AUG 03, 1959 FINDINGS OF FACT
Docket 61 AUG 03, 1959 OPINION OF THE COMMISSION
Docket 61 AUG 03, 1959 INTERLOCHUTORY ORDER
Docket 61 SEP 29, 1965 ADDITIONAL FINDINGS OF FACT
Docket 61 SEP 29, 1965 OPINION OF THE COMMISSION
Docket 61 SEP 29, 1965 SECOND INTERLOCHUTORY ORDER
Docket 61 AUG 01, 1966 FINDINGS OF FACT IN COMPROMISE SETTLEMENT
Docket 61 MAR 10, 1967 FINDING OF FACTS ON ATTORNEY FEE
Docket 61 MAR 10, 1967 ORDER ALLOWING ATTORNEYS FEES

Docket 156 JUL 24, 1951 TRIBE PETITION
Docket 156 FEB 24, 1971 ORDER DISMISSING EIGHTH CAUSE OF ACTION

CSKT INDIAN CLAIMS COMMISSION SETTLEMENT FUNDS

UNITED STATES COURT OF CLAIMS

CLAIM RELATED TO PAYMENT FOR RESERVATION LANDS:

Docket 50233 January 20, 1969 CSKT VS U.S. 401 F 2d 785
Docket 50233 November 14, 1969 CSKT VS U.S. 417 F 2d 1340
Docket 50233 January 22, 1971 CSKT VS U.S. 437F2d 458
Docket 50233 October 13, 1972 CSKT VS U.S. 467 F 2d 1315

CLAIM RELATED TO KERR DAM LOW COST BLOCK OF POWER/ TRIBE’S RENT RECEIPTS

Docket 50233 Jun 1971 KERR DAM COURT OF CLAIMS BRIEF & FINDINGS OF FACT
Docket 50233 OCT 13, 1972 DECISION – CSKT v. U.S. 467 F.2d 1315 (Fed. Cir. 1972)

CONGRESSIONAL DOCUMENTS RELATED TO CSKT AND COURT OF CLAIMS

1926 05/03  Conferring Jurisdiction on C of C for CSKT Senate Report 754
1932 03/23  Permit Flathead Tribes to File Suit in C of C Senate Report 483
1932 05/04  Permit Indians to File Suit House Report 1211
1934 04/26  Authorize Certain Indians to File Suit in C of C Report 1374
1943 03/05  CSKT Committee of Indian Affairs Senate Report 85
1946 05/09  Claims of the CSKT Against U.S. Senate Report 1325
1946 05/14  Claims of the CSKT Against the U.S. House Report 2050
1946 06/29  Truman Veto of Bill for CSKT  House Doc 685
1946 07/10  Claims of CSKT Against the U.S. House Report 2485
1946 07/15  Claims of the CSKT Against U.S. Senate Report 1714
1967 03/10  Disposition of Judgment for CSKT v U.S. Senate Report 65
1967 04/11  Disposition of Judgment CSKT v. U.S. House Report  185
1969 08/12  Disposition of Judgment CSKT v. U.S. Report 91-380
1969 09/04  Disposition of Judgment CSKT v. U.S. Report 91-471
1971 07/30  Authorize Disposition of Judgment Report 92-334
1971 12/01  Disposing of Judgment Recovered by CSKT Report 92-696
1972 03/01  Disposition of CSKT Judgment Report 92-892

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WATER COMPACT VIDEO LINKS

06/2013 Flathead Water Compact This is a powerpoint narrative giving a good overview of the history of the compact / reservation and the proposed CSKT water compact.

02/2014 CSKT Water Compact: Good for Montana or a Government Grab for Resources? Listen to Dr. Kate Vandemoer, Ph.D, hydrologist, discuss some of the more controversial aspects of the water compact.  Our sincerest thanks to Northwest Liberty News for providing this information.

01/2014 Stranglehold on Free Speech Listen to Tim Orr, irrigator on the Flathead Reservation discuss the repercussions to him and his family for speaking out against the Flathead Water Compact

05/2015 Most Western Montanans are not aware that a war is being waged against them, a  battle for their land and water.  This video is the first in a three part series of videos that lays out  the details of this war and introduces the Montana Land and Water Alliance, an organization created to protect the property rights of Montanans.

06/2015 Below find the follow up to our recent video HIDDEN WAR.  In 15 minutes learn about the most egregious aspects of the water compact, and find out how such a bad document was navigated through the Montana legislature.  Stay tuned for a third video from the Montana Land and Water Alliance to learn to fight the federal beast who clearly has Montana in its crosshairs.

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WATER RIGHTS BOOKS A AND B, FLATHEAD, LAKE AND MISSOULA COUNTIES (1909-1923)

These books include filings for water appropriation claims / rights filings from Flathead and Missoula Counties in the early 1900’s including those claims filed by the United States for the Flathead Irrigation Project and claims filed for Kerr Dam.  These files are rather large, about 400 pages (50meg) each so please be patient for them to load.

Water Rights Book A 1909-1923
Water Rights Book B 1909-1923

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CSKT Lawsuit 02/27/14

On 02/27/14 the CSKT filed suit against the Department of Interior, the Montana Water Court, the 20th District Court of the State of Montana, Irrigation districts of the Flathead Irrigation Project and other individuals.  This suit is intended to circumvent the courts of the state of Montana in a blatant attempt to get the federal courts to declare that the CSKT own all the water, and essentially all the land within the historical boundaries of the reservation.

Attorney for the Flathead Joint Board of Control Jon Metropoulos responded by asking Attorney General Tim Fox to get involved in this issue to protect the land and water rights of its citizens and the institutions of the state of Montana.  See both documents below.

CSKT COMPLAINT
JON METROPOULOS LETTER TO ATTORNEY GENERAL FOX

Reference the COURTS page of this blog for many additional documents related to the tribe’s lawsuit.  Note on 05/18/15 the Federal District court in Missoula dismissed this suit without prejudice.  We fully expect it to resurrect its ugly head again once the issues with the CSKT water compact are resolved.  Reference the COURTS page of this blog to see a copy of the dismissal and other documents in this suit.

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2 thoughts on “LIBRARY”

  1. tvfmontana said:

    I’ve been directing people with questions about the CSKT compact here. Some want to read it for themselves. Some say they can’t find it here. Me neither. Did we miss it or the link?

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