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Bruce Babbitt to Deliver Lecture as Part of Thompson Forum Series on April 22

[updated 4-11-2008]


WAYNE, Neb. – Bruce Babbitt, U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001, will deliver a simulcast lecture at 7 p.m. April 22 in Room 131 of Connell Hall at Wayne State College. The Thompson Forum lecture, which originates from the Lied Center for Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is the final event of the twentieth season of the forum. Babbitt’s lecture is titled “ Nebraska’s Water Future: Feast or Famine?”


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 firefighter, 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.


The Thompson Forum brings a diversity of viewpoints on international and public policy issues to the citizens of Nebraska. The series was named in honor of E.N. "Jack" Thompson, who served as president of the Cooper Foundation from 1964 to 1990 and as its chairman from 1990 until his death in 2002. Thompson established the series to promote better understanding of world events and issues for all Nebraskans.


All lectures and simulcasts are free and open to the public. To RSVP or for more information, contact David Graber at (402) 375-7272 or at


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