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Underground History: Working Around Fairy Shrimp

BLM/Public Domain
Fairy shrimp live in seasonal pools like this one on one of the Table Rocks.

Few people had heard of fairy shrimp when they showed up in Jackson County 20 years ago.  Before that, the little critters were thought to be no closer than Mount Shasta. 

But they live in vernal pools, seasonal pools of water, in the Agate Desert around White City.  And they are listed as threatened, requiring some effort to protect them. 

This month's edition of Underground History, with our partners at the Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology, considers the shrimp... archaeologists have done some work exploring the areas where they live.  Biologist Paul Benton joins Chelsea Rose in discussing fairy shrimp and some of the recent history of their habitat.   

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.
John Baxter's history at JPR reaches back three decades.  John was the JPR program director who was the architect of "the split" when JPR grew from a single program stream to three separate streams. We coaxed him out of retirement and he's now a co-producer of the Jefferson Exchange.
April Ehrlich is an editor and reporter at Oregon Public Broadcasting. Previously, she was a news host and reporter at Jefferson Public Radio.