Bruce Babbitt served as Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001, as Governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987 and as Attorney General of Arizona from 1975 to 1978.
As Governor Babbitt brought environmental and resource management to the forefront in Arizona. He personally 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 and a major expansion of the state park system.
Appointed Secretary of the Interior by President Clinton in 1993, Babbitt served for eight years, during which he led in 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, Babbitt brought his front line experience to creating a new federal wild land fire policy that emphasizes 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 President Clinton to create twenty two new national monuments, including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah.
Babbitt is perhaps best remembered by American schoolchildren as the Secretary who brought the wolves back to Yellowstone. 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. Babbitt resides in Washington with his wife, Hattie, a former Ambassador to the Organization of American States. They have two children, Christopher, a lawyer residing in San Francisco, and T.J. a teacher in the Los Angeles public school system.