VoL XXXVI, No. 3--- March 1999

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents

Take Your Turn ..................................... Ken Kruschke
FYI Important Insurance Changes ........... Ken Kruschke
CFMS Ssholarship News ....................... Beverly Berg
Members Recognition ........................... Colleen McGann
Workshops and Seminars ..................... Beverley Hafeli
Field Trips - North ................................. Chuck McKie
Federation Show News .......................... Marion Sampson
Display Tips ......................................... Pat LaRue
1998-99 AFMS Scholarship ................... Louellen Montgomery
Editors: Hello ....................................... Rosemarie Young
Practice Safety with Electricity............... Richard Pankey
March 1999 Junior Activities Report........ Jim Brace-Thompson
Camping Tip ........................................ from El Monte Gem Scoop
Did You Know? .................................... via Drywasher's Gazette 2/99
Historian's Report ................................. Shirley Leeson
CFMS Shows ....................................... Ray Meisenheimer
An Option ............................................ Shirley Leeson
Golden Bear Award ............................... Ray Meisenheimer
Email Humor ........................................ from CFMS Newsletter Hardcopy
Obtaining an E-mail Address ................. Beverly Moreau
Exhibitors/Competetion Workshop ......... Olga Hammer
Great Programs .................................... Marion Fowler
Proposed New BLM Rules ..................... George A. Loud

To return to the Table of Contents, select CFMSNEWSMAR9 on the navigation bar.


by Ken Kruschke, CFMS President
CFMS President

I have the pleasure and privilege of reading many club newsletters. They give an insight into today's rockhoundinq and have many excellent articles on things that are of interest to rockhounds. One thing in particular I have noticed is the number of vacancies in club officer positions and in committee chairperson's positions. Also, it seems that retreads fill many positions. Not that retreading is bad, but are their people in the club who have not held club offices that could do the tasks at hand?

Our organizations have much to offer the members. As a club we can have field trips, study groups, competition in various areas of rockhounding, shows open to the public, the camaraderie and social gatherings. Our members are from all walks of life and have a multitude of talents to their credit. In order to have a club we need common desires and goals, we need people, i.e. members, and then we need workers and leaders in order to make everything work properly.

As a member of an organization you have the privilege of going on field trips, showing in club events, participating in seminars and study groups, and having coffee and cookies after the meetings. You also have a responsibility to take part in the operation of the club, working for the benefit of the club and taking a turn at being a committee chairperson, or club officer.

You might start out by working on committees to learn the ropes. It may not be long before you will be asked to head up a committee. Do it! You have friends who will help you through the rough spots. Many of the jobs are really on the job training. One day when the nominating committee comes to you and asks you to become a club officer, don't say no, at least right away. Think seriously about it, talk it over with your spouse, then give your answer. Remember that there are at least two reasons they have asked you .... they have an office to fill, and they have looked at the people that are available and have decided you have the best qualifications. You are the best candidate for the job. When you take on a task like this, time and effort will be required. The benefits are: you have contributed to your club, the pride and satisfaction of doing the job, and the fact you stepped up to the plate and took your turn at bat.

There are some people in clubs who might like to do jobs at the Federation level. If you would like to participate, let your wishes be known. You don't have to be a Federation Director to work in the Federation. There is always a need for talented people with fresh ideas.


by Ken Kruschke, CFMS President

This is important to each and every one in the CFMS! Our (CFMS) insurance carriers have reviewed our policy, and there are some significant changes we need to be aware of.

  1. These changes will begin February 22, 1999.
  2. There will be no charge for certificates of insurance for shows. They will be issued, as needed no charge.
  3. Field trips are no longer covered by insurance automatically. To have insurance on field trips, the insurance company will have to be notified.

Please refer to the following notice.

insurance carrier letter Click here to see the full notice from the insurance carrier.


by Beverly Berg, 1999 Chairperson

The CFMS Scholarship Committee was happy to welcome on board a new member. Mr. Don Hasemeyer of Castro Valley has recently joined as our first year member.

