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Lanny Kaufer

Lanny Kaufer is a renowned naturalist who resides in Ojai, California with his wife, Rondia. Since 1976, he has been leading Herb Walks, or interpretive native plant walks and nature hikes, in Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles Counties in Southern California. Unlike typical native plant walks, Lanny’s walks focus on “herbs,” or plants that can be utilized for food, medicine, crafts, home remedies, gardening, ceremonies, fiber-making, and wildcrafting. The term “Herb Walk” was coined by one of Lanny’s mentors, the late William LeSassier, and Lanny adopted it once he began leading his own walks.
Lanny has acquired extensive knowledge through field study and collaboration with prominent herbalists and ethnobotanists. He has co-led workshops and expeditions with notable figures such as the late Chumash plant expert Juanita Centeno, herbalists/authors Michael Moore, Michael Tierra, and Amanda McQuade Crawford, and others. Lanny has also appeared as a guest on Amanda McQuade Crawford’s VeriaTV series. His current mission is to pass on his invaluable knowledge to the next generation of herbalists and people who want to reconnect with nature.
With a degree in Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz, Lanny’s formal education also includes independent studies in naturopathic medicine and work in the UCSC Arboretum. He has taught Science, Health, and Natural History to students at various schools and has served as Outdoor Education Director and Education Director for several organizations. Lanny also co-founded the Sunbow Ecology Center and is now retired from teaching Science and Special Education at Santa Paula High School.
Lanny’s latest initiatives include, the online hub for the Ojai Herbal Symposium and the Ojai Medical Cannabis Conference (MediCannaCon). He offers indoor slideshow presentations about significant native plants of Southern California, focusing on those with a history of human usage. He can also tailor these presentations to concentrate on specific aspects, such as drought-tolerant native plants for gardening.
In December 2021, Falcon Guides published Lanny’s book, “Medicinal Herbs of California: A Field Guide to Common Healing Plants.” He encourages those interested in Herb Walks to sign up for his email list to receive his monthly e-newsletter or to contact him directly. Information about media coverage related to Herb Walks and Lanny Kaufer can be found on his website.
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