BOISE -- Work to keep sage grouse off the endangered species list has fallen into the hands of some Idaho inmates.

Inmates with the Idaho Department of Correction spent the day starting to grow thousands of native plants such as bitterbrush and sagebrush that will be used to restore the birds native habitat.

"These plants are going to go on burned areas and it will help bring the sagebrush ecosystem back and to habitat restoration sooner than it would normally," said Stacy Lee Moore with the Institute for Applied Ecology.

They started today by sowing their seeds in containers.

The plan is to have the inmates care for the plants through the summer and then they will be planted in the fall.