Peter deMarsh Memorial

Honouring a champion

On March 10, 2019, forest-dependent communities in Canada and around the world lost a champion when an Ethiopian Airlines plane crashed shortly after takeoff, killing all 157 aboard. Peter deMarsh was on the plane, on his way to a United Nations environmental conference in Nairobi, again representing the viewpoints of woodlot owners in international deliberations on forests.

Peter deMarsh strived throughout his life to convince the tens of millions of woodlot owners around the world to take collective action through their local, regional, national and international organizations, which work so ably to defend and promote woodlot owners’ interests.

This was his aim when serving as President of the York Sunbury Charlotte Forest Products Marketing Board (New Brunswick) between 1972 and 1988, when helping to found the New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners in 1976, and when co-founding the Canadian Forest Owners in 1989. In addition, he was a driving force behind the creation of the International Family Forestry Alliance in 2002, in order to make woodlot owners’ voices heard in international forums. As head of these organizations, Peter deMarsh observed that woodlot owners and wood producers across the globe faced remarkably similar problems. While he continued his efforts at the national and international levels, he also worked tirelessly at the local level to develop initiatives for the wood producers in his own community of Taymouth. Language and cultural barriers never stopped him.

About the Peter deMarsh Memorial Bursary

To honour Peter deMarsh’s memory and to continue to celebrate and defend woodlot owners’ multiple contributions to rural development, Canadian  Forest Owners and International Family Forestry Alliance, in collaboration with UPA International Development, have established the Peter deMarsh Memorial Bursary, to be given annually. The award supports two types of projects:

Option 1: Research Bursary

A $15,000 bursary will be awarded each year to a Canadian or international graduate student in the final stage of his/her doctoral or master’s-level research at a Canadian university. The research project must focus on the role of woodlot owners or woodlot owners’ associations in helping to solve social, economic or environmental problems. Very often, students will have finished the years of schooling and coursework required for their master’s degree or doctorate but will not have completed their thesis or dissertation. This bursary gives them a few extra months to finish writing their thesis or dissertation before returning to the job market.

To Apply, review the guidelines:

Documents can be sent by email to The deadline for applications to be received is June 30 of each year. The names of recipients will be announced by August 31 of each year.  

Option 2: Travel Bursary for Attendance at an International Conference

Peter deMarsh was particularly concerned about woodlot owners’ lack of representation at major international conferences on forest land management due to insufficient financial resources. Consequently, a bursary of up to $3,000 will be awarded to help representatives of woodlot owners’ associations in Canada or abroad to participate in international conferences dealing with issues involving forest owners. A limited amount of travel funding is available on an annual basis and applications can be submitted at any time. To apply for a travel bursary, please email:


To Support This Initiative


Help us in our efforts to support the next generation of professionals sharing Peter deMarsh’s spirit of commitment and dedication by contributing financially to this initiative. You can make a donation through our page or by sending a cheque, payable to Canadian Forest Owners, to the following address:

Canadian Forest Owners, 1 Rideau St., Suite 700 Ottawa ON, K1N 8S7