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Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Economic Impact Study – 2017

In coordination with Tripp Umbach, the Poudre Heritage Alliance released a report in 2017 that shows the economic impact of the Cache la Poudre River Heritage Area, which includes an annual $81.6 million impact on the region, supports 1,067 jobs, and generates $6.9 million in tax revenues.

CALA Economic Impact Study 2017





Ralph Parshall and Water Engineering in Northern Colorado by Michael Weeks

During the first half of the twentieth century, no individual contributed more to fairly and effectively distributing water to farmers than Ralph Parshall.  Born in Golden, Colorado, Parshall spent his entire career working for Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University) and the Bureau of Agricultural Engineering of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). This article, which was funded through a grant from the Poudre Heritage Alliance, analyzes Parshall’s impact through his career as a water engineer, consultant, and public figure.

This article was recently published as part of a collection of articles about environmental history.

“Measuring Expertise: Ralph Parshall and Watershed Management, 1920-1940,” in The Greater Plains: Rethinking a Region’s Environmental Histories (Lincoln NE: University of Nebraska Press, 2021).

“Ralph Parshall and Water Engineering in Northern Colorado” by Michael Weeks



B.H. Eaton Ditch - Photo by Gabriele WooleverJosh Ames Ditch documentation

The Josh Ames Ditch diversion structure was removed by the City of Fort Collins in 2013. This is the documentation of the unique history of this diversion structure and its almost 100 year history and impact on the Northern Colorado area. View the City of Fort Collins video here.

Josh Ames Ditch Documentation


Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area Management Plan

The primary purpose of this document is to outline the goals and strategies that CALA officials will use to administer the heritage area, but this plan does much more than that. It also contains a thorough analysis of the historical themes that make the CALA special, and a comprehensive inventory of all the cultural and natural resources within its boundaries

Management Plan



Charles A. Lory Paper

This paper describes Lory’s connections to the region and, among many accomplishments, his work promoting the CBT project and helping solve the Bureau of Reclamation’s national project-repayment problems in the 1930s.

Charles A. Lory Paper


1883 Fort Collins Water Works - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

Water Contours by Denise Fisher

In “Water Contours” Denise Fisher explored and examined the development of her own consciousness of water on the Northern Front Range landscape. Denise strove to convey a sense of place through the stories that intersect my life and this region.

Water Contours


Native American Timeline for Larimer County, CO

A Chronology of Native Americans in Northern Colorado from an archaeological perspective with main cultural group complexes based on tool types found in the archaeological record Burris 2006.

Compiled by Dr. Brenda Martin, Curator, Fort Collins Museum, May 2009

Native American Timeline For Larimer County

Poudre Learning Center - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

Bylaws of Poudre Heritage Alliance

The name of the corporation is Poudre Heritage Alliance, hereinafter referred to as the “Corporation.” The principal office of the Corporation shall be Poudre Learning Center, 8313 West F Street, Greeley, Colorado 80631, but meetings of the Board of Directors may be held at other places, whether within or outside of Colorado, as may be designated from time to time by the Board of Directors.

The mission of the corporation shall be to support and manage the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area.

Bylaws of Poudre Heritage Alliance

Strauss Cabin - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

National Heritage Areas 101

National Heritage Areas (NHAs) are designated by Congress as places where natural, cultural, and historic resources combine to form a cohesive, nationally important landscape.

Heritage Areas 101


Poudre Pooch Park - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

NOCO Tourism Plan

The Northern Colorado Cultural Tourism Strategic Plan articulates a vision for more robust cultural tourism opportunities, establishes a set of goals to guide the process of building more tourism infrastructure and experiences and proposes implementation strategies.

NOCO Tourism Plan

people of the poudre

People of the Poudre by Lucy Burris

This manuscript was prepared at the request of the Poudre Heritage Alliance to enhance its interpretive program and should be considered a companion work to several other projects that the Poudre Heritage Alliance has previously sponsored. Although the history of water delivery in the West is the focus of the Poudre Heritage Alliance’s efforts, it has also recognized that the area has a long history of use prior to the arrival of Europeans and Euroamericans. The purpose of this report is to document the presence of Native Americans along the Poudre corridor between AD 1500 and AD 1880.

People of the Poudre


Lower Poudre River Master Plan by Coalition for the Poudre River Watershed

The historical flood events have called for an increase in resiliency of the Lower Poudre watershed. This is done using an integrated multi-objective Master Plan to assess river dynamics and Sediment Transport Model in order to propose realistic restoration options around the river corridor.

