Wash. state inmates raise rare frogs, butterflies

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Associated Press

Posted on September 24, 2012 at 6:43 AM

LITTLEROCK, Wash. (AP) — Washington state prison inmates such as Taylor Davis have been working as ecological research assistants, partnered in recent years with scientists doing conservation projects.

Their efforts include raising endangered frogs and threatened butterflies and growing native flowers and prairie grasses.

The programs are part of a push by the state Department of Corrections that has gained momentum recently, with one project earning an expansion grant from a federal agency this year and prison officials from across the country visiting Washington penitentiaries in recent weeks to inspect the various projects.

At Cedar Creek Corrections Center, a medium-security prison in western Washington, Davis and another inmate, Matthew Henson, have been nurturing a batch Oregon spotted frogs that will be ready for release into the wild Monday.

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