The Peter deMarsh Memorial Bursary

About Peter deMarsh

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 Federation of Woodlot 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, the Canadian Federation of Woodlot 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 $5,000 bursary will be awarded each year to a Canadian or international graduate student conducting doctoral or master’s-level research at a Canadian university on the role of woodlot owners or woodlot owners’ associations in rural development or in helping to solve social, economic or environmental problems.

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 woodlot owners.

Eligibility criteria

The eligibility criteria depend on the type of bursary applied for.

Option 1: Research bursary

This bursary is for graduate students beginning their research on the role of woodlot owners’ associations or woodlot owners in rural development or in solving social, economic or environmental problems, which were Peter deMarsh’s favourite themes.

Applicants must be Canadian citizens or international students, and be registered full time in a master's or doctoral program at a Canadian university. Each applicant must provide:

  • Proof of registration in a graduate program at a Canadian university and proof of payment of tuition;

  • A cover letter explaining the reason for applying for this bursary;

  • A curriculum vitae;

  • A one-page description of the research project.

Employees of the Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec, the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners and the International Family Forestry Alliance are not eligible for this bursary.

Bursary recipients must agree to have their names and a description of their projects included in various promotional tools.

Option 2: Travel bursary for attendance at an international conference

This bursary is intended to help defray travel expenses for representatives of woodlot owners’ associations attending international conferences on rural development.

The applicant must be a member or employee of a woodlot owners’ association and provide:

  • A letter of support from the woodlot owners’ association;

  • The name of the conference and a brief description of the subject;

  • The date of the international conference;

  • Proof of registration in the international conference.

Recipients must agree to have their names included in various promotional tools.

Bursaries will not be awarded to employees of the Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec, the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners and the International Family Forestry Alliance.

A committee composed of representatives of the Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners, the International Family Forestry Alliance and the Peter deMarsh family will select the recipient or recipients.

Submission of applications and announcement of recipients

To apply, send your documents by email to bois@upa.qc.ca.

The deadline for applications to be received is September 30 of each year.

The names of recipients will be announced on December 1 of each year.

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 GoFundMe.com page or by sending a cheque, payable to the Canadian Federation of Woodlots Owners, to the following address:

Canadian Federation of Woodlots Owners

555 Boulevard Roland-Therrien, Suite 565

Longueuil, Quebec J4H 4E7

Financial contributors to this initiative:
Allison Burgess (in the name of Caitlin, Elysha, Mike, Elliott and herself) * Anthony Rotherham * Association des propriétaires de boisés de la Beauce * B. Douglas Prebble * Barbara deMarsh * Burchells LLP * Canadian Association of Forest Owners * Catherine Burgess * Drew Gilbert and Amy Floyd * Etienne Bélanger * Fédération des producteurs forestiers du Québec * Federation of British Columbia Woodlot Associations * Federation of Swedish Family Forest Owners, LRF * Gary Heathcote * Helen Chernoff * International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) * Jean-Pierre Dansereau * Joan McFarland * Kathy Abusow * Khalil Walji * Anonymous * Lennart Ackzell * Anonymous * Marc-André Rhéaume * Margaret Anderson * Maureen Whelan * Megan Hanacek * Monica Debenedetti * Muriel E. Anderson * Neil Burgess * New Brunswick Federation of Woodlot Owners *  Anonymous * PEFC Canada * PEFC International * Peggy Rivera * Peter Murphy * Producteurs et productrices acéricoles du Québec * Rick Doucett * Robert Austman * Ruth Wilson * Sustainable Forestry Initiative * Woodlot Association of Alberta * Yukiko Okuma

© 2014 Canadian Federation of Woodlot Owners