Remembering Dr. Michael Cline

The Tin Mountain community is deeply saddened by the loss of our Executive Director, Dr. Michael Cline. His passion and vision for the organization has grown Tin Mountain in innumerable ways. We will miss his wit and wisdom, and will do our best to continue forward in a way that would make him proud.

Dr. Michael Lee Cline, 65, died at his home in Chatham, New Hampshire, January 3, 2017 after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer. Born and raised in Massillon, Ohio, he was the son of Richard and Alice Cline. He was a graduate of Washington High School in 1970 and went on to attend Bowling Green University, graduating with a degree in Biology. He then attended Colorado State University where he earned a MS and PhD in Forest Science with a focus on tree physiology.

Mike served as the Executive Director of Tin Mountain Conservation Center since 1998 where he poured his heart and soul into growing the organization. His vision was far reaching and his accomplishments included the purchase of 130 acres on Bald Hill Road in Albany for the construction of the Nature Learning Center, an environmentally sustainable building using local woods and a solar heating system as well as a solar photo voltaic system for electricity. Over his tenure at Tin Mountain he brought in $1,600,000 in grant funds and raised $2,000,000 in support of Tin Mountain’s mission. These funds supported programs including school programs, adult and family programs, and the research and intern program developed in 2010 to study forestry practices and their effects on migratory and resident birds and brook trout habitat.

Prior to his time at Tin Mountain, Mike worked at Maine Audubon. While there he worked on one of his proudest accomplishments, the passing of the Forest Practice Act in Maine, which regulated forestry practices throughout the state. He was a unique forester with an ability to conservatively manage forests and an eye for how a cut would affect wildlife and the ecosystem in general. He was a scientist at heart; he was always asking questions and making observations. Mike was also an excellent teacher of both children and adults. Anyone who has ever joined him on a nature walk came out of it learning a tree name or two. He clearly loved trees. His love for plants was made even more apparent through the completion and publication of his book Shrubs of the Northern New England Forest in the midst of battling cancer.

Mike loved his family, his friends, and the forest.  He was an avid bird watcher and loved hiking, nordic skiing, traveling, and being outdoors. He had a brilliant mind and had strong opinions on everything from science to politics or the best way to cook.

He also loved his home in Chatham, NH where he lived with his wife, Lori Jean Kinsey.  He has four children with his former wife Denise Cline of Casco, Maine. His children include Dr. Brittany Cline of Orono, Maine, and her husband Jereme Frank, Dr. Mason Cline of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and his wife, Joanna Hatt, Berkley Sadana of Durham, New Hampshire, and her husband Sunpreet Sadana, and Logan Maxwell of Strafford, New Hampshire, and her husband, Cooper Maxwell. He also has two step children, Larissa Spaulding Vallet of Theyz, France, and her husband Florian Vallet, and Donovan Spaulding, currently a student at Saint Lawrence University.   He was a grandfather to four grandchildren who will miss the opportunity to go bird watching and tap maple trees with Grandpa. He is survived by a brother, Dr. Gary Cline of Frankfort, Kentucky. He is predeceased by both of his parents.

Mike’s family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Tin Mountain Conservation Center, 1245 Bald Hill Road, Albany, NH 03818.

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