The Sagebrush in Prisons Project is coordinated by IAE's Ecological Education Program, and is a part of the Sustainability in Prisons Project. It is an environmental partnership between the Institute for Applied Ecology, Department of Corrections, and the Bureau of Land Management to provide unique and meaningful ecological activities to incarcerated adults with the goal of restoring native habitat for the greater sage-grouse in the great basin region through a five state plant production and ecological education initiative.
For 2016, we coordinated with seven states in the great basin region to grow over 390,000 sagebrush and other sage steppe plants important to the region.
For 2017, we coordinated with eight western states to grow over 390,000 sagebrush and other sage steppe plants important to the region.
For 2018, the project planted its one-millionth sagebrush seedling in Idaho. Also, for her tireless work for the Sagebrush in Prisons project, Ecological Education Program Director Stacy Moore was named a 2018 Difference Maker 100 by TIAA, a leading provider of financial services nationwide. Moore was selected from among more than 4,000 entries. Read More
For 2019, the project was active in nine prisons in five states, and grew a total of 441,926 sagebrush and 8,200 bitterbursh.
- Warner Creek C.F. in Lakeview, Oregon grew 30,000 sagebrush, and 3,000 bitterbrush plants.
- Snake River C. F. in Ontario, Oregon grew 57,562 sagebrush and 198 milkweed plants.
- South Boise Women’s C.C. in Kuna, Idaho grew 26,796 sagebrush and 1,000 bitterbrush plants.
- Idaho State C.C. in Kuna, Idaho grew 50,568 sagebrush and 4,200 bitterbrush plants.
- Nevada & California: Four prisons grew a total of ~252,000 sagebrush to deliver to four local BLM offices for outplanting. Here is the breakdown by prison: Lovelock C.C. ~43,000 Warm Springs C.C.~76,000 Northern Nevada C.C. Unit 5 ~55,000, Unit 3 ~33,000, FCI Herlong ~45,000
- Honor Farm in Riverton, Wyoming began growing sagebrush for the first time this year after building a new greenhouse. They grew 25,000 sagebrush including Wyoming Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Silver Sage (Artemisia cana). 3,500 will be planted by volunteers in the Red Desert on National Public Lands Day, 5,000 will be planted near Cody in early October. About 12,000 seedlings will be planted by inmates on abandoned mine lands. The remaining plants will be distributed among other Wyoming BLM offices.
For 2020, the project was initiated at California City Correctional Facility, growing a suite of native plants for restoring habitat for the Mojave Desert tortoise. Read more.
- Most prisons continue despite the pandemic with dedicated IAE staff, IAE contractors, and DOC personnel ensuring the education programs continue to grow native plants for Bureau of Land Management (BLM) habitat restoration efforts. Read more.
- Sustainability in Prisons Project at Evergreen State College published a new "Foundations In Gardening - Seeds to Supper" curriculum for use in prisons. Ecological Education Coordinator Dionné Mejía contributed to this work. To review or download, click here.
Read the Sagebrush in Prisons Newsletter that is distributed to the sagebrush crews in each of the prisons:
Read our Sagebrush Project protocols and program outline:
Watch a webinar about the SPP on YouTube:
View each state's involvement by clicking on the state-labeled circles below.
Fig. 1 (below)- Current distribution of Greater Sage-Grouse with locations of state and federal correctional facilities. Greater Sage-Grouse distribution data from USGS.
IAE is a leading partner of the Sustainability in Prisons Project (SPP), working to bring science and nature education opportunities into prisons. We work closely with Department of Corrections, Bureau of Land Management, and other partners to provide unique and meaningful activities to incarcerated men and women with the goal of helping our natural environment.