SALT LAKE CITY — Selma Sierra, the director of Utah's Bureau of Land Management, is leaving the state to oversee the federal agency's Eastern states program.

Sierra has held numerous positions within the BLM and at the Department of Interior.

Before her current position, she served as the BLM chief of staff in Washington, D.C., and was the agency's assistant director of communications.

Sierra is a native of La Union, N.M., and received a bachelor's degree in journalism and government from New Mexico State University.

Her Utah position will be filled by Juan Palma, the current Eastern states director.

Palma was raised in Toppenish, Wash. He attended Brigham Young University and graduated from the University of Oregon with a business management degree.

Palma has also been the field manager for the BLM's Las Vegas office and executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bi-state compact that oversees all land-use planning activities in the Lake Tahoe region.