Appraisers Not Required to Fill Form 1004MC, Says Fannie

first_img Appraisers will no longer be required to fill Form 1004MC, a market conditions addendum that was removed by Fannie Mae when it released its new Selling Guide updates this week. The form has been a key requirement for appraisers since 2009, having been created in direct response to the housing crisis. The form was designed to “provide a standardized mechanism for appraisers to analyze and report changes in market conditions,” according to Fannie Mae. “This enables lenders to make prudent lending decisions in appreciating, stable, or declining markets.” The removal of the requirement was announced July 31, 2018, at an annual Appraisal Institute event, and the official announcement from Fannie Mae came recently. Fannie Mae said the change takes place immediately. The reason for abandoning Form 1004MC, according to the GSE, is that its “Collateral Underwriter (CU) now provides robust market trend information for lenders and Fannie Mae, enabling measurement  and management of market risks in a more rigorous way.”The change in requirement will take place in both Collateral Underwriter and Desktop Underwriter, although the form will still be present in the Desktop Underwriter system until “a future release,” Fannie Mae said. “Until that time, lenders may disregard the DU message.” The Selling Guide made a point to note though that “Appraisers remain responsible for analyzing market conditions and accurately reporting them in the Neighborhood section of our appraisal forms.” Also, it is important to note that thus far Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration have not made similar announcements regarding the market conditions form. For the moment, they still require it. However, according to a recent blog written by Erik Wind and first published in the GeoData Plus Blog, “Freddie Mac did imply that such a move would be likely.” The blog also noted that individual lenders may choose to continue requiring 1004MC. The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Appraisers Not Required to Fill Form 1004MC, Says Fannie  Print This Post August 9, 2018 6,708 Views The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago About Author: Krista Franks Brock Appraisal data Fannie Mae Federal Housing Administration Freddie Mac Homes HOUSING market 2018-08-09 Krista Franks Brock Share 1Save Previous: Credit Scores and Loan Prepayment Speed Next: Before the Next Disaster Strikes Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Subscribe Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agocenter_img Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Related Articles Appraisers Not Required to Fill Form 1004MC, Says Fannie Krista Franks Brock is a professional writer and editor who has covered the mortgage banking and default servicing sectors since 2011. Previously, she served as managing editor of DS News and Southern Distinction, a regional lifestyle publication. Her work has appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Consumers Digest, Dallas Style and Design, DS News and DSNews.com, MReport and theMReport.com. She holds degrees in journalism and art from the University of Georgia. Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Tagged with: Appraisal data Fannie Mae Federal Housing Administration Freddie Mac Homes HOUSING market The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Servicing Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days agolast_img read more

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Harvard tops Columbia, 80-47

first_imgFor the fourth consecutive season, the Harvard men’s basketball team has clinched at least a share of the Ivy League title, as the Crimson topped Columbia, 80-47, before a sold-out crowd at Lavietes Pavilion this evening.Harvard (24-4, 11-1 Ivy League), which will play at Yale on NBC Sports on Friday, will look to clinch the outright conference crown with a win.Laurent Rivard paced the Crimson 21 points, nailing 6-of-8 three-point attempts, while Steve Moundou-Missi added 16 points and Wesley Saunders and Kyle Casey each scored 10 points.For full coverage, visit gocrimson.com.last_img read more

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City sign Fernando

first_img No transfer fee was announced by City, but Porto had issued a statement to the Portuguese Securities Market Commission (CMVM) on Wednesday evening saying a deal worth £12million had been struck between the two clubs. “I am so happy to finally be joining Manchester City,” Fernando told City’s website. Press Association Manchester City have completed the signing of Porto defensive midfielder Fernando.center_img “I know there was talk of me possibly signing last January so I am delighted that the deal has now been done and that I am a City player.” City were strongly linked with a double deal for the 26-year-old Brazilian and his team-mate Eliaquim Mangala in January but a move did not materialise, and Fernando instead penned a new contract with Porto. With City restricted to a net spend of £49million this summer as punishment for breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations, a fee of £12million should offer good value. The arrival of Fernando – City’s second signing of the summer after the free transfer of Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna – gives City manager Manuel Pellegrini an extra midfield option in addition to Yaya Toure, Fernandinho and Javi Garcia, but pushes Jack Rodwell further down the pecking order with the 23-year-old’s City future unclear. Fernando is currently on holiday in Brazil, but will report for pre-season training in a forthnight, City said. “I’m looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and helping City to defend the title,” Fernando said. “It is a very exciting time to be part of this football club and I cannot wait to play in the Premier League. “City fans can be assured I will give my all every time I play and I’m looking forward to many happy years in Manchester. “I have enjoyed my stay with Porto and I thank the club and the fans for their support during my time in Portugal. Now I am ready for a new chapter in my career.” Fernando moved to Porto in 2007 from Brazilian club Vila Nova, and – after a loan spell with Estrela da Amadora – went on to win the Portuguese title four times while adding two Portuguese Cups and a Europa League medal. last_img read more

