Putting Down Roots

Two young landowners embark on a lifetime of careful forest stewardship together.

Posted Mar 26, 2021

Meet Jacob Demers and Estelle Dupuis

Jacob Demers and Estelle Dupuis are young forest landowners in New Brunswick.

Most landowners in New Brunswick are over the age of 45, and there is an increasing challenge of succession planning among landowners. However, Jacob and Estelle — who are both in their mid-twenties — defy the assumption that young people are not interested in owning and managing forest land.

Jacob and Estelle recently completed university in New Brunswick. Both Jacob and Estelle grew up in rural areas, and they missed hiking and exploring their family lands, whether by foot or snowshoe. The couple hadn’t intending on purchasing land at such a young age, but when they heard that a particular property was going up for sale, they had to check it out.

After walking through the forest stands and the wetland on this 83-acre property, they couldn’t turn away from the opportunity.

With this new forest in need of care and a lifelong interest in biology and wetland ecology, Jacob is eagerly learning more about sustainable silviculture practices and he intends to manage the land himself in his free time.

The system of overgrown trails on the property has taken priority, and Jacob intends to manage the forest for a diversity of climate-adaptive species that support increased carbon storage.

The couple sees value in the forest as an ecosystem and they intend to nurture their land and restore it to a thriving Acadian forest. “We can do so much for a forest in our lifetime, and that’s our intention with our land,” said Jacob.

We can do so much for a forest in our lifetime, and that’s our intention with our land.