Joan Zuber, a Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District board member, moved to Elk Prairie in the southwestern Clackamas County foothills to take advantage of the wonderful and bountiful natural resources the area has to offer.
“I wanted to ride horses, go fishing, see the stars at night, and play in the snow,” she shares.
A native Oregonian, Zuber grew up in Portland and was deeply influenced by her father. “He impressed upon me the value of the natural world, of being outside and engaging directly with nature during hikes and hunting/gathering activities.”
An Adventurer Committed to Service
“I’ve had a deep respect for the outdoors all of my life,” says Zuber. “I always wanted the knowledge to be successful first hand and not just be dragged around on someone else’s experiences.”
I’ve had a deep respect for the outdoors all of my life
Her enthusiasm to jump in and enjoy nature has led her on many adventures. Zuber’s hard-working, get-it-done attitude has benefited many different organizations. These include, but are not limited to:
- the Mazamas Executive Council;
- the Chemeketans;
- Pacific Northwest Endurance Riders;
- Women Owning Woodlands; and
- the Molalla Buckaroo Royals.
She has also served as the past president of the Federation of Western Outdoor Clubs, taught cross-country skiing, and led ski tours.
Zuber is also an accomplished climber, having achieved the Mazamas Sixteen Northwest Peaks Award. This prestigious award is bestowed on members who summit all sixteen peaks in the Cascades including Mt. Olympus and Mt. Shasta. To top it off, Zuber carried the Olympic torch for the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Ten Years of Service
Zuber has just recently celebrated her ten-year anniversary on the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District’s Board of Directors. She represents the citizens of Zone 4 (southwestern Clackamas County) and was re-elected to her position in 2014.
soon I was an associate board member
“I was introduced to the District by Ricardo Dailey, a neighbor who happened to be on the board of directors at that time. Rick invited me to come to the board meetings and soon I was an associate board member.”
Since that time, voters have approved a District tax base. This has provided funding to improve service, support partners like farmers markets and watershed councils, and implement more on-the-ground conservation projects. She credits strong leadership from the District’s general manager and stable funding for the District’s growth and success.
Conservation is Part of Enjoying Nature
“My motto is leave it better than when you arrived,” says Zuber. “If I observe something that isn’t right, I don’t just close my eyes. I try to find a way to have a different outcome. I moved here because I loved and cared about these resources.”
Leave it better than when you arrived
Looking forward, Zuber says she’s very excited to see the development of the District’s Conservation Resource Center. She is also proud of the work the District is undertaking to develop its Working Lands Legacy Program. This program will enable valuable farm, ranch, and forestry land to be preserved for future generations through the use of conservation easements.
Zuber is proud that she has been part of a process that will enable others to nurture the same strong values she shares for our our resource, noting: “The District will be able to provide guidance and protection to landowners who want to preserve their investment of time, money, and stewardship, and who are willing to make a generational commitment to that preservation.”