Statement by Terrence L. Bracy
Chairman of the Morris K. Udall Foundation
Confirmation Hearing on His Nomination for a New Six-Year Term
Before the Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate
September 10, 1998

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee, I am pleased and honored to be nominated for another term on the Board of Trustees of the Morris K. Udall Foundation. Since beginning its active life four years ago, I have had the privilege of chairing a Foundation which carries on the vision of one of the greatest public servants this century has known_Mo Udall. While awarding Mo the Medal of Freedom, President Clinton said:

"His landmark achievements such as reforming campaign finance, preserving our forests, safeguarding the Alaskan wilderness, and defending the rights of Native Americans were important, indeed. But he distinguished himself above all as a man to whom others_leaders_ would turn for judgment, skill and wisdom. Mo Udall is truly a man for all seasons and a role model for what is best in American democracy."

Unfortunately, Mo is immobilized by Parkinson's disease and was unable to be present to hear such praise. Yet even though he has been out of the public eye since 1991, his reputation seems to grow. The Foundation receives communications and inquiries from all over the country seeking information about a man people obviously miss and whose core values of civility, integrity, and consensus they seek. He has charted a path the Foundation has tried faithfully to follow.

During thirty years in Congress, Mo Udall was a champion of better and more responsive government and of the environment, a man of honor and vision. He was also my mentor and friend. So it has been a singular honor and matter of great pride to chair the Foundation that bears his name.

Senators will recall that the Udall Foundation is both similar to and different from its predecessors in the Federal family: the Truman, Madison, and Goldwater Foundations.

We are similar in that we are educational entities that award college scholarships, fellowships and internships to further public goals. The Udall Foundation's focuses are the environment and Native American affairs.

We differ in that our Foundation was given a broader mandate_but, unfortunately, less money_than the others. Congress also told us to do policy work in the areas of Native American health care and environmental conflict resolution, to hold annual conferences on important national issues and to work with the Udall Center at the University of Arizona to generate new research in our fields. Congress authorized $40 million for these purposes, but appropriated only $19 million for beginning activities. Four years later, our corpus has grown to almost $24 million because of a 10% reinvestment program and an additional appropriation by Congress last year of $1.75 million. Since our establishment, we have accomplished the following:

The Foundation has awarded 220 scholarships to college juniors and seniors planning careers in the environment or Native American health care. Interest in Udall scholarships has grown rapidly, and today more than 1,200 colleges and universities participate. The demand is such that the Board would like to raise the annual number of awards from 75 to 100 and the stipend from $5,000 to $7,500.

_We have initiated the first Native American Congressional internship program. This year we graduated and sent back to their tribes the third class of Udall interns with an enriched knowledge of Congress and the Executive Branch. Congressional interns, all of whom are college graduates, are split evenly between Republican and Democratic offices; three slots have been made available at the White House. Interns are lodged at George Washington University and are provided a per diem and, upon successful completion of the program, a stipend of $1,200. The program also provides regular counseling, travel to historic sites and special meetings with national leaders. The evidence thus far suggests that our graduates are having a dramatic impact on their tribes.

The Foundation has begun a program to support top doctoral candidates in their dissertation years. Last year, we began by authorizing the gift of $24,000 each to two of the nation's leading graduate students after a national competition. The first year was judged a success, yielding two potentially publishable theses covering new ground in environmental research. The Board has decided to continue the program this year and expand it over time as our financial resources grow.

We have sponsored two widely reported national conferences on environmental issues, and another conference, this October, will focus on Native American health care.

The Foundation has conducted extensive preliminary planning for a program that will begin this year called "Parks in Focus." In cooperation with the Boys and Girls Clubs, the National Park Service and two private concerns, Cannon and Kodak, we will take inner-city children into our national parks for long weekends. They will be given cameras and will engage in photography contests. Their photos then will be displayed in their schools. This effort with grade school children will supplement our educational programs which focus on college and graduate students.

Finally, we have undertaken a searching analysis of the methods of environmental conflict resolution and its possible use by Federal agencies. The Foundation's efforts included convening a large national conference on the subject and conducting simulations to test negotiating methods. We concluded in a report to this Committee that this approach holds great promise, particularly in the settlement of lands disputes in the West.

As the Chairman knows, our research led to a request by Senator John McCain that the Foundation undertake a formal role as the federal mediator in environmental disputes. In consultation with the White House, Senator McCain introduced S.399, which was subsequently approved by this Committee and the full Senate and House and signed by President Clinton in January of this year. The law creates within the Udall Foundation a new federal entity known as the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution.

The Institute will be located with the Foundation in Tucson, providing a neutral site within the federal establishment but outside the "beltway" where public and private interests can seek common ground and settle environmental disputes.

The Institute is intended to give yet another boost to the growing environmental conflict resolution movement, to move away from a period of confrontation and litigation to a new area where we follow Mo Udall's lead and strive for consensus.

It is not just an idea whose time has come. It is one that is long overdue.

Environmental conflicts have escalated over the past decade, particularly over natural resources policy, public lands management and the regulation of public policy. Some 500 environmental lawsuits are filed in federal courts each year, and an increasing number are being filed in state courts as the body of state environmental law grows. Federal agencies are increasingly involved as parties in these proceedings based on their role as public planners, managers, regulators and enforcers.

What we are doing is putting together a new and simpler way to work out our problems. It should not only streamline the process but save money, as well.

Pending funding, the Institute will be operational in October.

Mr. Chairman, to head a Foundation named for Mo Udall has been one of the great privileges of my life. It is a most pleasurable if sometimes awesome and intimidating task. I hope my performance has lived up to his expectations and to yours. I would very much appreciate the opportunity to continue to serve.