MDC assigns new Private Lands Conservationist for Butler, Dunklin and Stoddard counties

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) announces Kara McSpadden has been selected as the new Private Lands Conservationist for the Dexter area effective Nov. 1. In this position at Dexter, McSpadden is assigned duties in Butler, Dunklin and Stoddard counties.

The MDC's private lands conservationists work with landowners to improve wildlife habitat by teaching management techniques such as timber stand improvement, food plot development and invasive species control.

"Kara has shown a great deal of passion for the people of the Bootheel, their natural resources, and is very committed to them," said Tony Jaco, MDC Private Lands regional supervisor.

McSpadden is a Dunklin County native and understands the area along with local habitat challenges, Jaco said. She has a background in production agriculture in Dunklin County, as well as education and experience in resource management. McSpadden earned a bachelor's degree in Wildlife Conservation and Management from Missouri State University.

After beginning her career with MDC trapping gypsy moths in the Southeast Region, she then worked as a resource assistant with the New Madrid work team and then as a forestry resource technician for the same work team. McSpadden is Level Two Fire Management Certified, Wildland Firefighter Certified and has assisted with timber stand improvement, prescribed fire, forest inventory, tree planting and marking timber on public and private land. She has worked with several partners including more than 40 rural fire departments across five counties in Southeast Missouri.

"Kara is well respected by other staff for her hard work, friendly demeanor, and professional way of interacting with people," Jaco said.

McSpadden resides in Dexter and can be reached at at (573)778-4983.

For information on how the MDC works with landowners to improve habitat, or to find a private lands conservationist near you, go online to