Lynn Huntsinger

Professor of Rangeland Ecology and Management

lynnhuntsinger square


  • Ph.D. Wildland Resource Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1989
  • M.S. Rangeland Science, University of California, Berkeley, 1983
  • B.A. Chinese Studies: Modern History, University of California, San Diego, 1979

Research Interests

Rangeland conservation and management, see

Research Description

Whether the topic is Inner Mongolian herders or California ranchers, extensive livestock production on rangelands requires negotiation between demand for a relatively predictable flow of products and the inherent unpredictability of an arid rangeland environment. There are property and social relations, practices, and values that are widespread among pastoralists and ranchers that reflect adaptation to the disequilibrium dynamics of the resource base upon which they depend. My work seeks to understand these factors as part of socio-ecological systems, with the goal of learning how long-term, sustainable management of rangelands can be created, and of contributing to the growing body of literature and theory surrounding the concept of socio-ecological systems. This concept is not uncontroversial, but I find it appealing as rangeland ecologist and manager who must look at social relations in order to understand the structure and function of agro-ecosystems like rangelands used for livestock production.

Ongoing studies include research on oak woodland landowners and management in California and Spain, land fragmentation and conservation in oak woodlands, and participatory management strategies. I am a team leader for the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project, working with the Forest Service and state agencies to restore forest "health." I continue to pursue lines of inquiry and theory I have found useful to my work: ecological models for disequilibrium systems as tools to understand the linkages between human relationships and ecological change; work in political ecology founded in basic notions of who (or what) wins and who (or what) loses in struggles over access to natural resources; and adaptive management as arbitrator in landscape and resource management.

Current Projects

  • Environmental Leadership Pathway
  • Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Program
  • California Landowner Survey
  • BIE Rangeland Roundtable: Carbon and Rangelands
  • NSF Emergent Wetlands in California Working Landscapes
  • Working Landscapes:  Spanish Dehesas and California Ranches310012_print.indd

Selected Publications

Huntsinger, L. accepted. Interpreting rangeland degradation in the United States. Chapter in edited volume, Behnke, R. editor, Desertification: science, politics and public perception.

Spiegal, S., L. Huntsinger, P. Hopkinson, and  J.W. Bartolome. in press. Range ecosystems. In: Zavaleta,E. and H. Mooney [eds]. Ecosystems of California. Berkeley, CA, USA: University of California Press.

Sulak, A., Huntsinger, L. and S. Kocher. in press. The Sierrra Nevada Adaptive Management Project: Cooperative Extension and university researchers collaborate. California Agriculture.

Hruska, T.V., Huntsinger, L. and J.L. Oviedo. in press. In: Standiford, R.B. and K. Purcell (eds). Proceedings of the Seventh California Oak Symposium: Managing Oak Woodlands in a Dynamic World, November 3-6, 2014, Visalia, CA. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-XX.

Oviedo J.L., L. Huntsinger, P. Campos. in press. Landowner total income from oak woodland working landscapes in Spain and California. In: Standiford, R.B. and K. Purcell (eds). Proceedings of the Seventh California Oak Symposium: Managing Oak Woodlands in a Dynamic World, November 3-6, 2014, Visalia, CA. USDA Forest Service General Technical Report PSW-GTR-XX.

Plieninger, Y., Bieling C., Fagerholm, N., Anja Byg, A., Hartel, T., Hurley, P., López-Santiago, C.A., Nagabhatla, N., Oteros-Rozas, E., Raymond, C.M., van der Horst, D., Huntsinger, L. 2015. The role of cultural ecosystem services in landscape management and planning. Current  Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 14:28-33.

Briske, D.D., Ash, A.J., Derner, J.D. and L. Huntsinger. 2014. Commentary: A Critical Assessment of the Policy Endorsement for Holistic Management. Agricultural Systems 125: 50-53.

Huntsinger, L., N. Sayre, and L. Macaulay. 2014. Ranchers, land tenure, and grass-roots governance: maintaining pastoralist use of rangelands in the U.S. in three different settings. Chapter 4, pgs. 62-93 in: Davies, J. (ed). The governance of rangelands: Collective action for sustainable pastoralism. New York: Routledge. 298 p.

