LBJ Foundation Presents The Honorable Bruce Babbitt With 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award

May 05, 2014

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CONTACT: Ryann Collier, ryann@goarsenal.com, 512-499-8009

LBJ Foundation Presents The Honorable Bruce Babbitt With 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award
Babbitt will be Honored at Ceremony at U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

AUSTIN – April 23, 2014 – The LBJ Foundation is presenting The Honorable Bruce Babbitt with the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award in recognition of his decades-long work for the environment and dedication to conservation in the United States.

The award ceremony will take place from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 29, 2014, at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C. The LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees established the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award in 1992 to underscore the lasting devotion of the former First Lady to conservation and the environment. The $25,000 award honors outstanding achievements in the preservation, restoration or improvement of the natural world that embrace Mrs. Johnson's style, energy and commitment to her work. 

"As an elected official, cabinet member and private citizen, Bruce Babbitt has been at the forefront of land and water conservation for decades. He led the effort to protect Arizona's ground water, pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans, launched the National Conservation Lands, spearheaded the designation of 22 new National Monuments, and advocated for smaller development footprints by industry from the American arctic to the Amazon that has resulted in major environmental safeguards,” said Brian O'Donnell, Executive Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation. “Rather than enjoy a life of leisure in retirement, Bruce Babbitt has continued full-time as a conservation leader with numerous non-profit organizations."

The Johnson administration’s reputation as one of the most active administrations in conservation since Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt is largely due to Mrs. Johnson. Among the major legislative initiatives enacted during LBJ’s presidency were the Wilderness Act of 1964, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, and many additions to the National Park system – a total of 200 laws relevant to the environment.
By presenting the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award, the LBJ Foundation continues Mrs. Johnson’s legacy of preserving our land and the beauty of our nation. Past recipients are U.S. Senator John Chafee, Laurance Rockefeller, Patrick Noonan, and Michael Dombeck.   

About The Honorable Bruce Babbitt
Bruce Babbitt served as U.S. Secretary of the Interior from 1993 to 2001, Governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, and 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 also was responsible for the creation of the Arizona Department of Water Resources and Arizona Department of Environmental Quality as well as a major expansion of the state park system.

Babbitt served as Secretary of the Interior for eight years under President Bill Clinton. While in office, 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. Drawing on his frontline experience as a certified firefighter, Babbitt brought about a new federal wild land fire policy that emphasizes the role of fire in maintaining and restoring natural ecosystems. He pioneered the use of habitat conservation plans under the Endangered Species Act and worked with President Clinton to declare 22 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 National Park. He is the author of Cities in the Wilderness, in which he lays out a new vision of land use in America. Babbitt resides in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Hattie, a former Ambassador to the Organization of American States. They have two children, Christopher, who lives and practices law in Washington, D.C., and T.J., a teacher in the Los Angeles public school system.

About the Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award
The Lady Bird Johnson Environmental Award honors outstanding achievements in the preservation, restoration or improvement of the natural world that embrace Mrs. Johnson's style, energy and commitment to her work. It salutes the efforts of Americans who are making a positive impact on the environment by successfully collaborating with communities and engaging others in their mission by reaching out to diverse sectors. The award was created in 1992 by the LBJ Foundation Board of Trustees to underscore the lasting devotion of the former First Lady to conservation and to the environment. More information about the award can be found at http://www.lbjlibrary.org/page/foundation/initiatives/lady-bird-johnson-environmental-award.

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