At present we have five honorees as published in our January issue of this Newsletter. We are now waiting to hear their selection of a college or university with an acceptable Geology program. These will then choose the scholarship recipients that qualify.

Berkeley and Stanford have also been contacted. Each will receive a $1500 scholarship for a graduate student at Berkeley, and an undergraduate student at Stanford, according to the rules of the Robert 0. Diedrick Scholarship Fund.

Teresa Masters, our second year committee member, has suggested that our many clubs could commemorate their anniversaries with a donation to the scholarship program. Besides using a donation as a memorial, a member could also be recognized for his or her club activities.

We are always happy to receive donations from members who wish to honor a rockhound friend. What a nice way to recognize a deserving fellow rockhound!


by Colleen McGann, Federation Director

How time does fly! February with Ground Hog Day and Valentines Day are filling our thoughts. While you are starting projects for club shows, look around and make note of that person(s) who is always visibly helping out. Now ask your Board members to choose this person to receive your club's Recognition Award for 1999. This worthy individual(s) will be honored and your club will join the group of Super Clubs which are those that remember to e-mail me their nominations. I look forward to receiving these names in the near future.

The Peninsula Gem & Geology Society, Los Altos, presents CHUCK VARNI, a member since 1971. Drawing on his experience as a bank officer, Chuck was the Treasurer for more than a dozen years. He was head Lapidary Instructor and provided bolo ties and necklaces as gifts to club speakers. He attends all club functions, never missing an opportunity to share his lapidary knowledge with others.


by Beverley Hafeli, CFMS 1st VP

One of my responsibilities as 1st Vice President of the CFMS is promoting workshops and seminars and "I" need your help to accomplish this responsibility. Do you want to know how to set up an exhibit case for competition? How to make liners for your exhibit case? Field Trips, Safety or????

There will be a Bulletin Aids Workshop at the CFMS Show at Turlock, June 20, 1999. More information will be presented later by the Chairman of that committee, RosemarieYoung. If you would like to set up a Seminar or Workshop, please contact Beverley Hafeli ANY TIME! br>


by Chuck McKie, Chairman

The field trip to the Monte Cristo Mountains in Nevada should be a good trip because the information I have received from several sources indicates that there are some very good collecting sites in the area.

But remember it is at a fairly high altitude, so those who may have breathing or heart problems would probably be wise to check with your doctors before coming on this trip. My heart is not perfect either but I was in this area (Tonopha) collecting turquoise a few years back.

Since there will be some hard rock mining, you will need to bring suitable tools for that; such as sledge hammers from 2 to 4 ounces, to as heavy as you feel comfortable in handling and some chisels to help split the rocks. And a pry bar could come in handy also. Goggles or other eye protection is a MST to protect your vision from being destroyed or damaged by flying rock chips. The chips are sharp and fly as fast as a bullet. Having been a recipient of them, I can testify that they cut hard and quick. Also heavy gloves save a lot of cuts and bruises as well as blisters.

For the digging portion, spades, small shovels or scoops, and trowels might be handy.

I don't know what the weather will be but bring warm coats - even in summer it can be very chilly at night in the high desert - or sweaters and enough shirts to wear in layers so you can take one off to cool down if you become hot.

Boots! Don't forget your boots! That is a bad problem I have! I see people all the time who wear low quarter shoes and tennis shoes but I tell you true, - and from my own experience, they are very hard on the feet on a hillside and offer almost no protection from rolling rocks or dropping tools. And boots are a lot easier on the ankles when you try to sit on your feet while digging.

A squirt bottle filled with clean water can assuage your thirst, or squirted on a rock might show what it would look like after it is polished.

I guess rain gear might be appropriate but I usually just hunker down and try to keep dry when it rains. There's always another day to go rockhounding.

You might want to bring a camera to take a record of your trip - like the worst trip you'd ever been on - or hopefully, the best one of your life.