Ferranto, S., Huntsinger, L. and M. Kelly. 2014. Sustaining ecosystem services from private lands in California: the role of the landowner.  Rangelands 36(5):44-51.

Huntsinger, L., and Bartolome, J.W. 2014.  Cows?  In California?: Rangelands and livestock in the Golden State. Rangelands 36(5): 4-10.

Plieninger, T., Hui, C., Gaertner, M. and L. Huntsinger. 2014. The impact of land abandonment on species richness and abundance in the Mediterranean Basin: a meta-analysis. PLoS ONE 9(5): e98355. [online] URL:

Huntsinger, L. and J. Oviedo. 2014. Ecosystem services are social ecological services in a traditional pastoral system: The case in California Mediterranean rangelands. Ecology and Society 19 (1): 8. [online] URL:

Committee to review the Bureau of Land Management Wild Horse and Burro Management Program--Guy Palmer, Chair, Lynn Huntsinger, one of 13 committee members, lead for chapter 6. 2013. Using science to improve the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Program: A way forward. 436 p. ISBN-10: 0-309-26494-4. 436 pgs. []

Campos, P., Huntsinger, L., Oviedo, J.L., Starrs, P.F., Díaz, M., Standiford, R.B., Montero, G. (eds). 2013. Mediterranean oak woodland working landscapes: Dehesas of Spain and ranchlands of California. Landscape Series, Springer. 460 p. [].  Including:

Huntsinger, L., Campos, P., Starrs, P.F., Oviedo, J.L.,Díaz, M., Standiford, R.B., Montero, G. 2013. Working landscapes of the Spanish dehesa and the California oak woodlands: An introduction. Chapter 1. []

Alagona, P.S., Linares, A., Campos, P., Huntsinger, L.  2013.  History and Recent Trends. Chapter 2. []

de Dios Vargas, J., Huntsinger, L. and Starrs, P.F. 2013. Raising livestock in oak woodlands. Chapter 10. []

Caparrós, A., Huntsinger, L.,  Oviedo, J.L., Plieninger, T., Campos, P. 2013. Economics of ecosystem services. Chapter 12. []

Oviedo, J.L., Ovando, P.,  Forero, L., Huntsinger, L,,  Álvarez, A., Mesa, B., Campos, P. The private economy of dehesas and ranches: case studies. Chapter 13.  []

Starrs, P.F., Campos, P., Oviedo, J.L., Huntsinger, L., Díaz, Standiford, R.B., Montero, G. M. 2013. Whither working oak woodlands? Chapter 15.  []

Plieninger, T., M. Gaertner, C. Hui and L. Huntsinger. 2013. Does land abandonment decrease species richness and abundance of plants and animals in Mediterranean grasslands, arable lands and permanent croplands? Environmental Evidence 2:3.  []

Ferranto, S., Huntsinger, L., Getz, C., Lahiff, M., Stewart, W., Nakamura, G. and M. Kelly.  2013. Management without borders? A survey of landowner practices and attitudes towards cross-boundary cooperation. Society and Natural Resources 0:1-19. []

Brownsey, P., Oviedo, J., Huntsinger, L. and B. Allen-Diaz. 2013. Historic forage productivity and cost of capital for cow-calf production in California. Rangeland Ecology and Management 66(3): 339-347. []

Sayre, N.F., Carlisle, L., Huntsinger, L., Fisher, G., and Shattuck, A. 2012. The role of rangelands in diversified farming systems: Innovations, obstacles, and opportunities. Ecology and Society. [].

Booker, K., Huntsinger, L, Bartolome, J.W., Sayre, N., Stewart, W. 2013. What can ecological science tell us about opportunities for carbon sequestration on rangelands?  Journal of Global Environmental Change 23:240-251. []

Huntsinger, L., Sayre, L., and J.D. Wulfhorst. 2012. Birds, beasts and bovines: Three cases of U.S. pastoralism and wildlife.  Pastoralism: Research, Policy, and Practice 2:12. [].