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Rob Rice Protects the Long Lasting Value of His Homes

first_imgSubmitted by Barb Lally for Rob Rice HomesEvery homeowner in a Rob Rice Homes Community can have the confidence and surety that the investment they make in their quality-built home will be protected through a well-managed Homeowners Association.To prove it, all someone has to do is drive through one of the many established Rob Rice Communities to see their long lasting value and beauty.“We have looked at other communities Rob Rice has built and they are still gorgeous,” one buyer recently explained at an open house.It is because Rob Rice himself focuses on protecting his owners’ interests and provides top level professional Homeowners Associations (HOA) management for his communities until the last home is built.“In newly-built, Rob Rice Homes communities, Rob initially manages all of the owner associations in-house,” says Kim Showalter, Rob Rice Homes Association Manager who says the local builder has provided association management since before there were management companies in the area. “His many years of experience and his willing assistance benefit the community over and over.”What an HOA doesA Homeowners Association provides a document to each homeowner called its Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions (CC&Rs). It explains how the HOA operates and the neighborhood rules necessary to guard against things that can devalue homes and their community.“Another reason for an HOA is for the maintenance of the abundant green space and expansive landscaped areas, so characteristic of any Rob Rice Community,” Kim adds.“Rob helps them focus on fairness and consistency in applying the CC&R’s and guides communities on budgets that will provide security for the future needs of the neighborhood.”Rob Rice Homes encourages buyers to drive through their established communities, many built several years ago. The homes retain their quality and beauty and the neighborhoods are even more attractive than when a buyer first purchased their home.Carefully guiding a new community “I am on the board of eight of our associations right now and will stay on until all the homes are built,” says Rob Rice, the local builder who often drives through his communities with a watchful eye and attends their HOA meetings or serves on their boards.“I have a vested interest, not only because I care about the lasting value of a community with my name on it, but also because I own homes in each one of them. We do our utmost in quality home construction and like our homeowners, I want to protect that investment.”It’s a relationship that has produced and maintained dozens of flourishing Rob Rice communities in the South Sound.A long lasting relationship that worksThe Rob Rice Community of Rainer Park in Beckonridge is a neighborhood that has only grown more beautiful with time and is providing longstanding value to its homes. Their HOA has retained Rob Rice Homes as its management company for more than two decades.That’s unusual as normally Rob turns over the management of an association to the community’s choice of professional companies once they are ready. But in Beckonridge, the relationship with their builder is highly-valued.“It is mutual respect,” says Bill Kress, a former Beckonridge HOA Board member for 10 years who now serves as the community’s landscape chair. “The longer I served on the board the more I appreciated the guidance that Rob’s company provides. He and his staff provide great input on rules, regulations and state laws that need to be updated. I take pride in our community and our relationship with Rob Rice.”Small price to pay for huge protection A Rob Rice Home, built with quality craftsmanship and superb design, is a smart investment with enduring value. To ensure that, a well-managed, fair and consistent homeowners association is critical.HOA dues help maintain grass, flowers, entrance walls, landscaping, common areas and the overall aesthetics of a community. They also pay for the cost of running the association that helps homeowners abide by the rules that protect the community’s quality.Monthly dues range from $40 to $80 per month and many consider the fees minimal compared to the thousands of dollars in home value they protect.“Having a Homeowners Association already in place gave us peace of mind that we would not lose value on our home the way we have with other homes,” says Jani Greer, HOA vice president of the newer Rob Rice Community of Evergreen Heights. “The dues are a great value and are extremely important for making sure home values are maintained and enhanced.” Facebook16Tweet0Pin0 Rob Rice is Thurston County’s largest local home builder and was voted the Best of South Sound for 2013. He and his wife Helena live in Olympia with their two sons; Alex Michael and Carson. Rob is a graduate of Washington State University with degrees in construction management and architecture.last_img read more

