Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is excited to welcome Jim Johnson to our Board of Directors! Johnson was sworn in as the Zone 2 director at the January board meeting. Zone 2 represents Oregon City, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Gladstone, Happy Valley, and the urban/rural interface here in Clackamas County.
Director Johnson is currently the Land Use and Water Planning Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Agriculture. He was elected to his position at Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District by the voters during the November 2016 elections. He serves the citizens of his zone for four years through January 2020. “I decided to run for the board seat for many reasons,” says Johnson. “I recognize a quality board when I see one, and Clackamas SWCD is one of the best I have ever worked with. The same can be said about the staff.”
Johnson served as an Associate Board Director for Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District one year prior to his election to the board. He also served as an Associate Board Director from January 2008 – September 2009.
Urban Conservation and Rural Conservation Go Hand in Hand
“I represent the most urban part of the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District,” notes Johnson. “I would like to see greater outreach to this urban population and the governments that represent our zone.” Johnson is a native Oregonian who has lived in Clackamas County for twenty-five years. He has lived in Lake Oswego for the past twenty-three years and served on the Lake Oswego Planning Commission for 13 years.
“I believe there are many things that the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District can do related to urban land and water conservation,” says Johnson. “The urban population provides the greatest share of tax revenue to the District. We need to help our citizens understand why conservation in our rural areas is good for our urban populations as well. Everyone is downstream from our rural areas.”
A Lifetime of Expertise in Land Use
Johnson has been a land use planner for 36 years, the last 20 spent with Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). “Prior to ODA I worked with the Department of Land Conservation and Development, the Columbia River Gorge Commission, Wasco County, and Klickitat County (Washington State).”
Johnson’s family owns a hazelnut farm in Marion County, his dad working in the agricultural service industry. He was always interested in land use, and shares that he drew a map of every state in the United States when he was in 4th grade “just because I wanted to.” Today Johnson holds a bachelor’s of science degree in social science geography and anthropology from Western Oregon University. He also holds a master’s of science degree in geography from the University of Nebraska (Omaha).
Johnson has been recognized for his contributions to his field. In 2006, he was presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Oregon Farm Bureau. In 2015, he was recognized by the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association for Distinguished Leadership by a Professional Planner. He was also the recipient of the 2015 Top Hand Award presented by the Oregon Farm Bureau Federation.
An Advocate, A Neighbor, and a Dog-Lover!
Johnson brings a deep passion to his work and celebrated 35 years of public service on February 2, 2017. When not working, he enjoys gardening, spending time with his family, and enjoying his dog Patrick, a Welsh Corgi. He enjoys playing golf and looks forward to traveling when he finally retires.
“I’m interested in being more involved in government,” says Johnson. “For every one bad thing happening in government, there are 100 great things happening. I would like for us all to get back to a place of trust in our elected officials. They are making decisions for the greater good.”