Some Idaho inmates are doing their part to restore sage grouse habitat destroyed by recent fires.
The inmates at South Boise Women's Correctional Center started planting tens of thousands of sagebrush seeds this morning as part of a multi-state effort called the "Great Basin Sagebrush Project."
The hope is that their work will help keep the greater sage grouse off the endangered species list.
Seeds will be planted in the Boise River Wildlife Management Area burned by last year's Mile Marker 14 Fire and the area in Owyhee County burned during the Soda Fire in 2015.
“Sagebrush has a hard time re-establishing itself after a fire and we have more fires now because of the dry invasive cheatgrass,” said Nancy DeWitt, Institute for Applied Ecology. ‘And rather than just wait for sagebrush to come back on its own, which it will likely have a hard time doing because it's competing with those native grasses, we are giving the sagebrush a head start by growing these seedlings.”
By November, the plants will be replanted in the areas in biggest need of repair.