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Kootenay gains split with Vancouver Fusion

first_imgBy Bruce Fuhr,The Nelson Daily SportsEarly penalty troubles proved to be too much for the Kootenay Wildcats to overcome.Vancouver Fusion scored three times on the power play to dump the Wildcats 5-1 in B.C. Female AAA Hockey League action Sunday at the NDCC Arena.The Wildcats managed to pull off the weekend split by rallying for a 5-4 win Saturday over the Fusion at the Civic Centre Arena.“Fusion jumped out to a 3-0 first-period lead when (we) got into penalty trouble,” Kootenay coach Mario DiBella explained.Kiana Strand managed to pull Kootenay a little closer with a second period marker.However, that would be as close as the home side would get as, with the net empty for an extra attacker, Vancouver scored and insurance marker. The final tally came after a defensive miscue by Kootenay.Saturday, Kootenay kept the fans on the edge of their seats as the Cats staged a second-period rally before holding on to register the one-goal win.Daley Oddy opened the scoring for Kootenay, converting her own rebound to give the Cats a 1-0 lead after one period. Vancouver scored twice in the second to take a 2-1 advantage into the final period.However, Kootenay out scored the Lower Mainland squad 4-2 in the third to register the one-goal victory. “Veteran leadership was key to this win with (Shannon) Hall, (Kiana) Strand and (Shea) Weighill leading the way,” said DiBella.Hailey McLean, Strand, Oddy, with her second of the game, and Shea Weighill into an empty net, scored for the Cats. Captain Shannon Hall and Aimee DiBella each had two assists. Brianne Burns and Kayla Keraiff split the netminder duties.Kootenay, 3-1 in league play, plays host to the five-team B.C. Female AAA Hockey League tournament beginning Friday in Nelson. Other teams include Okanagan Rockets, Prince George Cougars and Fraser Valley Phantom.The tournament begins Friday at 10:45 a.m. in the Civic Centre Arena with Prince George Cougars meeting the Okanagan Rockets. Wildcats first game is at 5:30 p.m. in the Civic Centre Arena against Vancouver Fusion.
The Cats meet Okanagan Rockets at 8 a.m. Saturday in the NDCC Arena before battling Prince George Cougars at 2 p.m. in the Civic Centre Arena. Kootenay concludes the tournament Sunday with a game at 10:45 p.m. against Fraser Valley Phantom.OVERTIME: Daly Oddy and Shannon Hall sit in second and third spots, respectively, in league scoring behind leader Rachel Dong of Fraser Valley. Oddy has three goals on the season. Kootenay Aimee DiBella and Lee Jordyn are tied for fourth [email protected]last_img read more

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The Pan Borneo Highway could divide threatened wildlife populations

