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Renowned as the man who brought the wolves back to Yellowstone, Bruce Babbitt has a distinguished record as an ecologist, a servant of his state and a national figure. Holding degrees in geology, geophysics and law, he made his initial entry into politics when elected Attorney General of Arizona, the state which he later served as governor for nine years.

While Governor, Babbitt prioritized the environment and resource management throughout Arizona. The Arizona Groundwater Management Act is still the most comprehensive water regulatory system in the USA and was very much his own creation. He set up the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and also oversaw a major expansion of state parks.

With the election of President Clinton Babbitt was appointed as Secretary of the Interior, a post he held throughout the Clinton administration. His achievements during this period include a forest plan for the Pacific Northwest, the restoration of the Florida Everglades, the California Desert Protection Act and bringing the National Wildlife Refuge system into being.

Utilizing his first-hand experience as a certified firefighter, Babbitt created a new federal wild land fire policy, which recognized the role fire has to play in the regulation and maintenance of natural ecosystems. With the Endangered Species Act he introduced the concept of habitat conservation plans. In collaboration with President Clinton he also created twenty-two national monuments.

Babbitt's book Cities in the Wilderness explains his concept of a new way of using land in America; as a fellow of the Blue Moon Fund he currently works on Amazon basin conservation issues.

Full Profile

“I grew up in the West, grew up on the land, was educated as a geologist. And I came here with a vision of what it is we ought to be doing.”

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.

With degrees in geology, geophysics and law, Babbitt was elected to statewide office as Attorney General on his first foray into elective politics at age 36. He subsequently served as Governor for nine years.

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 moments, including the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah.

Babbitt is perhaps best remembered by American school children as the Secretary who brought the wolves back to Yellowstone.

Babbitt is the author of Cities in the Wilderness, published by Island Press, in which he lays out a new vision of land use in America. He is presently working on conservation issues in the Amazon Basin as a fellow of the Blue Moon Fund.


Bruce Babbitt Speaker Videos Back to top

The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies, Bruce Babbitt


Bruce Babbitt brings his vast experience in environmental issues and leading change in land management to a speech on the environment climate change and land policy. The Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton administration tells his audience, “What's happening today? Well, climate change has arrived… it was recognized by engineers in California that the real reservoir in California was the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, vastly more than the dams on the downstream rivers… now the snow is turning to rain and is moving down in big winter bursts."

Passionate about the potential for crisis if climate change is not addressed, he explains, “Those dams [in California] are now just three feet above sea level, and if sea levels continue to rise, what's going to happen? The residents of Los Angeles and San Diego are going to be drinking salt water."

Panel Discussion



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


Bruce Babbitt offers his wide-ranging experience with the environment, climate change and land policies gained as Governor of Arizona and Secretary of the Interior to give truly knowledgeable and passionate talks about our environment. He is also available to speak of his philosophy, life and experience at the heart of the Clinton Administration.

    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies
    • A Conversation with Bruce Babbitt




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use in America
    In this brilliant, gracefully written, and important new book, former Sec. of the Interior Bruce Babbitt summarizes the effects, (both positive and negative), of our current and historical land use policies and gives suggestions for policy changes that could improve the balance between increasing population, resource use, and urban sprawl with the fragility of different at-risk ecosystems, the needs of endangered species, and the beauty of our natural landscapes.
    Order Here





    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies
    • A Conversation with Bruce Babbitt


The Environment, Climate Change, and Land Policies, Bruce Babbitt


Bruce Babbitt brings his vast experience in environmental issues and leading change in land management to a speech on the environment climate change and land policy. The Secretary of the Interior in the Clinton administration tells his audience, “What's happening today? Well, climate change has arrived… it was recognized by engineers in California that the real reservoir in California was the snowpack in the Sierra Nevada, vastly more than the dams on the downstream rivers… now the snow is turning to rain and is moving down in big winter bursts."

Passionate about the potential for crisis if climate change is not addressed, he explains, “Those dams [in California] are now just three feet above sea level, and if sea levels continue to rise, what's going to happen? The residents of Los Angeles and San Diego are going to be drinking salt water."

Panel Discussion