"The canoe project is still providing recreation for the community and that's important," said Dean Schmidt, coordinator of the WesMin council.
The mission of WesMin is to develop human and natural resources through cooperative efforts, Schmidt
"We're a group that likes to stick our necks out a little more than others," he
The first projects completed by WesMin were mostly watershed projects, Schmidt
Currently, there are 375 Resource, Conservation and Development Districts in the United States, Schmidt
said, with new councils popping up all the time.The WesMin council
came out of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962.The council is interesting, because it is a federal program and a local nonprofit program at the same time, Schmidt
Over 40 years, WesMin has completed more than $85 million worth of projects, Schmidt
"We are leaders in this program," Schmidt
said."We do a good job, and we're proud that we were one of the first approved councils."The WesMin council
is also very ahead of its time.Schmidt
said the group started renewable energy and biomass projects in 1994 before anyone else was working on those kinds of projects.
"We break a lot of molds, and we're very creative," he
said things were touch and go for a while, but some people contributed at the last minute, so things worked out.
These projects took a lot of grant writing and fund-raising, Schmidt
...Schmidt says working with WesMin is very rewarding.
"The fun part is when you get new projects to work on," Schmidt
said."But then we have to be careful and not neglect our other projects."He
thinks that the WesMin council
is relatively unknown to most people, but he
wants people to know about what the council does.
"We're kind of like the world's best kept secret," he