KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has named Debra Burns as the new regional administrator to lead regional operations in the Kansas City region, including delivering on strategic priorities and performance measures for the region.
Burns will also oversee regional public resource management, private land, community conservation, regional planning, recreations use, infrastructure maintenance and repair, and regional business operations and compliance. The regional administrator also coordinates with other MDC branches, including protection, science, education, and communications.
“We have a unique conservation program in Missouri and one with a rich history,” Burns said. “I look forward to being a part of building our state’s conservation future. One of the best things about the Kansas City region is the natural diversity available to our citizens, from the wetlands to the prairies and our woodlands, lakes, and of course the Missouri River. People can also get outdoors close to home at places like the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area, Burr Oak Woods Nature Center, Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center, or Platte Falls Conservation Area.”
Burns grew up in western Massachusetts in a family with outdoor traditions. She received a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Massachusetts and a master’s degree in Forestry from Northern Arizona University. Burns enjoys deer hunting, fishing, gardening, and birding. Her career with MDC began in 2002 as an urban wildlife biologist, and she has served as a regional wildlife supervisor since 2007. Burns lives near Lone Jack.
“These regional changes are part of the Department’s larger organizational roadmap for the future to build on the success we’ve had over the last 80 years in delivering on our conservation priorities and serving the citizens of Missouri,” says MDC Director Sara Parker Pauley. “We also need to be able to adapt as quickly as the world is changing around us, including successfully tackling increasing natural-resource challenges and a decreasing connection to nature by people of all ages.”
MDC has eight regions across the state and each region will be led by a regional administrator. All eight regional administrators report directly the assistant deputy of resource management in Jefferson City to ensure regional operations also remain coordinated at the statewide level. Regional administrators will transition into their new role in December with the final organizational roadmap completed by July 1, 2020.