The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed land protections for two endangered plants in Southern Oregon — Cook's lomatium and large-flowered wooly meadowfoam.

The agency said today that about half the 11,038 acres in Jackson and Josephine counties is already protected from development as critical habitat for another species, the fairy shrimp.

The shrimp and the two flowers are found in association with vernal pools — pockets of water that fill with rainwater in winter and dry up in late spring — in the Agate Desert outside Medford.

Under terms of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity, Fish and Wildlife must complete the critical habitat designation for the two wildflowers by next year.

— The Associated Press