California Desert District Archaeologist
Rolla Queen joined the Bureau of Land Management in 1994 as the California Desert District program lead for heritage resources (archaeology, paleontology, historic preservation and tribal coordination). In that role, he provides overall guidance and coordination for a range of activities that involve heritage resources, including outreach and interpretation, implementation of agency responsibilities under the National Historic Preservation Act and other historic preservation laws and policies. He is also responsible for coordination and consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation. He served on detail as BLM’s Liaison to the Advisory Council in 2008.
Rolla began his federal career in 1989 as an archaeologist with the National Park Service’s Historic American Engineering Survey, working on the Alleghany Industrial Heritage Project in southwestern Pennsylvania. His work focused on identifying and evaluating large historic landscapes, and specifically, the heritage resources associated with coal mining and coke production that fueled the industrial revolution in the 19th and early 20th centuries. In 1990, he moved to the Bureau of Reclamation in Denver, CO, where he specialized in the management of historic large-scale hydraulic engineering projects and landscapes, such as the Boulder Canyon Project and the Yuma Project.
While working for the BLM, Rolla has contributed his knowledge and experience with managing and interpreting complex historic landscapes to the outstanding heritage resources in the California Desert District, including General Patton’s Desert Training Center, the historic Route 66 corridor, remnants of historic mining and settlement, and a legacy of prehistoric use going back thousands of years. He is currently a key member in BLM’s efforts to support development of the renewable energy potential of public lands while balancing the need to protect and preserve significant historic properties.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (International Studies/History) and a Master’s Degree from the University of Nevada at Reno (Anthropology/Historical Archaeology/Historic Preservation). He also completed post-graduate work at New York University in the Program in Historic and Historical Archaeology. When not at work, Rolla enjoys spending time with his wife and three college age children, travelling, going to movies, plotting genealogical charts, and enjoying music. He plays the saxophone and is a performing member of the Moreno Valley Wind Symphony .