Bruce Babbitt was Governor of Arizona from 1978-87 and Attorney General of Arizona from 1975-78. As governor, he brought environmental and resource management to the forefront in the state. He negotiated and steered to passage the Arizona Groundwater Management Act of 1980, which remains the most comprehensive water regulatory system in the nation. He was also responsible for creation of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality. Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton, Babbitt led the creation of the forest plan in the Pacific Northwest, restoration of the Florida Everglades, passage of the California Desert Protection Act, and legislation for the National Wildlife Refuge system. As a certified fire fighter, he brought his front line experience to creating a new federal wild land fire policy that emphasized the role of fire in maintenance and restoration of natural ecosystems. He pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act and worked with Clinton to create 22 new national monuments. He is the author of 'Cities in the Wilderness,' recently issued by Island Press, in which he lays out a new vision of land use in America. He currently serves as a director of the World Wildlife Fund.
A cooperative project of the Cooper Foundation and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the E.N. Thompson Forum on World Issues began in 1988 as part of a mission to promote better understanding of world events and issues by Nebraskans. The Forum seeks out forceful speakers who are committed to the issues they address, seeking balance over the range of its programs rather than in each presentation. The Forum does not endorse the views of the individual speakers nor limit their freedom to express their points of view.