We will plan a potluck for Saturday night, so bring your contribution, your own dinnerware, and if you have a small table we usually can use that. If it rains, we might be able to move into our trailers or campers. If it snows, it's not too far to Tonopha to a casino and restaurants.

Getting to the collecting campsite, I probably will go via Reno, stopping overnight at the Boom Town campground. Then on to Fernley (on Hwy 80) and south on alt 50/alt 95 to Yerington. But I might go on to Yerington for the first night and camp there behind the Casino (camping spaces).

Be advised.... I've just received an e-mail from Bob White who was in the Monte Cristo Mts. last September. He says the gas station in Coledale was CLOSED. The last gas coming south from Reno was at Mina (about 35 miles north of Coledale) and it was not cheap.

From southern areas, I think Hwy 15 to Las Vegas would be a good route. The casinos at the Nevada/California state line have good food at reasonable prices and the parking is usually easier than in Las Vegas. The highway exchange in Las Vegas from hwy 15 to Hwy 95 is kind of confusing, so watch the road signs carefully. When I was there in February 1998, there was a lot of construction going on. The exchange is after you get all the way past the downtown casino area, but not far past it.

From Las Vegas to Tonopha (200+ miles), there is not an awful lot. I advise you to fill up on fuel before leaving LV. Tonopha has a casino with camping spaces behind it. Check inside for permission.

by Marion Sampson, Publicity Chairman
(Bulletin Editors - please copy and publish)

Diamond Jubilee of Gems
CFMS 60th Annual Show & Convention
June 18, 19, 20, 1999

As the host of the CFMS FEDERATION SHOW in June, 1999 the Mother Lode
Mineral Society tenders a hearty welcome to all out fellow rockhounds. Hop in your RV's
and come to the show. Camping is on lawn under trees and the great weather of the Central

Why not make the show the focal point of a great California vacation? Our location is
central to San Francisco, the beautiful coastline, Yosemite Valley, the wine country of Napa
valley and the towns of the Mother Lode and gold rush days. There are many
accommodations in and near Turlock if you do not wish to camp. Come to the show and
enjoy the hospitality of the members of the Mother Lode Mineral Society and a great show!


    Contact your Federation Director or
    Bill Meadows,
    308 San Juan Dr., Modesto, CA 95354
    (209) 848-2709

By Pat LaRue, Rules Committee Chairman

Last month I discussed some ideas to assist with the presentation of your display, otherwise known as showmanship. Now that you have decided what color the liners and risers will be and the type of display you will be entering into competition and/or just displaying at your club show, your next big decision is what do put on display. This month I'll discuss minerals.

You plan to display mineral specimens and have a large number of them from which you can select. Which ones should you use? You've read the rules and notice that 65 of the available points given to a mineral exhibit are awarded on the basis of quality; another 5 points are awarded for rarity. It makes good sound common sense to sort out only the very best examples to put on display if you wish to earn the highest number of those 65 points. It is much better to display a majority of superior examples of common species than to throw in a few not so fine specimens of rarer ones. Some important factors you should take into consideration when selecting the specimens to put on display include:

  • Freedom from flaws. This generally means no broken crystals or visible dings (bruises).
  • Minimum of matrix.
  • No obvious repairs.
  • Crystal size-the bigger the better if the species is really common.
  • Avoid duplication unless the exhibit class allows for it.

The amount of money you pay for a specimen does not always guarantee that what you purchased is a truly good one. I have seen so-so examples of thumbnails with triple digit price tags as well as world class thumbnails in the same price range. Price is based upon many factors including the size of the specimen as well as the overall quality. Generally the larger or rarer the specimen, the more you can expect to pay. The mineral collector should not be discouraged because all he/she can afford is the stuff selling for under $50. I even see many excellent thumbnail minerals with price tags under $20! Minerals such as quartz, pyrite, fluorite and calcite generally are very affordable and well within the reach of nearly every budget. If you can prepare the specimen yourself for display, i.e. clean it up and mount it, there are some great bargains out there. Rule of thumb-buy the best that you can afford.

