B. Travis Wright, MPS is an author, historian, apprentice archaeologist, technologist, and co-founder of Preserve Rollins Pass.
With each published work, Travis carefully assures proper preservation of materials and sources: his efforts ensure that thousands of historical photographs and documents are digitally safeguarded, searchable, and shareable with academia. He actively partners with museums and historical societies to certify their collections of photographs are safe from internet-based threats, fires, or other disasters. Travis also works with area experts and land managers to help preserve historical and archaeological sites as well as recreational areas for the next generation.
Travis is President of the Board of Directors of the Grand County Historical Association and is focused on the preservation of history, artifacts, and buildings in Grand County, Colorado, through the use of technology, advocacy, UAS photography, recruiting new board members, and fund-raising efforts. Travis prioritized operations and budgets of four museums (one is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and two are named as a Distinctive Destination of the National Trust for Historic Preservation; another building received historical designation in September 2019 from the State Historical Fund), the adoption and adherence of professional museum standards, a workable accessions policy, the restoration and appropriate interpretation of historical artifacts and structures, and the creation of a master plan. He is currently leading the historical association, its museums, staff, and board members through multiple crises in 2020 including loss of revenue due to COVID-19 as well as threatened structures/artifacts on account of the 14,833-acre Williams Fork Fire and Colorado’s second-largest wildfire in history—the 193,812-acre East Troublesome Fire. Travis modernized the association’s technical infrastructure with cloud managed UTMs, switch fabric, and wireless appliances; enabling secure remote access and a workable disaster recovery plan that has saved the museum’s digital collection of rare and historical images from complete loss. More broadly within the county, he advocated for the historic preservation of a 19th century wooden windmill located within an HOA in Granby, Colorado and researched/filed preliminary eligibility documents for historic condominiums (likely the first property of this type in Colorado to be nominated for listing) in Fraser, Colorado to be considered for both the National Register of Historic Places as well as the State Register of Historic Properties.
Travis also serves as a preservation commissioner and Vice Chair of the Gilpin County Historic Preservation Commission. This commission, advisory to the Board of County Commissioners, makes recommendations on preservation issues, programs, policies, landmark designations, and stay-of-demolition reviews that adhere to criteria consistent with the National Historic Preservation Act and the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archaeology and Historic Preservation. The HPC remarked, “[Travis has] outstanding qualifications and will be [an] excellent addition to the commission.” As a preservation professional, Travis’ appointment was confirmed unanimously by the Board of County Commissioners for Gilpin County. The commission nominated the five remaining cabins at the East Portal of the Moffat Tunnel and this site was announced by Colorado Preservation, Inc. as one of Colorado’s “Most Endangered Sites” for 2020–Travis was interviewed and featured within the documentary about this effort; he also flew all drone footage under 14 CFR Part 107 for the documentary shown regionally in March and April 2020.
Travis is a recognized area expert on Rollins Pass earned through extensive area exploration, primary and secondary research, multiple historical/archaeological discoveries, and years-long partnerships with archaeologists and federal agencies including the US Forest Service. He is an active advocate for the preservation of this endangered historic–and prehistoric–site through public speaking, education, and engaging local, state, and federal representatives. He helps facilitate deliberative engagement methods designed to bring out the best in elected officials and volunteers while elevating community decision making processes.
Travis has been interviewed for television, documentaries, as well as for print and online newspaper articles related to Rollins Pass. In addition to the titles published and available on Amazon, Travis also has been published as the primary author or co-author to other academic research publications, including those documenting archaeological discoveries he has made or contributed to on Rollins Pass.
For the book launch of “Rollins Pass,” Travis presented “Rollins Pass: Through the Lens of Time” to more than 200+ Rollins Pass enthusiasts; this event included a screening of the rare 1925 MGM silent film, “The White Desert” (filmed atop Rollins Pass in 1922) with live piano accompaniment by Hank Troy as well as a screening of the Rollins Pass documentary, “Stone & Steel at the Top of the World” by Colorado State University anthropology professor and professional archaeologist Jason M. LaBelle, PhD.
In 2016, Travis was honored to have been selected for a Passport in Time project with US Forest Service Archaeology where artifacts and features on Rollins (Corona) Pass were classified as National Heritage Sites and given trinomials to be included as part of the Smithsonian’s national collection. He is also the recipient of a 2018 Archaeology and Historic Preservation Award for contributions to local history and historic preservation in Boulder County given by the Boulder Heritage Roundtable and Historic Boulder.
In September 2019, Travis was a keynote speaker at the “Rededication and Unveiling of the Moffat Cup” along with noted preservationist Dana Crawford at the Union Station Great Hall in Denver. The Moffat Cup–a 230-pound cup made of solid silver with a marble base–had been given to David Moffat in 1904 after he constructed a standard-gauge railroad stretching across the summit of Rollins Pass. The impeccably preserved artifact had been in storage at History Colorado for more than a century and in his speech, Travis emphasized, “Preservation is paramount and something to be celebrated: this immaculate cup exists today because someone many generations ago, thought it wise to preserve it for us; the same approach must be taken when considering how best to preserve this Great Gate that we call Rollins Pass.”
Travis is currently presenting a comprehensive slide deck entitled “Rollins Pass Rewind” in front of audiences of 50 to more than 200, depending on the size of the venue. The presentation takes the audience on a journey through millennia–from present day to 8000 BC. As the audience travels through time, important milestones of Rollins Pass are highlighted in an immersive presentation filled with both black-and-white and color imagery. Each live event is 90 minutes in duration, with 70 minutes for the presentation and allowing 20 minutes for Q&A. Travis tours across Colorado–from Steamboat Springs to Longmont–and travels with two 1,300 watt loudspeakers with stands, wireless microphones, a 100-inch projection screen, and a 4K ultra-bright projector.
The Rollins Pass story is intricately complex, with many intersecting layers of history. In fact, several years ago, Travis discovered a Paleoindian artifact dating to more than 11,000 years ago on Rollins Pass. Eleven thousand years. This artifact was created and was resting atop Rollins Pass waiting to be discovered fifty-five centuries before the invention of the wheel, sixty-four centuries before the construction of the pyramids of Giza in Egypt, and seventy-three centuries before the creation of the alphabet.
When his explorer’s hat rests on the shelf, Travis works as an information security and reliability expert building redundant, scalable, and impenetrable information networks. He currently advises a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity firm as Chief Strategy Officer. Travis is also an FAA Part 107 certified commercial drone pilot and enjoys aerial photography and cinematography; he also holds a Class G Nationwide FAA 14 CFR § 107.29 daylight operations waiver to conduct commercial drone operations at night. He is also a Representative with the FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) as a DronePro to help establish a positive safety culture within the aviation community.
Travis is a two-time graduate of the University of Denver: after graduating summa cum laude, he received a master’s degree with concentrations in both alternative dispute resolution and web-enabled information systems.
He lives in Colorado with his wife, Kate.
© btraviswrightmps.com | B. Travis Wright, MPS | Updated: January 10, 2021