first_img Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsored Crews are set to begin construction on a stretch of Malaysia’s Pan Borneo Highway in eastern Sabah state, involving the widening of the road from two lanes to four.The new divided highway will cross the Kinabatangan River and pass through a critical wildlife sanctuary that’s home to orangutans, elephants and proboscis monkeys, along with other wildlife species already hemmed in by the region’s oil palm plantations.Planners and politicians hope the road will stimulate local economies and bring in more tourists.Conservationists and scientists, however, are concerned that the highway could further section off animal populations and damage the current tourism infrastructure, unless certain mitigation measures are introduced. This is the fourth article in our six-part series “Traveling the Pan Borneo Highway.” Read Part One, Part Two and Part Three.BATU PUTEH, Malaysia — They call it the “corridor of life.” Amid a sea of oil palm plantations, narrow strips of forests that fringe the Kinabatangan River in Malaysia teem with iconic wildlife.Established as a wildlife reserve in the 1990s, the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary has become one of the biggest tourist draws in the state of Sabah, in part because there are few places where it’s easier to see some of Southeast Asia’s best-known wild animals. Pot-bellied proboscis monkeys and eight species of hornbills are so easy to spot that tour boats from the outfitters based around the towns of Sukau and Batu Puteh sometimes won’t even slow down for them. And chance encounters with orangutans, crocodiles (observed safely from longboats) and even Borneo’s diminutive variant of the Asian elephant certainly aren’t rare.A map of the Lower Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary at the entrance to the town of Batu Puteh in Sabah, where the local tourism cooperative KOPEL is located. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Still, state and local leaders see the area’s potential for tourism as largely unrealized. Like politicians in other parts of Sabah, they aim to bring in more visitors, and provide locals with better access to services and markets, by improving connections to other parts of Sabah — specifically with the Pan Borneo Highway project. It calls for crews to widen the two-lane road that crosses the Kinabatangan River on its way from Lahad Datu to Sandakan into a four-lane, divided highway. The project plans also include a four-lane bridge over the Kinabatangan River where it crosses at the town of Batu Puteh. Currently, a two-lane, steel trestle bridge spans the river, clanking and shuddering under the weight of passing traffic, especially the ubiquitous palm oil-toting tankers.Scientists and conservation groups, however, have raised concerns about expanding the existing road, which they say could further carve up already fragmented wildlife populations. Even at two lanes, the road has proven an insurmountable impediment to elephants crossing back and forth. All of the tracking data from teams at WWF-Malaysia and the Danau Girang Field Centre just downriver show that elephants remain on one side of the road and that they won’t cross.Tourists frequently spot Bornean orangutans (Pongo pygmaeus) on the Kinabatangan River. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.There’s even some evidence that the noise from the road — or perhaps, more accurately, the vibration of the bridge — keeps crocodiles from swimming underneath it, so its construction in the late 1990s likely split the river’s crocodile population in two.Experts fear that a wider, divided road would further hinder the passage of wildlife, hemming them into even smaller patches of habitat. It also increases the chances that frustrated animals will come into contact with local residents and oil palm plantation workers. They caution that the frequency of roadkill could spike, with disastrous consequences for both animals and people. One video shows a panicked and confused baby elephant bumping into cars in other parts of Sabah. In Thailand, passers-by recorded a devastating nighttime crash involving a bus and an elephant — a scene that those concerned about the arrival of the Pan Borneo Highway believe could happen in Sabah.Under the existing bridge on the north bank of the river in Batu Puteh sits the headquarters of KOPEL, an internationally recognized tourism cooperative. Households throughout the community participate, hosting travelers in homestays and benefiting financially, while the tourists have easy access to the river’s wildlife delights. KOPEL also runs an “Eco Camp” downriver for more adventurous visitors, anchored by a steady stream of school groups, looking to spend their nights in the forest. There, they also have the chance to participate in the restoration of forest throughout the wildlife sanctuary. The organization’s leaders are concerned, however, that any realignment of the existing bridge could force KOPEL to make a costly move.Expansion and realignment of the Batu Puteh bridge for the Pan Borneo Highway could force KOPEL, a local tourism cooperative, to move its headquarters. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Downriver, plans for a bridge linking the town of Sukau with more remote communities east of the river have been revived, even though the previous state government abandoned a similar project in 2017. The Sukau bridge project isn’t part of the Pan Borneo Highway, though longtime proponents echo similar claims that it would bring development, tourism and better access to health care for local residents. Curiously, though, the environmental impact assessment for the project only includes plans for road construction, not a bridge, according to several sources, even though the word “bridge” remains in the title.WWF-Malaysia has also had a chance to review the assessment. The group cautions that, “A road built in this area will cause further fragmentation and open up access to illegal wildlife hunting.” As a result, WWF-Malaysia has called for the assessment to include a study on how road construction in this area will affect wildlife.Minister of Works Baru Bian said that his office backs the construction of wildlife crossings, pointing to their inclusion in parts of Peninsular Malaysia’s Central Spine Road. Baru said that eco-viaducts there allow large animals to pass underneath the roads without posing a danger to them or to motorists.Young trees grow at a forest restoration site, providing a buffer between the oil palm plantation behind and the Kinabatangan River. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.But research in Peninsular Malaysia has shown that these pinch points serve as ideal spots for natural predators as well as poachers to hang out in search of their prey. To deal with that threat, more wildlife rangers will be needed to keep poachers at bay, Sheelasheena Damian, a policy analyst at WWF-Malaysia, told Mongabay.“The development of roads in Kinabatangan can have detrimental effects to wildlife as it creates access for poachers to enter forest reserves,” Damian said. “The government must take this into consideration when planning development in biodiversity hotspots such as Kinabatangan.”Just recently, the tusks of five Bornean elephants, almost certainly victims of poaching in Sabah, turned up across the border in the Indonesian province of North Kalimantan.The proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus) is one of several threatened species protected by the wildlife sanctuary. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Biologist Benoît Goossens, who directs the Danau Girang Field Centre, agrees that wildlife viaducts aren’t a panacea.He and his colleagues have been using drones to map potential sites for the pathways once the road is in place. Imperative, he says, is that they link sections of good forest on both sides of the road, as prior research has shown. He also posits that ecobridges made to be as natural as possible might be more successful than underpasses, which are typically just dirt pathways without vegetation running under the road.Any connectivity in wildlife populations rests on the contingency that animals actually use such corridors, which is by no means guaranteed.Long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) feeding along the Kinabatangan River. Image by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.Still, at this point, with construction set to move forward, Goossens acknowledged that including some sort of wildlife crossing is the best they can hope for in terms of minimizing the impacts of the highway.“It’s that or nothing,” he said. The alternative — a four-lane, divided highway that cuts through this critical slice of habitat in Sabah without any concessions for the region’s animals — is stark.“You can say goodbye to the ‘corridor of life’ in the Kinabatangan,” Goossens said.Continue to Part Five.Banner image of a saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in the Kinabatangan River by John C. Cannon/Mongabay.John Cannon is a staff writer at Mongabay. Find him on Twitter: @johnccannonFEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Animals, Anti-poaching, Biodiversity, Conservation, Deforestation, Endangered Species, Environment, Extinction, Forest Destruction, Forest Fragmentation, Forest People, Forestry, Forests, Fragmentation, Green, Hunting, Illegal Logging, Infrastructure, Monkeys, Oil Palm, Palm Oil, Palm Oil And Biodiversity, Poaching, Primates, Protected Areas, Rainforest Animals, Rainforest Biodiversity, Rainforest Conservation, Rainforest People, Rainforests, Roads, Saving Rainforests, Threats To Rainforests, Tropical Forests, Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation, Wildlife Trade center_img Article published by John Cannonlast_img read more