The labels for a mineral display are very specific when it comes to required information. These include:

  • Name of species and if applicable, the variety. Ex: quartz, var. amethyst.
  • Chemical classification.
  • Locality of origin (If U.S., list state plus one of the following: county, area, district, city or parish. If foreign, list country plus one of the following: prefecture, department, district, county, territory, area, canton or province. Current name is preferred although previous names are accepted. Mine name is nice but optional.

A total of 15 points is available for labels. There is a 2-point deduction for each error! A word to the wise-put the required information on the label and no more. Any mistakes seen in the optional information will also cost 2 points!

If planning to enter CFMS competition in June, be sure to read all the rules information which apply to mineral exhibitors. Contact me with your questions. See you in Turlock!


by Louellen Montgomery,

The Honorary Award Winners from six Regional Federations have selected students to receive AFMS Scholarship Foundation grants for the 19,98-99 school year. All grants are for-$2 000.00 each per year. 375 students have received grants from the Foundation since the first grant of $300.00 was given in 1965, totaling $870,650.00. The AFMS societies and their members have made this possible by their generous support of the Foundation.

Following is a list of the California Federation students receiving scholarship grants this year, plus those students receiving the second year of the 1997-98 grants:

Robert A. Bielinsky is studying for his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of California, Riverside, coming from the University of Oregon. H-is special interest is the Earth's natural electrical and magnetic field, looking at mountain ranges around the Pacific Rim to determine whether or not they have deep crustal "roots".

Mark Webster is completing work on his M.S. in Geological Science and continuing to the Ph.D. program at the University of California, Riverside, coming there from Cincinnati. As a paleontologist, he is studying trilobites from the Cambrian time. He has also written papers on the evolution of scorpions.

The 1997-98 students: Isabelle Sacramento Grilo continues study for her M.S. in Geological Science at San Diego State University, and Michael G. Sommers continues his work on his Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

so good to hear from you

by Rosemarie Young,
Bulletin Aids Chairman

All right! You are out there. I would like more of your comments, good or bad. I hope to address your concerns, either via this Newsletter or by mail.

There is one question I'd like to answer this month. Can my typewritten bulletin compete favorably amid the high-tech computers with all their gadgets?" Answer: "Yes, definitely!" A neat, well- developed, informative bulletin will score well no matter how it's produced. (CFMS Bulletin contest score sheet, #3, -- No penalty for type of reproduction.) The Club whose Editor, for whatever reason, is using a typewriter should be extra generous with praise and thanks to their hard-working editor for his/her efforts. I don't think there are many who are still cutting stencils and using the mimeograph, but if there are, we'll commiserate with you!

As someone who has 'been there, done that' I know It takes almost twice as long to produce a good bulletin on a typewriter as on a computer. First, you must type out the report or item to see how much space it will take. Then, you need to see if related items will fit on the same page. If it doesn't fit, you must do a lot of cut and paste work to make it progress smoothly. If important news comes in late, you might need to do the page over a third time. And heaven help the member who changes his report or decides to add to it after the bulletin has been typed!

On the computer you can compose the rough draft, then polish, edit, delete, move paragraphs around without re-doing the whole thing. If the item doesn't fit onto the page, you can -scrunch" it or go to a smaller print. HEAR FROM YOU!

However, there's the temptation to go to the other extreme. Computer users can get a tendency to go overboard with expressive' treatments. I can remember some of my early computer bulletins. I had learned to make boxes. Such fun! There were little boxes, big boxes, patterned boxes, odd-shaped boxes... Each heading was put into a box; each announcement got a box; everything I considered important was 'boxed'. Next I discovered the (dingbat) font. I used symbols between items and enlarged them for 'decorating'. When I look at back issues of these bulletins they remind me of my hall closet --messy.

