Jan Lee’s list of accomplishments is as long as it is impressive. A Clackamas County native, Lee has demonstrated a life-long dedication to managing Oregon’s natural resources and has had an active hand in state and local resource policy for almost 40 years. Her breadth of experience and business acumen make her a valued addition to the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District board of directors.
Lee joined the District as an associate director in 1999 after having previously served on the Deschutes Soil and Water Conservation District board of directors in Bend during the 1980’s. In 2008, Lee was appointed as an at-large director to fill a vacant position on the board. Later that year, she ran for the seat and was elected to the position she has held for the last 11 years. “I plan to continue my relationship with the District,” she shared when asked if she’ll run again in 2020. “We’re involved in so many valuable and meaningful projects. It feels good to be part of the future we’re building here in Clackamas County.”
Business Owner with a Strong Work Ethic
Lee grew up in the Sandy area where her father worked in the timber industry. She worked for a variety of construction and engineering companies before she became involved in the water and energy industries. She received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Linfield College and established her own successful business, Water & Energy Resource Services, in 1983. Lee went on to obtain her masters degree in public administration with a natural resources emphasis at Lewis and Clark College.
In addition to running her own business, she has served as executive director for the Northwest Hydroelectric Association and the Oregon Water Resources Congress (irrigation districts). Most recently, she has been appointed as the executive director for the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts, the statewide organization that represents soil and water conservation districts.
She is also currently a member of the Sandy City Council and serves on the budget committees of Clackamas County and the Oregon Trail School District. She previously served on the Clackamas County Planning Commission.
Lobbyist, Legislator, and Conservation Advocate
In her work as executive director for the organizations listed above, Lee has actively lobbied on behalf of water policy, renewable energy, and conservation issues. As part of her work with environmental and agricultural groups, she helped to draft legislation that increased irrigation efficiency by providing an incentive to place conserved water instream as well as legislation to provide funding and policy for fish passage. This helped to protect native habitat, fish passage, and water quantity and quality.
Lee served a two-year term as a House member of the Oregon legislature. During her tenure as a state legislator, she was a member of the Land and Water Use Committee and was Vice-Chair of the House Species Recovery and Streamflow Restoration Committee.
Throughout her long career, Lee has been recognized with numerous awards and has provided service to the community through participation in many conservation organizations. In 2009, Lee was chosen to serve on the Oregon Association of Conservation Districts board of directors where she served in several officer positions, including president. In July 2015, she received international recognition as the winner of the Women with Hydro Vision award for her work in communications, public relations, and support in the hydropower industry.
Though she has no shortage of accomplishments and recognitions, Lee takes great pride in her work with the District. She is particularly pleased with how the District has refined its policies, procedures, and business mechanisms. She is very interested in the District’s Working Lands Program and looks forward to developing means to help established farmers and the new, upcoming generation of farmers negotiate the land succession process. “I think conservation and working land easements will be of great help to Clackamas farmers,” she notes, ” and I look forward to providing continued assistance to landowners in our County.”
This article was updated on December 12, 2019.