OSHR 1643 - The Cache La Poudre River in Colorado’s Colorful Water History

  • Noncredit
  • Fort Collins

This course is offered through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Colorado State University. You must be a member of Osher to enroll in this course.

This course will use a historical perspective to examine some of the colorful historical events that have occurred along the beautiful Cache la Poudre River that have helped to shape Colorado’s water law and policy. We will explore the role played by the river in the lives of Native Americans, explorers, trappers, pioneers, farmers, statesmen, engineers, water and wastewater managers, environmentalists, recreationists, and the general public.

Additionally, we’ll discuss the pioneers with their ditches and enduring optimism, the great Greeley- Fort Collins water conflict, some notable floods, and some of the contributions to the field of water science made along this river. Also covered will be the ingenious diversion projects that augmented the river’s flow, starting as early as the 19th century, and events along the river that have shaped Colorado’s policies pertaining to water quality regulation and river recreation.

Note: This course is designed to complement David Freeman’s course "Whiskey Is For Drinking; Water Is For Fighting: How Colorado Citizens Have Organized Their Water Commonwealth." Those who have taken Freeman’s course will not feel this is an "overlap" - nor is that course a pre-requisite to this one.

Readings: Laflin, Rose, Irrigation, Settlement, and Change on the Cache la Poudre River. Article prepared for the National Park Service, 2005. Available through the CSU Water Center as Special Report No. 15. Also available online at: http://digitool.library. Colostate.edu/R/?func=dbin-jump-full&object_id=4843&local_ base=GEN01. Colorado Foundation for Water Education, Citizens Guide to Colorado’s Water Heritage, 2004. Available from the Colorado Foundation for Water Education. ISBN 0-975407-3-8. Also available online at: http://www.cfwe.org/flip/catalog. Php?catalog=history.

Noncredit courses do not produce academic credit nor appear on a Colorado State University academic transcript.