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McKenzie County & Watford City


McKenzie County

Located in extreme western North Dakota, McKenzie County is unique in its economy, landscape and attitude. Once known as the "Island Empire", the county is bordered by the Yellowstone River, Lake Sakakawea and the Missouri River and the Little Missouri River.  The natural resource based economy is dependent on farming and ranching and energy development with landscapes ranging from rich farmland to heavy badlands. The county is home to over 500,000 acres of Little Missouri National Grasslands, an area rich in oil reserves and grassland resources.

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McKenzie County Offices

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Watford City

Watford City is located in western North Dakota, surrounded by the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea and the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana. The 2013 census reports a population of 3,284 residents, but because Watford City is located at the heart of the Bakken Oil play, the area has significantly increased in population and development since the census. Watford City is the county seat of McKenzie County and serves a large rural community with an estimated population of 11,771 residents. 

The community is heavily dependent on natural resource based economies such as ranching, farming, tourism and oil exploration.  With over 500,000 acres of public land in the Little Missouri National Grasslands and the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, Lake Sakakawea and the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, the community has a sizable base of federal employees as well.

The community has developed an extensive community plan focusing on telecommunication and recreational infrastructure to attract new industry and wage earners. The physical beauty and ample recreational opportunities have been attractive to a select group of telecommuters and information technology companies, energy companies and financial and service companies.

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City of Watford City Offices 

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McKenzie County

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