The venerable (and not-always-loved) Environmental Protection Information Center is undergoing a “restructuring” that includes the departure of executive director Gary Graham Hughes.
Natalynne DeLapp, who has been with EPIC since 2008, most recently as the organization’s development director, will take over the executive director position June 15.
She said the change in leadership was a unanimous decision by EPIC’s nine-member board of directors. “The decision was made to increase our efficacy and efficiency in order for us to carry out our mission and goals,” she said Tuesday.
The basic structure will remain the same. Currently, DeLapp and Hughes are the organization's only full time employees. Under the restructuring, DeLapp will be joined by a full-time attorney. The organization also has three part-time staffers and several contractors, all of whom are slated to remain. “We’re bringing in new person with legal and technical skills to really be able to catapult our skills into a realm we haven’t seen in a while,” DeLapp said.
EPIC plans to redefine its role in the six-county community it serves, DeLapp said, and re-evaluate what areas of the environment most need protections: “Trespass grows on national forest land; fire suppression and how are we going to build a fire resilient forest; the biggest issue, of course, is climate change,” she said.
In an email announcement today Hughes, who worked for EPIC for three years, wrote, “Thank you for having been engaged with the last several years of my conservation and environmental democracy advocacy efforts at EPIC.”
“I look forward to working with you in the future as part of ongoing efforts to steward our biosphere in a time of increasing ecological, economic, and social stress,” he continued. “The imperative for innovative action only seems to be intensifying.”