RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment) delivered its pollinator petition Monday to the White House Council on Environmental Quality. The petition urges President Obama to protect pollinators by creating more habitat and forage areas, and by considering all sources of information on and contributors to the pollinator health issue. Nearly 600 concerned citizens from across the United States signed the petition.
"Our petition shows President Obama that citizens want a balanced and substantive conversation to happen on the pollinator health issue," said Aaron Hobbs, RISE president. "The pollinator issue is very complex and research points to multiple factors affecting pollinators, including pests and parasites, microbial diseases, nutrition problems, bee management practices and climate change.
"Our industry takes its role as environmental stewards very seriously. Our petition highlights some of the steps our industry is and has been taking to support pollinators. This includes creating pollinator-friendly habitats and forage areas through integrated vegetation management in utility rights-of-way and large tracts of land.
"We do applaud the White House for including in its Presidential Memorandum about pollinators a focus on more research, developing a public education plan and seeking ways to increase and improve pollinator habitat," added Hobbs. "However, in order to have a meaningful contribution to pollinator health, balanced conversations need to continue."
RISE's petition emphasizes an array of factors affecting bee health. The petition remains open and can be signed at www.votervoice.net/rise/petitions/535/respond.