Vol. XLIII, No.7 --- Agust 2006
By Colleen McGann, CFMS President
I would like to share the report I have sent to the AFMS on the status of CFMS. The CFMS annual show and meeting was held this year in June at Angel Camp, California in historic gold rush country at Calaveras County fairgrounds. As the site was long and hilly the club provided electric carts to transport folks around to the meeting. CFMS celebrated our 70th anniversary at the show, with 13 past Presidents attending, cake and ice cream, and commemorative cups.
Membership update: Since last year CFMS had 1 new club join, 5 clubs did not rejoin, 4 clubs merged into 2, and 1 disbanded. Membership of clubs to CFMS as well as membership in clubs is a concern and I created an Ad hoc committee to write articles for the newsletter with ideas on how to gain new members and to keep current members. This includes club activities provided to members and public, classes and programs. I would like to thank the many clubs that have sent their good ideas so far.
CFMS activities: We only had 3 All American Club binders in competition this year, but Bulletin Aid competition had 35 entries between bulletins and adult or junior articles. We had a wonderful increase in competition cases at the annual show with 37 entries, from Education, Scrimshaw, faceting, petrified wood and carvings to lapidary and minerals. Our CFMS Scholarship Fund was able to provide scholarships to five students this year. Jim Brace-Thompson reported that CFMS had enrolled 17 new clubs in Future Rockhounds of America and mailed 137 badges to California kids. The Slide and Video library is still very active with 46 requests from Jan-April.
CFMS Earth Science Studies seminars promotes lapidary activities and continues to be very active with participants. We offer one week in southern California Mojave desert at Zzyzx in the Spring and two weeks in northern California forest at Camp Paradise in the fall. Teachers offer classes in lapidary, beading, silver work, wire wrap, stone carving, fielrently doing and looking for additional ways to serve. Examples of this are the new Membership Committee and the new Demonstrator Directory. What other ideas should we be thinking about?
AFMS Scholarship Honoree Nominees Needed
By Bural LaRue, 2nd VP
CFMS is currently seeking nominations for the 2007 AFMS Scholarship Honoree from our regional federation. The committee will meet in Visalia to make its selection. The nominee should not be advised that he/she is being considered for this honor. Criteria are as follows:
Documentation should be sent to this year's chairman. Many worthy individuals are close-mouthed about their activities, so consult family, friends, associates who can be depended upon to be discreet. Send your nominations to:
Bural LaRue, Chairman
Addresses are in the officers/chairmen listing.
Ridgecrest Steering Committee Meeting
September 28, 2006
October 26, 2006
200 S. Richmond Rd.
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
We sure have had a lot of great field trips these past five years that I have been able to direct as Field Trip South Chairman. I could write a book about all the great times and adventures that everyone has had on them, I know I sure enjoyed myself. I've met some great Rockhounds from the CFMS clubs from all over California. We've collected a lot of nice minerals and even some "leave her rights" were also found. We've also enjoyed the great overnight camping, the campfires where stories were told and friendships were made and of course the delicious potlucks. Our groups numbered as large as 90 on some of our field trips and some of the yearly planned field trips were to Wiley Well (5 days over Thanks-giving), Gold Rock Ranch (3 days), Afton Canyon area twice a year, and Orocopia - Fluorspar, Ludlow - Thulite, Garnet Queen Mine, Turtle Mountains, Lavic Siding, Salton Sea, Calico - Early Man Site, Pebble Terrace, and many, many, more.
I was asked to lead field trips for the CFMS back in the year 2001 and it has been a very enjoyable experience for me. There's always a lot of work setting up the trips, planning and typing up the agenda for each one, getting the word out to all the clubs, answering the e-mails about the questions people might have, writing the reports about what went on during the trips and sending it to the CFMS website and newsletter. Although it was a lot of work, I did this because I like being with other Rockhounds and doing what Rockhounds love to do. I'd like to thank all of those who helped me lead the trips, helped me set things up and helped with the potlucks. Each of you made it easier to have a successful field trip.
This year I've started getting more clubs involved in joining our field trips. I would like to see a different club in the Southern California area join in and help lead a field trip and open it up to other coalition clubs to join in, with the CFMS Chair South helping. I would like to call it Coalition of California Clubs South for Field Trips. It is going to take some hard work to get this going. There will be more about the coalition field trips this fall. If you have any spare time and would like to volunteer to help out, please let me know. Help is ALWAYS appreciated.