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Unknown saviors of the environment: Thirty-five men create a forest from barren land

first_imgA group of 35 men braved all odds to create a lush green forest by planting over 1.4 million saplings over the past fifteen years in Assam state in north-eastern India.The group say they’ve received no significant recognition from authorities, despite having spent their lives on conservation of the environment.Their efforts have proved an inspiration for youngsters, who have come forward to create a forest and also earn a livelihood from it. Prinson Daimari is overwhelmed with pride every time he visits the lush green forest with birds’ nests perched on the treetops inside the Bhairabkunda reserve forest in Udalguri district of Assam in North East India.The 52-year-old stands under a canopy of trees and recalls those days when he, along with his 34 colleagues, spent countless hours shoveling the boulders and stones from beneath the earth to make the barren, sandy land fertile. For a first-time visitor, it is hard to believe that the same stretch of land now boasts of a dense forest spread across 750 hectares, rich in biodiversity, with elephants frequenting the area even during the day.“We have virtually spent our prime years in converting a barren and uneven land filled with rocks and stones into a picturesque forest inhabited by venomous reptiles and wild animals,” Prinson said with a smile on his face as the sun’s rays try to peek through the tall bamboo trees. “We have not only created a forest but have also set a successful example of environmental conservation through our hard work.”From stirring a movement to creating a forestThe seeds for creating the dense forest were laid during the late 1980s, when the 35 youths credited for the man-made forest were members of All Bodo Students Union (ABSU), a student organization formed in 1967 to fight for a separate territory, meant to be carved out from Assam state. The Bodos are an ethnic and linguistic community centered on the Udalguri and Kokrajhar districts of the Indian state of Assam.On February 20, 1993, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoS) was signed between the state government of Assam and the ABSU-Bodo People’s Action Committee (BPAC), restoring some sort of normalcy following the ethnic conflict that began in 1987.This dense forest was planted by a small group of 35 individuals over two decades. Photo by Gurvinder Singh.“We were waging a non-violent movement for the separate land but quit the struggle after the accord was signed. We decided to return to our homes and earn livelihood for our families,” said Bilup Daimari, 53, who was also part of the movement. For the next decade, the 35 men did odd jobs to eke out livelihoods, but found it difficult to keep the kitchen fire burning. “We worked in agro farms and did other jobs but it proved to be a daunting task to run our families. We decided to try something else,” Bilup added.In 2003, the group of men then earmarked land for farming and poultry inside Bhairabkunda reserve forest. “It was a small area in which we decided to do farming and other activities. We had already formed a co-operative and took permission from forest department in this regard. We started with farming, fishing, and also poultry. But it hardly brought any profits because we didn’t have much experience and connection with the local market,” said Alfred Daimari, 54, another member.As they were pondering over their future, a forest ranger came to their rescue in 2004. He offered them a livelihood opportunity of planting saplings on the barren land inside the forest for the next five years. “We were in desperate need for work and readily agreed. We thought that at least we would be able to sustain our families for the next five years,” Alfred said.Severe challenges during the implementationThe project to plant saplings over 750 hectares of land eventually kicked off in 2005. “The flash floods of 1989 had caused massive damage and eroded the top soil, exposing the hard rocks beneath the earth,” Prinson said. “It was a challenging task to remove the rocks and turn the land suitable for plantation. But we didn’t give up. We used to peddle or even walk for 7-8 kilometers to reach to the forest for the work.”He adds: “It was an open area with no toilet and other facilities to cook our food and temporary shed for our rest during the day. We walked for nearly three kilometers every day to fetch water from a stream for drinking and other necessities. The scorching heat made our work more difficult as we worked under the open sky. We virtually ate sand that flew inside our tiffin boxes. We were too poor to afford an umbrella to protect us from sultry heat and heavy rains. We planted around 35 varieties of trees and used to receive a paltry sum of Rs 56 ($ 0.79) as daily wages in exchange of working for 8-9 hours a day that reached to Rs 111($1.57) in 2010.”Alfred points  to another major problem faced by them during the plantation: “We also created our own nursery for plantation. But the villagers became envious of us. They thought that we were trying to grab the land by growing the forest while others thought that it was a ploy to gobble the funds. Some of them conspired to set the forest on fire. We came to know about it and started patrolling during night hours. We walked for 3 kilometers and brought water from the stream and kept it ready in case of any eventuality. The fire indeed broke out thrice during the night hours and we had to rush with water gallons on our back to bring it under the control. Unfortunately, some of the saplings were lost and were planted again.”Increase in BiodiversityTheir hard work finally paid off. The more than 1.4 million saplings they’ve planted since 2005 have now turned into a dense green forest inhabited by snakes, deer, wild boars, and birds. The area is also frequented by elephants from the neighboring state of Arunachal Pradesh and neighboring country Bhutan. The group has also built a treehouse for tourists.Treehouse constructed by Gethsemane JFMC. Photo by Gurvinder Singh.“Earlier, we hardly used to see elephants in this region but now jumbos crossover from the Arunachal Pradesh and Bhutan borders located at a distance of a few kilometers and roam in this part of the forest that was once a barren sandy land,” said Anshu Daimari, 59, a local.In 2016, the men formed Gethsemane Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) as a governing body bringing six village sub-committees under its umbrella. The JFMC won a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ from Kaziranga Wildlife Society in 2016 and restoration award from Balipara Foundation in 2017.The members are now mostly involved in farming and other jobs, but they still have strong emotional connections with the forest. “The government doesn’t pay us anymore but the forest is our child whom we have given birth. We cannot leave it alone. At least two members of the JFMC regularly come here to inspect it. Local villagers immediately inform us if there is any attempt of timber theft,” according to Prinson.The members unanimously urge the state government to promote tourism. “We have spent our lives in growing the forest but have got nothing in return. We do not have the same energy left and do odd jobs for survival. We urge the government to promote tourism so that the money earned