The sustainable management of natural resources requires a thorough analysis of the land-use and forest cover dynamics and the effective factors in the changes occurring in them. This study investigated the roles played by social factors in the temporal changes in land cover and deforestation within the Torul State Forest Enterprise in northeastern Turkey. Between 2005 and 2016, this area was examined in terms of forest crime, demographic movement and forest dynamics using the Geographic Information System (GIS). Major changes were observed in the temporal dynamics of the forested areas and their parameters, with an overall net increase of 3.26%. There was a productive forest area increase of 16.459 ha. Regenerated-young stand areas had increased because of the regeneration activities carried out over the period. This was partially due to decreased forest crime, decreased rural population and increased gross national product (GNP), which had been below Turkey's average.