Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2017

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Cultural and Environmental Resource Management

Committee Chair

Elvin Delgado

Second Committee Member

Lene Pedersen

Third Committee Member

Toni Sipic


This research examines the socio-environmental impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing activities and issues of split estate in Battlement Mesa Planned Unit Development in Garfield County, CO. Data for this research was collected during 2 months in the summer of 2015 using a series of ethnographic research methods. In doing so, this research adopts political ecology and political economy of nature as theoretical frameworks to understand the interconnections that exist between local impacts of fracking activities and a national strategy to secure gas markets internationally. I argue that the socio-environmental impacts associated with hydraulic fracturing in Garfield County, CO are not only the result of issues related to split estate, but are also the result of a national strategy lead by the federal government to create a supranational trade agreement known as the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) that incentivizes U.S. natural gas exports, which in-turn will maximize profits generated from those exports at a national scale.