We lost a great New Brunswicker yesterday with the death of Peter deMarsh in the Ethiopian Air crash. Peter was a fearless advocate for rural families and communities that depend on the production of small woodlots for their well-being.
Whether it was in his own community of Taymouth, provincially, nationally or internationally, Peter deMarsh worked with others to make change happen. His leadership was instrumental in building an effective network of regional woodlot owner organizations throughout New Brunswick.
I met Peter in the 1980’s when I was working for the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. I learned so much from him about the role woodlot owners play, as an integral part of their communities, in the forestry sector as stewards, local employers, and generators of community wealth.
He was tenacious in his pursuit of just treatment for the woodlot sector by government and the large forestry companies who control much of the market for their wood products. He carried his passion for those who steward family forests to the national and international levels. It was in his role as President of the International Family Forest Alliance that he was traveling to Nairobi when disaster struck.
My deepest sympathies go out to his wife Jean, son Luke, and all his friends and colleagues here in New Brunswick, and around the world. He touched so many throughout his life. The biggest tribute we can pay in his memory, is to work together to bring about change to serve the common good, with our hearts rooted firmly in family, community, and in the living world.