I came down to earth after asking one of my members why he had missed an important meeting. He gave me a blank look, then said he didn't know about it. I reminded him it was in the last bulletin--page 2. He considered for a moment, then said, "I guess I didn't see it inside all those decorations." Thump!

Back to basics! "The purpose of the club bulletin is to inform the members of all events and news." If we remember that, we should have no problems, whichever method we use.

I hope more of you will write and tell me your ideas and suggestions. We'll air them out here or at the workshop next June at the CFMS show. That's June 20, right after the breakfast and Editor/Article awards, which will start at 8:00 a.m.

All events will be held at the Fairgrounds in Turlock. Hope to see you there.

PRACTICE SAFETY with Electricity

by Richard Pankey, Safety Chairman

Each year faulty electrical wiring and appliances cause fires and electrocutions in homes and shops throughout the country. As in our daily lives, we use electricity in many ways in our hobby. It powers our cutting, grinding and polishing equipment. It lights our shops and showcases. And much of what we have is not always new and in compliance with the latest technology and current safety codes.

Included with my recent State Farm homeowner's insurance bill was a flier that had articles on safety, financing and home maintenance. (See, safety information can be found in unexpected places.) I would like to pass on some of their electrical safety tips.

Always use extension cords properly to avoid a fire hazard.

  • Use extension cords only as a temporary solution - never as permanent wiring.
  • Grasp the plug when removing cords from an outlet. Pulling or jerking the cord can damage wires, causing both a fire and electrical shock hazard.
  • Use the proper size cord for the load it will carry. Undersized cords or long runs of cord may cause overheating.
  • Check cords regularly for damage. Never repair a cord by splicing it.
  • Running a cord under rugs or rolling them into a bundle may cause overheating.

Be careful with electrical appliances and tools.

  • All electrical appliances and power tools should be listed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or other recognized testing organizations.
  • Never use a light bulb with a higher wattage than what the fixture recommends. Doing so could lead to overheating.
  • Always keep appliances and their power cords away from any water or dampness.
  • Keep electrical heaters away from combustible materials. Also, keep the electrical cord away from any heater to prevent it from burning or melting.
  • If any appliance or tool gives even the slightest shock or tingling sensation, unplug it and ask a qualified electrician to inspect it.

The next time you work in your shop, or set up your showcase, or use an extension cord, power tool or appliance, take some time to be sure that these tips are being followed. Treat electrical equipment with respect and keep it working properly to reduce the chance of injury and damage to property.

PRACTICE SAFETY with electricity in your shop, around your home, and at shows.


from The Agatizer via "Exchange Bulletin Gems", 10/83 CFMS Bulletin Editors' Workshop

If you look directly at a black-light lamp it could cause eye damage. So says an eye specialist. The ultraviolet rays from black light are greater than those from the sun and caution is urged.

MARCH 1999

by Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities

More Sources for Hands-on Activities

In last November's column, I listed several sources providing hands-on activities for fun ways to teach kids about our hobby and the earth sciences, in general. Since then, several more sources of ideas for hands-on activities have been brought to my attention, including:

  • Two books by Janice Van Cleave: Earth Science for Every Kid and Dinosaurs for Every Kid: Easy Activities that Make Learning Science Fun (Wiley, 1994). Written by a former science teacher, these activity-based books cover many aspects of the earth sciences and paleontology. Examples from the dino book include: "What Fossils Are and How They Are Formed." " Determining the Age of Dinosaur Bones and Other Fossils," and "Using Fossilized Dinosaur Tracks to Determine the Speed of Dinosaurs."
  • Chris McGowan, Making Your Own Dinosaur Out of Chicken Bones: Foolproof Instructions for Budding Paleontologists (Harper Perennial, 1997). You'll learn a lot about anatomy-both of today's chicken and yesterday's Apatasaurus (or good-old Brontosaurus, for us die-hard traditionalists). A warning, however: this is definitely not an overnight project! It takes a lot of time and planning, so I would recommend it as a group project for your juniors to do throughout the year to unveil at you next gem show.
  • For your very young juniors, Golden Books publishes Robert Bell's Science Close- Up: Minerals, a 24-page picture book on basic facts about minerals, complete with a kit of 8 mineral specimens and a magnifying glass. I was able to purchase this on sale at Borders for just $3.99.
  • The Tennessee Geological Survey sells a "Fossil Laboratory Kit" consisting of 20 plastic replicas of fossils plus lab manual. The manual (by Daniel Jones of the University of Utah) conveys the importance of fossils in geology, mapping, and stratigraphic correlation. It's a bargain at just $7.60 via the Tennessee Division of Geology, Department of Environment & Conservation, 401 Church Street, Nashville, TN 37243. (1 recommend that you call first to check on stock: 615/532-1516.) The plastic models are good reference tools for pebble pups wanting to identify their own fossils, and I've also found them excellent for making molds in clay that kids can then use to make their own plaster casts of fossils.

