The State of Maharashtra with geographical area of 3,07,713 sq km is having 61,939 sq km as forest area. The State's forest cover is estimated to approx. 20 per cent. The area of dense forest tract span in parts of Western Ghats, Amravati and Nagpur administrative regions.Maharashtra is India's third largest State with 9.36 percent of India's total geographical area,7.77 percent of forest area and 7.25 percent of forest cover which harbors largest biodiversity amongst any of our States.
Maharashtra forestry sector is the second largest land use after agriculture. The forests have a rich variety of flora and fauna.Forest performs protective, productive, social and bioaesthetic functions and is of diverse utility to mankind.
* afford a renewable source of timber, firewood, pasturage and items of minor forest Produce.
* provide shelter and means of livelihood and welfare to adivasis, other inhabitants,Including lower strata of the population and numerous animate beings.
* provide a source of recreation and medium for seeking harmony with nature,
* exercise ameliorative influence on the microclimate in moderation of extremes,
* control severity of floods and check soil erosion,
* ensure moisture conservation and regulation of stream flows.
Forestry is, thus, beneficial to agriculture and plays an important role of foster mother in promoting agro industrial economy. Forests make significant contribution to the state exchequer and to the State’s domestic production.
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