It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our friend, Dr. Michael J. Sale. Mike died on New Year's Day, surrounded by his family, after living with a brain tumor for nine months.
The Low Impact Hydropower Institute owes a large debt of gratitude to Mike. Not only was he a chartered member of LIHI's governing board, Mike served as Executive Director from 2013 to 2016 during a critical period of the organization's development. As Executive Director, Mike led efforts to undertake the first major revision to LIHI's certification criteria and handbook since its founding in 2000. Mike's leadership strengthened LIHI's ability to offer market-based opportunities for hydropower operators to lower their environmental, recreational and cultural impacts. The revisions he oversaw expanded ways for key criteria to be satisfied, placed new emphasis on the scientific basis for agency recommendations and mitigation measures and opened new opportunities for longer term certificates. Even after retiring from LIHI in 2016, Mike stayed involved as a Senior Technical Advisor and mentor to me and others on our board.
Mike was a huge presence in the broader hydropower community. After serving over 25 years as a distinguished research staff member and manager at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Mike retired in 2008. Not one to rest, Mike became an independent consultant and invaluable member of numerous technical teams offering support on energy, water and environmental issues, including for the U.S. Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Technologies Program. He brought all of this knowledge and passion to every decision he made to advance LIHI's mission.
It is an understatement to say he is already missed terribly by friends, family and colleagues across the country and world. At his family's suggestion, LIHI has made a donation in honor of Mike to TennGreen, a foundation supporting Parks and Greenways in his beloved home state of Tennessee.
We invite you to share your memories and pictures of Mike on our