If anyone out there knows of similar sources of fun activities, please pass them along to share in future columns: Jim Brace-Thompson, 7319 Eisenhower Street, Ventura, CA 93003, phone: 805/659-3577, email: Nbraceth@aol.com. Meanwhile, have fun!


from El Monte Gem Scoop
via Exchange Bulletin Gems,
10/83 CFMS Bulletin Editors' Workshop

Never throw a plastic bag into a campfire. It can heat-seal and explode with the violence of a shotgun blast. Anyone standing close by can be sprayed with the molten plastic and be severely burned.


Via Drywasher's Gazette 2/99

When the Owens Lake bed located near Death Valley National Park was full, the water contained so much borax and soda that neither fish nor mammal could survive there. Miners and teamsters in the area washed their clothes by dousing them quickly in the lake and leaving them to dry. The strange chemical content of the lake made it one of the most inexpensive and thoroughly efficient laundries the World has known.


by Shirley Leeson

We have now completed searching for CFMS Newsletters. We have complete sets from 1968 through 1998, with the exception of FEBRUARY 1979. If anyone has this copy in their files could we please, at least have a duplicate.

Thanks to IDA COVERT for sending me a set of Newsletters from 1980 and 1981. They are duplicates but will be saved along with other duplicate Newsletters -- just in case. I will probably throw the duplicates away in a year or two unless someone wants them .... Let me know.

We have minutes from all meetings beginning in 1960 through the present. Earlier minutes were included in President's Papers and other collections and will be drawn out and put together.

I have the following Show Pins:

1979 - "Fantasy in Jade" Sacramento Mineral Society
1980 - "Days of Gems & Roses" V.I.P. Gem & Mineral Society
1981 - "Golden Bear Gem & Min. Sh" CFMS Committee
1982 - "Gems by the Sea" La Pacifica Group
1983 - "Mission Trails Gem & Mineral Show", Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society
1984 - "Golden Gemboree"; 2nd pin, "Sharr Choate Miner" San Diego Mineral & Gem Society
1985 - "Pageant of a Thousand Gems"; 2nd pin, "Conejo Hunter" Conejo Gem & Mineral Club
1986 - "Capital Gateway to Gems"; 2nd pin, "CFMS 50th Anniversary" Sacramento Mineral Society
1987 - "Mother Lode Treasures" Mother Lode Mineral Society
1988 - "Orange Jubilee of Gems" North Orange County Gem & Mineral Society
1989 - "A Whale of a Gem Show" El Cajon Valley & San Diego Lapidary
1990 - "Pageant of American Gems" Conejo Gem & Mineral Club
1991 - "1991 Golden Bear Show" CFMS Committe
1994 - "Around the World With Gems"
El Cajon Valley Gem & Mineral Society

If anyone has any additional pins they would like to donate, please contact me. I am also looking for show pictures and show patches. I have received a large show patch from the 1981 show from Margaret Norton. Many thanks, Margaret. I hope to have a list of club pins next month that I already have. Please check and see if your club is on the list and if not, donate one.

