Roger Fantz is an at-large member on the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors. A Clackamas County resident for over 45 years, Fantz brings a wealth of experience to the District.
Fantz was initially introduced to the District in 2010 at a local community meeting by Mike Weinberg. Weinberg was a District board member and is now a Director Emeritus with the District. “Mike saw that we were landowners with a stake in conservation policy here in Clackamas County. He invited us to come on down and find out more about the District’s goals and projects,” says Fantz.
Fantz decided to join the District as an Associate Director in January 2011. In 2013 he was appointed to fill Weinberg’s at-large seat. Fantz was most recently re-elected by the voters of Clackamas County in 2018 to a 4-year term .
With increased fire danger and its effects on the river ecosystems, there’s more that all of us can do. I believe the District can encourage resilience in the face of our changing climate. We’re an incredible resource for the public. – Roger Fantz
Fantz is a Lifelong Oregon Resident
Fantz is an Oregonian through and through, born in Silverton and raised in Portland. He attended Portland State University and received a bachelors degree in mathematics and his teaching certificate. His career included teaching middle and high school math in the Reynolds School District in East Multnomah County for 30 years. He also coached a variety of school sports teams. He retired from teaching in 2003.
Growing up, Fantz always enjoyed water activities. When it came time to make his first home, he settled in Paradise Park, right on the Clackamas River. “I enjoy rivers and being on the water,” he says. “The Clackamas River and it’s tributaries have had a huge influence on my life. I’m determined to do my part to give back in a way that truly supports water quantity and quality in our County.”
Fantz attributes much of his motivation and success as a conservationist and organic agricultural producer to his wife, Cathy. Together, they purchased a 40-acre property in the Eagle Creek area where they designed and built a log home. Their property is home to their joint agricultural endeavor, Trillium Forest Farm.
Christmas Trees: Careful Stewardship Helps to Carve out Unique Niche
Trillium Forest Farm boasts a bountiful vegetable garden, an orchard, 30 acres of mixed, mature forest, and a few acres of Christmas trees. “The farm isn’t certified organic, but it is pesticide-free,” says Fantz. “Our commitment to clean water and our desire to keep herbicides and pesticides out of the watershed means we follow organic, sustainable practices.”
This philosophy extends beyond fruits and veggies to include the Christmas trees, something that really sets Trillium Forest Farm apart. “Our trees are pesticide-free too,” says Fantz. Naturally shaped, hand trimmed, and grown free of chemicals, the Nobel firs grown on their farm are naturally more disease and pest resistant than other species. “We keep natural cover on the ground between the trees and mow two or three times a year,” he shared. “The native pasture supports beneficial insects and prevents run off and erosion, a big issue on many tree farms.” Fantz notes that they experience no erosion on their property because of the good soil health practices they use.
“Pesticide-free Christmas trees have been a good economic choice for us,” says Fantz. “And that’s important for farmers. What’s the bottom line?” Fantz finds that Portland-area consumers are willing to pay a premium for his trees. “It’s not a huge operation,” he says, “but we enjoy the work and the relationships we’ve made over the years.”
Water Issues Drive Activism
“Water quality concerns drove my interest in working with the District,” says Fantz. “I believe we have an obligation to preserve habitat for wildlife and to view nature as an equal partner as we work and play in our communities.” Fantz values the partnership the District has with all of the watershed councils in the County, and with different water service providers and programs in the area. “The District works to improve water quality with its many programs including the pesticide reduction and septic system repair projects. We also work with private landowners to remove fish barriers and restore riparian vegetation to protect and help cool our streams.”
“Being on the District board of directors has been a satisfying experience,” Fantz shared. “I appreciate how hard the staff and board has worked to be flexible and adapt to new situations.” He looks forward to continued tenure on the board. “The work the District is doing has a positive influence on all of our lives. I’m glad to be doing my part to help protect our natural resources.”