Dakota Prairies Resource Conservation and Development Association
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The Dakota Prairies RC&D area is located in southcentral North Dakota. The Missouri River divides the area, with five counties on the east side of the river and five on the west side. The area contains about 9,048,310 acres, and includes portions of two Native American Indian reservations: the Standing Rock Reservation in Sioux County, and the Fort Berthold Reservation in the northwest corner of Mercer County. Approximately 327,450 acres are Native American lands.

In 2000, the population was approximately 130,400 with about 53 percent living in the cities of Bismarck and Mandan. Half the counties have a population density of less than four people per square mile. The average for the area is approximately nine people per square mile. Because of their location near the most urban commuities of Bismarck-Mandan, Burleigh, Morton and Sioux counties continue to realize positive population growth. The remaining seven counties in the Dakota Prairies area are experiencing a steady downtrend in population as farm sizes increase while number of farms and farm families continues to drop.

Agriculture, energy production, construction and state and federal government provide most of the non-retail employement opportunities in the area. Principal agricultural enterprises focus on crop and livestock production, including principal crops- spring wheat, barley, oats, sunflower, and corn; and livestock production- mostly beef cattle, with some dairy, sheep, and bison. Energy production includes coal and wind- powered electrical generation, crude oil, natural gas, biodiesel, ethanol, and coal gasification. The Dakota Prairies area population center, Bismarck-Mandan, is home to most of the state's federal and state government workers.

There is a huge disparity in average median family income within the area, from $24,000 in reservation counties, to $52,000 for the larger communities and coal production areas. Fifty incorporated cities are located within the area, and eight communities have populations exceeding 1,000. The City of Bismarck, county seat of Burleigh County, is the largest city in the area with a population of 55,532.

   
  All programs and services of the RC&D Councils are offered on a non-discriminatory basis, without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, marital or family status, disability or political beliefs.