© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG part of Springer Nature.Interaction between humans and forests has always been strong. Wood has been at the core of all humankind’s endeavors since the discovery of fire and learning how to fabricate it out of trees. The exploitation of forests has not been limited to the procurement of wood, but the concepts of sheltering, hunting, and protection have also been matured near or within the forests. This win-win situation intuitively attracted more and more people to this type of resource. As the human population has grown in forest villages, the pressure caused by the human on the forests has increased. Without active management of the forests, the situation has become so dire that uncontrolled and irregular utilization has started jeopardizing the existence of this resource. The objective of this study was to examine the changes in forest road, forestland cover, and forest crimes in the Daday Forest Enterprise (DFE) located in Kastamonu Regional Directorate of Forestry, Turkey. The results indicated that the population in 51 forest villages was decreased from 1975 to 1990. This decrease was also apparent in all villages across the region during the 1990–2000 period and continued decreasing in 45 villages during the 2000–2016 period. The forestland cover was 57% in 1975, 44% in 2000, and 57% in 2016 while the density in the forest road kept increasing. A noticeable decrease in the forest-related crimes was also determined, and the results showed that effective forest management, consciousness, and conservation policies stopped the deterioration.