Shirley Leeson, CFMS Historian
6155 Haas St.
La Mesa, CA 91942-4312


by Ray Meisenheimer,
Show Consultant (805) 642-3155

The CFMS Show for the year 2000 will be held in Riverside. A couple of clubs are indecisive about the year 2001. They are thinking.

I need clubs to take the challenge of hosting a show in 2001, 2002, 2003, and on up. It does not have to be a large club to put on a show, and it does not have to be a great, large show. You will have assistance from Federation officers and chairmen, and from other, experienced clubs.

Talk it over with your members, think about it, and contact me.


by Shirley Leeson, CFMS Representative to the AFMS Endowment Fund

If you have decided a trip to Nashville, TN to the AFMS Show and Convention is not in your plans this year; you can still participate in the events....

This will be the 25th anniversary of the AFMS Endowment Fund and Charley Leach has been chairman all these years. Due to his hard work and that of his committee, the Endowment Fund has well over $100,000 and the interest is currently being used for the additional benefit of the clubs by upgrading and searching for now programs that will eventually be sent to each regional federation. He will be retiring after this event. Let's give Charley a whopping sendoff by sending $1 donations by the bushel basket. Let's make this an event to remember....

The current AFMS President, Lewis Elrod, has designed a beautiful l4k ring with a 12xl6mm emerald cut Brazilian amethyst stone and two Cubic Zirconium stones on each side of it. (Four stones in total.)

It can be yours if you purchase the winning ticket. Donation tickets can be obtained from Charles Leach, 7013 Jamieson Ave., Reseda, CA 91335-4817, for $1 each. All tickets will be put in a special hopper and one will be drawn Sunday, July 11, during the AFMS Show on the Tennessee Fairgrounds, Nashville, TN.

Charles will have a picture of the beautiful ring at our CFMS Show in Turlock, June 18-20. If you can't attend this event, send money directly to Charley. Be a part of the solution; let's watch our AFMS Endowment Fund grow. It's giving the AFMS a strong financial footing for the future.

You've been very generous in helping the CFMS and AFMS Scholarship Funds over the years. Let's help ourselves for a change. This money goes directly toward helping the AFMS and WE ARE THE AFMS.


by Ray Meisenheimer,
Chairman Golden Bear Committee

The Golden Bear Award is to honor any person who has contributed to CFMS in outstanding ways. This award is presented for service to the Federation and not for service to your local club.

These nominations can be made by the Executive Committee, by a Federation Director of a member society or by a CFMS Committee Chairman. Nominations should include simple documentation of the service contributed by the nominee.

Please send your nominations to me, Ray Meisenheimer, 101 N. Wake Forest Ave., Ventura, CA 93003-2246. The deadline for submission is June 1, 1999.


from CFMS Newsletter Hardcopy

Why is it that if someone tells you that there are 1billion stars in the universe you will believe them but if they tell you a wall has wet paint you will have to touch it to be sure?

"I am." is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?

Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist, but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?

Why isn't 11 pronounced onety one?


by Olga Hammer

Under the auspices of the CFMS, the Oxnard Gem and Mineral Society, the Conejo Gem and Mineral Club and theVentura Gem & Mineral Society will host a one day workshop aimed at potential exhibitors/competitors for forthcoming shows, county fairs, and our own annual convention and show.

Concerns and uncertainty about Rules, Divisions, and Material often create negative feelings about exhibiting or entering competition. We feel this interactive workshop based directly on expressed interests and concerns will assist in allaying these fears, and result in a more positive attitude .... one with positive results. Given the time frame, all questions may not be answered, but participants should then have the tools that will enable them to get those answers.

The outstanding and experienced judges: Arlene Billheimer, Bob King, Pat LaRue, and Jeane and Bob Stultz will join exhibitors to share their knowledge and expertise with those attending the workshop.

