Khandesh, prior to its division into west and east Khandesh, was one of the largest forest district in the erstwhile presidency of Bombay. The forest reserves then covered an area over 6024.340 km2 (2326 square miles) or 22.3 per cent, of the entire area of the district. Of the area which was under forest, 4175.080 km2 (1612 square miles) were declared to be reserved forests and 1849.260 km2 (714 square miles) as protected forests under Chapters II and IV of the Forest Act (VII of 1878). Arrangements were also made for increasing the area under conservation by transferring to the Forest department some of the waste lands. Schemes like demarcation, settlement etc., were also introduced. However, the absence of conservancy rules in the past and the destructive habits of the forest tribes like Bhils, Gavits etc., have robbed the forests of most of their valuable timber.

Later on the administrative changes that took place during the period from 1869 to 1961 formed the present Dhulia district having nine talukas and one mahal. This district: now comprises two forest divisions viz. North Dhulia division and West Dhulia division provided with necessary technical and ministerial staff. The forests in the district now cover an area of 3962.625 km2 (1564.72 square miles of which 3664.125 km2 (1414.72 square miles) are in the charge of Forest department and 318.570 km2 (123.00 square miles) in the charge oi the Revenue department. The forest area makes 32.26 per cent of the total geographical area as against 17.56 per cent for Maharashtra.

The forests are mainly situated on the sloping hills of Satpuda and Satmala ranges and also on the plateaus in Shahada. Shirpur. Akkalkuwa, Nawapur, Nandurbar, Sakri, Taluda and Akrani talukas. They are of mixed deciduous type and consist of commercially valuable species like teak, khair, palas. sadada, shisam, tiwas haldu, kulam, ain, biya, dhavada, shaman, sala, bor, hiver. anjan, tendu and apta leaves, mohwa flower and fruit. Besides, the rosha grass which is found in large areas of Akrani taluka is used for producing scented oil. The forest produce from the forests is valued at about Rs. 20.5 lakhs annually. There is thus a considerable increase in the forest revenue over that of the whole of the former Khandesh district in 1903-1904.

At present a number of schemes such as plantation of valuable trees, afforestation for soil conservation, development of forest pastures, bamboo and agave plantation and establishment of fodder bank etc., have been taken up to regulate the exploitation of the forests and to make it a good source of income and also to complement the agricultural industry in as much as afforestation helps keep up rainfall and, in consequence, proves to be conducive to good growth of crops.

Culturable waste, fallows, barren and unculturable land and permanent pastures and other grazing lands are the other important heads in the land utilisation. They together centred an area of 11253.508 hectares (27808 acres) in 1961-62.