Oviedo, J. L., Huntsinger, L., Campos, P. and Caparrós, A. 2012. The income value of private amenities in California oak woodlands.  California Agriculture 66(3):91-[]

Plieninger, T, Ferranto, S., Huntsinger, L., C. Getz and M. Kelly. 2012.  Demand, use, and management of biodiversity and ecosystem services in California landscapes.  Environmental Management  97(1): 131-140. []

Kelly, M., S. Ferranto, S. Lei, K. Ueda, and L. Huntsinger. 2012.. Expanding the table: the web as a tool for participatory adaptive management in California: a case study in the Sierra Nevada. Journal of Environmental Management 109:1 - 11. []

Sulak, A. and L. Huntsinger. 2012. Perceptions of forest health among stakeholders in an adaptive management project in the Sierra Nevada of California. Journal of Forestry. []

Ferranto, S., L. Huntsinger, B. Stewart and M. Kelly. 2012. Consider the source: The impact of media and authority in outreach to California’s forest and rangeland owners. Journal of Environmental Management 97:131-140.[]

Ferranto, S., L. Huntsinger, C. Getz, G. Nakamura, W. Stewart, S. Drill, Y. Valachovic, M. DeLasaux and M. Kelly. 2011. Forest and rangeland owners value land for natural amenities and as financial investment. California Agriculture 65(4):184-191. []

Li, W. and L. Huntsinger. 2011. China's Grassland Contract Policy and its Impacts on Herder Ability to Benefit in Inner Mongolia: Tragic Feedbacks . Ecology and Society 16 (2): 1. [online] URL:

D. D. Briske, Nathan F. Sayre, L. Huntsinger, M. Fernandez-Gimenez, B. Budd, and J. D. Derner. 2011. Origin, persistence, and resolution of the rotational grazing debate: integrating human dimensions into rangeland research.  Rangeland Ecology and Management 64(4): 325-335. .[]

Huntsinger, L. and L. Diekmann.  2011 (2010). The virtual reservation: Land distribution, natural resource access, and equity on the Yurok Forest. Natural Resources Journal 50(2):341-370. []

Huntsinger, L., Forero, L. and Sulak A. 2010. Transhumance and pastoralist resilience in the western United States, Pastoralism: Research, Policy, and Practice 1:1-15. []

Huntsinger, L., Johnson, M., Stafford, M. and J. Fried. 2010. California Hardwood Rangeland Landowners 1985 to 2004:  Ecosystem services, production, and permanence. Rangeland Ecology and Management 63:325-334

Honors and Awards

  • UCB 2014 GSI Mentoring Award
  • How Students Learn Fellowship to support 300 level pedagogy courses 2013
  • Li Ka Shing Research Grant for Women in Science - 2012
  • Range Manager of the Year - Society for Range Management, California Section - 2007
  • 2005 Exceptional Service Award - College of Natural Resources - 2005
  • Distinguished Teaching Award - College of Natural Resources - 2003
  • Distinguished Paper (with Richard L. Standiford) - World Forestry Congress - 2003
  • Exceptional Contribution - Society for Range Management, California Section - 2002
  • Fellow, 1990-1, 1991-2 & 1997-8 - Center for American Cultures, UC Berkeley - 1997
  • Fellow - Society for Women Geographers - 1986

Recent Teaching

  • ESPM 375: Teaching in ESPM
  • C11 - Americans and the Global Forest Course site
  • 186 - Management and Conservation of Rangeland Ecosystems Course site
  • 279 - Seminar on Pastoralism
  • 280 - Seminar in Range Ecosystem Planning and Policy: Management models for public lands
  • H196 - Honors research

Professional Certifications

Certified California Rangeland Manager

Contact Information


Office: 313 Hilgard Hall; Lab: 10 Hilgard Hall

Office Phone: 510-685-1884


Curriculum Vitae


Office Hours

Spring 2015:  By appointment.

Research Group(s)

Mailing Address

ESPM-Ecosystem Sciences

130 Mulford Hall #3110

University of California

Berkeley, CA  94720