In a development that holds out hopes for long-term conservation amid the gloom of large-scale deforestation in Assam specially in violence-infested Udalguri district, villagers of six villages on the India-Bhutan border at Bhairabkunda joined hands successfully regenerating a stretch of barren sandy forest land. The results of this quiet community initiative done under Joint Forest Management Committee (JFMC) are evident with the regenerated forest expanse of 5 sq km already emerging as a shelter of wild animals and birds.
The 22.24 sq km Bhairabkunda Reserve Forest (RF) was left without a single tree by the early 1980s due to rampant illegal logging. An afforestation drive by the Forest Dept in association with the people of six villages namely – Sonaigaon, Bhairabpur, Goroimari, Sapangaon, No 1 Mazargaon and No 2 Mazargaon started in April 2007 and within five years a spectacular man-made forest known as JFMC forest has grown up at Sapangaon with the conversion of a plot of barren sandy lands measuring 500 hectares to a new picturesque forest with the planting of Khoir, Gamari, Simul, Sisum etc., near the Dhansiri river, very close to Bhutan and Arunachal.
Full report here Assam Tribune