Documenting history of the Poudre River Corridor

How do you create a national heritage area? Through an act of Congress. But, who decides that a natural, cultural and/or historical landscape is worthy of Congressional attention? We imagine there are some colorful characters and stories behind the formation of our nation’s national parks and heritage areas. What kind of courage, controversy, commitment, and circumstances come into play?

Our Water Legacy program teases out the stories of people and events that shaped  the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA). Since the time of our early ancestors, the Poudre River has been the lifeblood of northern Colorado for both wildlife and humans. Events during the days of early settlement as well as the modern demands on the Poudre River have been complex. It’s because of this that the Poudre River contributed significantly to the development of water law and the evolution of highly complex water delivery systems.


Documenting History Resources


Interactive Timeline


History of the Heritage Area

Video & Audio Archive


Union Colony Pioneer Society


• Increase understanding of the linkages between past and present Poudre River heritage and recognize the contribution of the people who created the CALA.
• Increase the opportunity to teach about CALA, the Poudre River, and water heritage.


• Increase public awareness of CALA and the Poudre Heritage Alliance
• Inspire appreciation of the Poudre River and water heritage
• Inform about the process of establishing heritage areas
• Support educators in delivering required curriculum content
• Enhance and expand content knowledge, especially related to CALA

The Campaign for Cache

The Poudre Heritage Alliance (PHA) raises awareness about water issues and connects people to their water heritage in the Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area (CALA) through a variety of programs that promote, engage, and inspire!