Save Mount Diablo's executive director Ron Brown is preparing to retire this year after leading the grassroots environmental nonprofit for more than 15 years.
"I have spent a lot of time in meeting rooms, swivel chairs and in front of computer screens to protect the Diablo wilderness," Brown said in a statement to his colleagues.
"The time has come for me to get outside and enjoy the great lands that we have protected together. At the end of this year, I will retire so that I can feel the wind in my hair, hike trails and go camping with my grandkids," he added.
Brown will have completed more than 42 years of full-time work in nonprofit organizations by the time he retires at the end of this year.
He will continue to work with Save Mount Diablo through the transition period and will assist in orienting the new executive director. In 2016, Brown plans to work as a consultant on special projects on a part-time basis.
"Ron has been an inspiring force for Save Mount Diablo and we will miss him dearly," said Scott Hein, president of Save Mount Diablo's board of directors. "We are pleased that he will be working with us towards a smooth transition."
A search firm is currently working with the board to select the next executive director, Hein said.
Under Brown's leadership, there have been many successes for the Walnut Creek-based organization, according to Save Mount Diablo reps.
The group has been able to preserve and protect 60% of the 180,000 acre Diablo wilderness which encompasses Mount Diablo.
"Although the work is not done, I know the organization has amazing supporters, is strong and successful with an actively engaged board of directors," Brown said. "I don't doubt that, together, we will protect the remaining threatened acres."
Save Mount Diablo is accepting donations in honor of Brown's work. For more information, visit the organization's website.