Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District is fortunate to have Jim Johnson as a member of our Board of Directors. As the Land Use and Water Planning Coordinator with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, he brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to our organization.
Johnson was elected to his position during the November 2016 elections. He was sworn in as the Zone 2 director in January 2017. Zone 2 represents Oregon City, Milwaukie, Lake Oswego, Gladstone, Happy Valley. It also includes the urban/rural interface in Clackamas County. “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 previously 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 thirty years. He has lived in Lake Oswego for the past twenty-eight years. He has also 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.”
Johnson is an Expert in Oregon Land Use
Johnson has been a land use planner for 41 years, the last 26 spent with Oregon Department of Agriculture (ODA). “Prior to ODA I worked with the Department of Land Conservation and Development. I also worked for the Columbia River Gorge Commission, Wasco County, and Klickitat County (Washington State).”
Johnson’s family owned a hazelnut farm in Marion County, and his dad worked in the agricultural service industry. He was always interested in land use. When he was in the 4th grade, he drew a map of every state in the United States “just because I wanted to.”
He 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 41 years of public service on February 2, 2022. When not working, he enjoys gardening, spending time with his family, and his dog Woody, 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.”
“I’ve been on the board for 5 years now,” notes Johnson. “I’m looking forward to the development and completion of a good strategic plan for the District. This will help us better manage our staff and physical resources and will provide good direction for the District.”
As a member of the Working Lands and Natural Lands Protection Committee, he is excited to help guide the District as it develops plans for the Conservation Resource Center in Beavercreek and the Eagle Creek Community Forest.
“I continue to be impressed and amazed with the work that our staff has done, says Johnson. “This is especially true over the last two years with turnover in management and Covid-19. Our District has not only weathered, but thrived.”