Lower Poudre River Master Plan


River Access Planning Guide: A Decision-Making Framework for Enhancing River Access

River Access Planning Guide is a document that provides a step-by-step process to planning for river access with recreation users in mind. The planning guide intends to serve as a resource for planners, river managers, and users as they approach site selection and design to establish new river access or improve existing access.

River Access Planning Guide


Poudre River Trust

Since it was established in 1984, the Poudre River Trust has been instrumental in raising awareness of the river’s cultural heritage and importance as a public resource, while also facilitating dialogue among the various constituencies with interests in the river’s condition and development. In 2017, the Poudre River Trust was absorbed into the Poudre Heritage Alliance. For more information about the Poudre River Trust, visit the Colorado State University Water Archives website below.

Poudre River Trust Archives

WWII POW Camp 202 - Photo by Gabriele WooleverNorthern Colorado Loop Tour

Experience everything that the Rocky Mountain scenery has to offer, all from the comfort of your vehicle. Stretching over 360 miles of Northern Colorado, this driving loop connects the three central scenic byways in the area with the Cache la Poudre National Heritage Area. Whether you plan on touring the entire loop or just visiting the area for a quick trip, a new adventure is always right around the corner.

North Colorado Loop Tour

The Poudre Runs Through It: Northern Colorado’s Water Future

The Poudre Runs Through It: Northern Colorado’s Water Future was launched in 2011 to bring together those of us who love the Poudre River to better understand it and the role it plays in our lives. The Colorado Water Institute at Colorado State University joined with UniverCity Connections and the Community Foundation of Northern Colorado to offer a three month series for the public of Fort Collins and neighboring areas.

The Poudre Runs Through It

WWII POW Camp 202 - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

The Poudre Landmarks Foundation

The Poudre Landmarks Foundation welcomes you to explore the diverse history of early Fort Collins. Join us as we envision a community that understands, appreciates, and values its past.

The Poudre Landmarks Foundation


CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory

The Water Center at Colorado State University

The Water Center at Colorado State University (CSU) in Fort Collins serves as a focal point to coordinate, leverage and enhance water related research, teaching and outreach at Colorado State University. Colorado State University provides one of the most water ‘rich’ research and educational settings available anywhere in the world. There are 22 departments at Colorado State University that house over 100 faculty who apply their disciplines to water issues and problems. The faculty teach over 150 water-related courses at the senior and graduate levels. In addition, CSU faculty and staff are engaged in solving water resources problems across the globe.

The Water Center at Colorado State University

Colorado State University Water Resource Archive

The Colorado State University Water Resources Archive is a joint effort of the University Libraries and the Colorado Water Institute. Formally begun in 2001, the Archive consists of collections from individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in the development of water resources in Colorado and the West.

Colorado State University Water Resource Archive

A Compilation and Comment on 50 Years by William R. Kelly (published 1967)

In this combined paper, Kelly writes about the “ENGINEERS AND DITCH MEN DEVELOPED ON THE CACHE LA POUDRE, 1870 -1920” and “DITCH MEN”, WATER HUNTERS OF THAT FIFTY YEARS, NOT ENGINEERS”. This recap of early water development in the Poudre Valley emphasizes that “All these mens’ careers deserve record beyond that ‘written in water’.”

W.R. Jones Ditch - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

W.R. Jones Ditch – Photo by Gabriele Woolever

A Compilation and Comment on 50 Years

Management of Farm Irrigation Systems, edited by Hoffman, Howell, and Solomon (1990)

In this excerpt about Irrigation Management in the Poudre Valley of Northern Colorado, the importance of the Poudre River is discussed alongside the management systems that operate within Northern Colorado.

Lake Canal - Photo by Gabriele Woolever

Lake Canal – Photo by Gabriele Woolever

Management of Farm Irrigation Systems


Area Maps

Area Overview Map: The Heritage Area extends for 45 miles and includes the lands within the 100-year flood plain of the Cache la Poudre River.

To Island Grove Regional Park: Poudre Learning Center to Island Grove Regional Park.

LaPorte to Downtown Fort Collins: LaPorte and historic northwest section of Fort Collins.

Fort Collins Ditches and Canals – 2013: A map from City Utilities and the Ditch companies that show the ditches and canals that run through Fort Collins.

View All Maps