can be utilized for its maintenance. Our work can never be compensated in terms of materialistic awards. The only remuneration is its preservation when we are gone,” Bilup said as tears welled up in his eyes.Members of Dhansiri JFMC. Photo by Gurvinder Singh.The forest department says it has heard the men’s pleas and is working to boost tourism in the region. “We understand that tourism is the only way to create livelihood for them,” said MK Sarma, Divisional Forest Officer, Dhansiri forest division. “We have already built a guest house and [we are] trying to come up with more such accommodations for tourists.”Similar initiative kicks off in DhansiriTaking cues from the 35 men’s commendable efforts to restore the forest, a group of around 62 members stepped in from ten villages and started a similar plantation drive in another part of the reserve forest. Subsequently, seven village sub-committees have been formed under Dhansiri JFMC.The afforestation project was officially launched in January 2019 through a partnership between Balipara Foundation and the Dhansiri JFMC. “The project is tasked to plant [350,000] trees over 250 hectares of land over the next two years,” said Proloy Daimari, President of Dhanseri JFMC. “We have already planted [180,000] saplings of 20 varieties this year. The aim is not only to save the environment but also to turn it into a revenue model by promoting eco-tourism, agriculture, and poultry. We want to ensure that the members can earn their livelihood from it instead of venturing outside.”“We are funding around 74 lakh for the two-year project that would end by December 2020. The aim is not only to conserve the environment but also to offer livelihoods for the villagers so that they take an active part in conserving the environment. We are also promoting eco-tourism and cottage industry for the villagers under Udalguri Landscape Mission (ULM),” said Robin Eastment, an operations manager for Balipara foundation who has been working to create livelihood opportunities for forest fringe communities. The ULM aims to identify drivers for conservation and development and invest in projects that help balance ecological and social outcomes.Prinson Daimari (Yellow shirt) and Bilup Daimari (pink shirt). Photo by Gurvinder Singh.FEEDBACK: Use this form to send a message to the author of this post. If you want to post a public comment, you can do that at the bottom of the page. Article published by Mike Gaworecki Popular in the CommunitySponsoredSponsoredOrangutan found tortured and decapitated prompts Indonesia probeEMGIES17 Jan, 2018We will never know the full extent of what this poor Orangutan went through before he died, the same must be done to this evil perpetrator(s) they don’t deserve the air that they breathe this has truly upset me and I wonder for the future for these wonderful creatures. So called ‘Mankind’ has a lot to answer for we are the only ones ruining this world I prefer animals to humans any day of the week.What makes community ecotourism succeed? In Madagascar, location, location, locationScissors1dOther countries should also learn and try to incorporateWhy you should care about the current wave of mass extinctions (commentary)Processor1 DecAfter all, there is no infinite anything in the whole galaxy!Infinite stupidity, right here on earth.The wildlife trade threatens people and animals alike (commentary)Anchor3dUnfortunately I feel The Chinese have no compassion for any living animal. They are a cruel country that as we knowneatbeverything that moves and do not humanily kill these poor animals and insects. They have no health and safety on their markets and they then contract these diseases. Maybe its karma maybe they should look at the way they live and stop using animals for all there so called remedies. DisgustingConservationists welcome China’s wildlife trade banThobolo27 JanChina has consistently been the worlds worst, “ Face of Evil “ in regards our planets flora and fauna survival. In some ways, this is nature trying to fight back. This ban is great, but the rest of the world just cannot allow it to be temporary, because history has demonstrated that once this coronavirus passes, they will in all likelihood, simply revert to been the planets worst Ecco Terrorists. Let’s simply not allow this to happen! How and why they have been able to degrade this planets iconic species, rape the planets rivers, oceans and forests, with apparent impunity, is just mind boggling! Please no more.Probing rural poachers in Africa: Why do they poach?Carrot3dOne day I feel like animals will be more scarce, and I agree with one of my friends, they said that poaching will take over the world, but I also hope notUpset about Amazon fires last year? Focus on deforestation this year (commentary)Bullhorn4dLies and more leisSponsoredSponsoredCoke is again the biggest culprit behind plastic waste in the PhilippinesGrapes7 NovOnce again the article blames companies for the actions of individuals. It is individuals that buy these products, it is individuals that dispose of them improperly. If we want to change it, we have to change, not just create bad guys to blame.Brazilian response to Bolsonaro policies and Amazon fires growsCar4 SepThank you for this excellent report. I feel overwhelmed by the ecocidal intent of the Bolsonaro government in the name of ‘developing’ their ‘God-given’ resources.U.S. allocates first of $30M in grants for forest conservation in SumatraPlanet4dcarrot hella thick ;)Melting Arctic sea ice may be altering winds, weather at equator: studyleftylarry30 JanThe Arctic sea ice seems to be recovering this winter as per the last 10-12 years, good news.Malaysia has the world’s highest deforestation rate, reveals Google forest mapBone27 Sep, 2018Who you’re trying to fool with selective data revelation?You can’t hide the truth if you show historical deforestation for all countries, especially in Europe from 1800s to this day. WorldBank has a good wholesome data on this.Mass tree planting along India’s Cauvery River has scientists worriedSurendra Nekkanti23 JanHi Mongabay. Good effort trying to be objective in this article. I would like to give a constructive feedback which could help in clearing things up.1. It is mentioned that planting trees in village common lands will have negative affects socially and ecologically. There is no need to even have to agree or disagree with it, because, you also mentioned the fact that Cauvery Calling aims to plant trees only in the private lands of the farmers. So, plantation in the common lands doesn’t come into the picture.2.I don’t see that the ecologists are totally against this project, but just they they have some concerns, mainly in terms of what species of trees will be planted. And because there was no direct communication between the ecologists and Isha Foundation, it was not possible for them to address the concerns. As you seem to have spoken with an Isha spokesperson, if you could connect the concerned parties, it would be great, because I see that the ecologists are genuinely interested in making sure things are done the right way.May we all come together and make things happen.Rare Amazon bush dogs caught on camera in BoliviaCarrot1 Feba very good iniciative to be fallowed by the ranchers all overSponsoredcenter_img Afforestation, Community Forests, Community-based Conservation, Conservation, Environment, Forests, Reforestation last_img read more

