Idaho inmates grew 70k sagebrush, bitterbrush seedlings in 2019

two inmates plant seedlings
By Nancy DeWitt, Contractor, Institute for Applied Ecology

Another successful year is in the books for the Sagebrush in Prisons Project, a partnership between the Idaho Department of Correction, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE). To date, inmates in six states have grown over 1.4 million native plants to help revegetate sagebrush habitat following wildfires. 

This year inmates at Idaho State Correctional Center and South Boise Women’s Correctional Center grew over 70,000 sagebrush and bitterbrush seedlings for BLM and the Idaho Department of Fish and Game. The SBWCC crew also planted 800 sagebrush and forbs at Dedication Point in the Snake River Birds of Prey Area this fall. Participants attended classroom lectures, gained job skills, earned certificates, and spoke highly of the program’s benefits.

Some examples:

“This program gives us an opportunity to do something that will make a difference while incarcerated. It brings together a diversity of inmates to form a bond and learn trust and teamwork. It creates positive attitudes in our prison community. You feel satisfaction from being involved and giving back to society.” -Dan D., ISCC

“This program gives us a chance to give back when many of us have taken from the community, it helps to keep us busy which keeps us out of trouble and away from drama, and it’s just a good feeling to watch something beautiful grow from nothing.” -Amanda H.

Story published: 12/20/2019
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