Bruce Babbitt, an Arizona native, has an early involvement in environmentalism. His father helped to establish the Arizona Wildlife Federation and later Babbitt earned degrees in the areas of geology, geophysics, and law. As governor of Arizona from 1978-1987 and United States Secretary of the Interior from 1993-2001, Bruce Babbitt advocated for the removal of outdated dams to restore healthy, free-flowing rivers and migratory fish runs.
Babbitt contributed to the preservation of scenic and historic public monuments and areas across the United States through his creation of the National Landscape Conservation System in 2000. During both the Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton Administrations he remained an active political leader surrounding national environmental issues in areas such California, the Pacific Northwest, Florida, and Pennsylvania. Babbitt is regarded for his involvement in environmental policy making surrounding mining, grazing, land management, endangered animals, and timber and water policies. He has been a strong advocate of dam removal and anadromous fish restoration, starting with his early advocacy for removal of the dams on Washington’s Elwha River.
After leaving the Department of Interior, Babbitt was named Chief Counsel of the environmental litigation department of Latham & Watkins, an international law firm, and currently serves as trustee to the World Wildlife Fund and as a member of the Council of Foreign Relations.