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Norwich hitman heading back to Portugal?

first_img Ricky van Wolfswinkel 1 Sporting Lisbon have set their sights on re-signing Norwich City striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel.The 26-year-old has failed to make an impact at Carrow Road after his club record £8.5million move in 2013.He scored just one goal in his debut season as the club crashed out of the Premier League and spent the whole of last term on loan at French side St Etienne.Canaries boss Alex Neil is willing to let the Dutchman go this summer, and his former club Sporting are ready to offer him an escape route.The Wolf was prolific in his first spell with the Portuguese side, hitting 28 league goals across those two seasons, and coach Jorge Jesus believes he can recapture that form.Norwich will demand around £5million for Van Wolfswinkel and Sporting are weighing up whether to meet their valuation.last_img read more

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Ex-Fed chief talks oil

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2Greenspan said high oil prices, exceeding $70 a barrel and pushing gasoline costs beyond $3 a gallon in many areas, are due to a sharp decline in spare global oil production capacity, refinery shortages and, to some extent, market speculation. But he said market speculators also have been able “to hasten the adjustment” to higher prices and eased the shock to the economy. He warned against import or price restrictions or other interference in the market, saying, “Growing protectionism would undermine that flexibility and make our nation increasingly vulnerable to the vagaries of the oil market.” American business “to date has largely succeeded in finding productivity improvements that have contained energy costs,” though he conceded that consumers “are struggling with rising gasoline prices.” Greenspan said that with limits on U.S. oil reserves, “we are not going to be a price setter in oil anywhere in the foreseeable future” unless there is a significant reduction in demand. WASHINGTON – Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said Wednesday that while the country has been able to absorb sharp increases in oil prices, high energy costs are beginning to stunt economic growth. But he also said sharply higher oil prices have not produced any “serious erosion” of world economic activity. “The United States, especially, has been able to absorb the huge implicit tax of rising oil prices so far,” because the nation has become “far more flexible” over the past three decades because of globalization and less regulation, Greenspan told a Senate hearing. It was his first appearance before Congress since leaving the Federal Reserve in January. However, he added, “Recent data indicate we may finally be experiencing some impact.” “We’re out of the market essentially as a very critical player with respect to price,” Greenspan told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. But he said “current oil prices over time should lower to some extent our worrisome dependence on petroleum,” with the development of alternative fuels and broader use of electric-hybrid cars. This “would help to wean us of our petroleum dependence,” Greenspan said. “We are gradually … weaning ourselves off petroleum. It is slow and in many ways like watching grass grow,” Greenspan said, adding that if the shift “happens smoothly, that is the best of all contingencies. … But what happens if it doesn’t go smoothly?” Greenspan said ethanol can become a significant alternative to gasoline, but the answer in the long run is not in corn, now the primary commercial source of the fuel in the United States, because of limited supplies. He urged rapid expansion of research into the development of cellulosic ethanol – made from wood chips, sawgrass or other material. While Brazil uses sugar cane to make ethanol, corn accounts for virtually all of the ethanol produced in the U.S. Small amounts are made from other grains, according to the Renewable Fuels Association. Work on cellulosic ethanol is still in the laboratory stage. “Find out if (it) really is a practical alternative,” he said, adding that only cellulosic ethanol will create the volumes adequate to replace large amounts of gasoline.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Takeaways: Sharks prove that wins trump fists in new NHL

first_imgCALGARY, Alberta — Before we dive into all the juicy-revenge stuff, let’s kick things off with a mandatory Joe Thornton milestone update.Throw 1,000 points with the Sharks into the pile of remarkable achievements that Thornton’s stacked up this season, a list that includes 1,500 games played, 1,000 games played with the Sharks and becoming the 10th-most prolific passer in NHL history.Thornton recorded his 1,000th point in teal on Thursday by setting up Evander Kane’s first goal of the night …last_img read more

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