Juan Palma joined the Nevada Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in June of 2016 as the State Director.
Formerly Juan was the Utah State Director for the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) where he provided leadership, oversight, and supervision to 850 employees for 23 million acres of BLM land in Utah. Juan’s vision for collaborative solutions to controversial land use issues gave rise to several agreements that allowed programs like Utah’s conventional and non-conventional energy programs to move forward. Utah BLM has been a leader in developing balanced solutions to oil and gas development while safeguarding our fragile environments and iconic Utah landscapes. Prior to his appointment to Utah he was the State Director for the BLM’s Eastern States. Under his guidance and leadership, the BLM’s mission and vision were carried out in 31 states east of and bordering the Mississippi River. Juan joined the BLM-Eastern States in February 2008, bringing with him more than 20 years of Federal public service. Since joining the BLM, Juan has served as Colorado’s Western Slope Center Manger, District Manager in Vale, Oregon, and Field Office Manager in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Juan began his federal career with the U.S. Forest Service in 1984, where over fifteen years he worked in a variety of positions including Budget Officer, Administrative Officer, District Ranger, and Deputy Forest Supervisor. From 1997 – 2000, he served as Forest Supervisor on the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit, followed by a period as Executive Director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bi-state compact agency overseeing regional land-use issues within the Lake Tahoe basin. Among his many accomplishments, Juan highlights the 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Summit, hosting the President and Vice President of the United States, as one of the most exciting times in his career. He is also very proud of work that was completed in conjunction with Tribes like the Washoe. Included in the many awards and citations he has received over the years, is the 2003 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service award for outstanding contributions to the Nation’s fish and wildlife resources.
Raised in Toppenish, Washington, Juan’s educational endeavors took him to Brigham Young University and Oregon State University, where he ultimately graduated with a degree in Business Management. Juan also studied at the University of Nevada at Reno, earning his Master’s degree in Environmental Sciences. Now retired from federal service, Juan looks forward to expanding his community-oriented approach to solve some of the thorny issues surrounding public lands by establishing and enhancing partnerships.
As a married father of three, Juan wants to ensure that families and individuals alike can enjoy nature. When not at work on those initiatives, Juan can be found tending his garden or spending time with family.