The workshop will be held in Thousand Oaks, right off the 101 Freeway, and roughly an hour from Santa Barbara, Pasadena and Long Beach. Maps and material will be sent upon receipt of following registration form. Click here to see the full registration form.


by Marion Fowler,
Program Aids Chairman

Connie is Back!
Copy This Program Into Your Podium People Binder

2214 Via Mariposa East, Apt. B
Laguna Hills CA 92653

Voice/FAX (949) 587-0935

Fee: $75.00 within 60 n-dies of Laguna Hills.
Will negotiate fee for travel up to 200 miles.

Equip. needed: Three 6-foot tables for displays.
He usually brings as about 10- 12 intarsias along for people to see first hand.

Length of pro-ram: Normal lecture is 45 minutes.
Can extend to an hour if floor is opened for questions and answers.



Objective is to initiate listeners into the art form called Intarsia. History of the art form from its beginning through its zenith in the late 1500's gives an understanding of where and how the form changed over time. Intarsia, as an art form, is defined so listeners can walk away with a better understanding of what it is and will cover the four most important areas of skills, talents and equipment that should be considered and developed. Lecture will conclude with some predictions of what the future holds for this art form.

Connie's programs are highly acclaimed by all who have experienced them. He was not listed in the November 1998 Podium People because of our inability to contact him in time. Please note his current address, telephone, FAX, and e-mail information.


by George A. Loud, Chair
AFMS Conservation & Legislation Committee


"BLM Bulletin - Fossils and Petrified Wood" (4310-84-P) announces proposed rules "to consolidate BLM's regulations and provide the public with a single reference to the agency's policies and regulations for collecting fossils and petrified wood on public lands." According to the BLM Bulletin the proposed rules would be responsive to an executive order of March 4, 1995 directing federal agencies to simplify their regulations.

Currently, 43 CFR 8365.1-5 (b) allows for the collection of "reasonable amounts" of common invertebrate fossils on BLM lands without a permit. The collecting of petrified wood on BLM lands is covered by a separate rule, 43 CFR 3622.4, which provides "the maximum quantity of petrified wood that any one person is allowed to remove without charge per day is 25 lbs. in weight plus one piece, provided that the maximum total amount that one person may remove in one calendar year shall not exceed 250 lbs."

The BLM notice of proposed rule making characterizes the newly proposed rules as a consolidation and simplification. Further, it characterizes the difference between the proposed new rule and existing regulations as relating only to the extension of the 25 lb. per day maximum rule for petrified wood to additionally cover invertebrate and/or plant fossils. In point of fact, the proposed rules differ from existing regulations in other important details. Specifically, the language "plus one piece" presently found in 43 CFR 3622.4, relating to the collection of petrified wood, would be dropped. Thus, not only would the maximum amount of invertebrate and/or plant fossils be limited by the proposed rule, the collecting of petrified wood would also be restricted to 25 lbs. per day maximum (without the provision for the additional "one piece"). Further, the 25 lb. maximum for invertebrate and/or plant fossils would include "the surrounding matrix in which the fossil is imbedded" -another difference from the existing regulations which do not mention matrix.

In correspondence with the BLM I raised the following objections to the new proposed rules:

  1. Insofar as the proposed rules would: (1) include matrix within the weight limit and (2) drop the language "plus one piece", the new rules would impose significant new restrictions on collectors and go well beyond a "consolidation" or "simplification".
  2. Inclusion of matrix within the weight limit would encourage removal of matrix from fossils in the field with several undesirable consequences. Firstly, proper development and exposure of fossils in the matrix is an art not well suited to practice in the field. Removal of matrix in the field, rather than later at the leisure of the collector, is much more likely to result in damage to the fossil. Secondly, it is often desirable to leave at least some amount of matrix attached to the fossil in order to provide information as to the geological context in which the fossil was found.
  3. Deletion of the provision for "plus one piece" of petrified wood would encourage the breaking up of petrified wood in the field with the consequent loss of value to the collector.

The proposed new rules would inadvertently promote undesirable collecting practices. Please forward your comments to:

Bureau of Land Management
Administrative Record Room 401, LS
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20240