This will be my last year as Field Trip South Chairman; it's time to let some new blood take on this fun job. Again, I have enjoyed planning the field trips and hope everyone has had a wonderful adventure, collected a variety of minerals on our outings and will remember all the good times we've shared.
The Nominating Committee is still able to accept nominations for 2007 officers. We can accept nominations for 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents and for Secretary and Treasurer. The deadline for submission of names will be Sept. 1.
If you wish to send a nomination please send it to a member of the Nominating Committee and include information about the person including their name, home address, phone number, e-mail and qualifications. Nominations should be submitted by the Club President or Federation Director.
Your suggestion should be sent to:
2857 Addison Place
Santa Clara, CA 95051
or to another member of the Nominating Committee.
I have belonged to the CFMS since 1957. The question arises frequently, about how we can interest and retain membership in our clubs and the CFMS as well. The question arises, how do we do this? First of all, I think the answer lies within each of us.
I have been a director for many years. I have noticed each year as I attend the meeting that the question always came up, "how do we get new members and how do we keep them?" At the meetings look around and notice who is sitting at the tables. Most of the time, everybody at the table have known each other for years. But, have any of us made an effort to invite a new director, someone who has just been elected to come to the meetings for the first time, to join us? It is a habit of all of us to join together with those we know. Is it only for the new directors to make the effort?
If we want new members in the CFMS, we must make the effort to introduce ourselves and have them join us at our table. Who knows what we can learn from them and they from us? Perhaps we could even become great friends. I think that is where we should start to get new members, if we make the new directors feel welcome they will in turn take this feeling back to their respective clubs. What a great way to start!
To recap, Eva and her dog became separated while on a field trip. The end of part 2 of her saga concluded with her frantic search, fearing the worst.
Not sure what to do, I next drove to local places of interest inquiring about my dog and leaving my cell number. Then I went back to the place where I had been stuck and parked just off the road to search some more. I searched for several hours. During that time, I ran into a number of other rockhounding groups, but none of them mine.
Apparently, the place where I got stuck happens to be the place where people search for trilobite fossils. I asked each person to keep an eye out for my dog. Some of them would be walking far back into the hills and up the mountain so they would be covering a lot of ground. At this point, I was very tired and desperate so I decided to go back to the postoffice and use the pay phone to again check my messages. Desperation breeds desperate acts.
This time it paid off. Someone had called about my dog! The people at the Tecopa Hot Springs had been visited by a man from Las Vegas who had my dog and wasn't sure what to do with him. Since I had visited the Hot Springs looking for my dog earlier, they knew I wanted him and they had agreed to hold him for me. I went immediately to the Hot Springs and one of the employees recognized my truck and came running out to greet me and reunite me with my dog. Everyone had followed the instructions on his dog tags that said not to feed him because he is diabetic so his blood glucose was not yet too bad. He was quite chipper and didn't seem to have any inkling of the depth of misery he had put me through.
Apparently, it had happened just as I had surmised. The man from Las Vegas had seen Gecko wandering near the road in the desert early that morning and thought he was lost. My truck was not easily visible behind a bush so he didn't know Gecko's owner was stuck just around the corner. Therefore, he figured he'd 'save' Gecko from the desert and kept him all day. Gecko had spent the day at Dumont Dunes watching the kids and adult kids driving their toys on the sand dunes. The most foolish part was that the man had called the phone number on Gecko's tag repeatedly, but for some unfathomable reason, he only called ONE of the phone numbers which of course turned out to be my home number that I could not check. Some time later when I finally did get home, I found many messages from him about Gecko on my answering machine. But it wasn't until the man was ready to go home to Las Vegas and the people at Tecopa Hot Springs got Gecko that they had the sense to call BOTH the phone numbers and get hold of me on my cell. The Hot Springs people had even called a vet to inquire about Gecko's diabetic needs and were preparing to drive into Pahrump to get him some insulin in case I didn't show up in a timely manner. One thing about Gecko, he sure knows how to suck up and get people to help him. He could even charm the wool off a sheep!
After reuniting with Gecko, I felt relieved but emotionally drained. I also felt really hungry! I had eaten very little during the last 24 hours so I thanked the Hot Springs people profusely and decided to head to Shoshone for gas and food. I ate a big burger at the Crow Bar Restaurant and then decided to head back to the Hot Springs for a well deserved shower and dip in the 108 degree spring water. Only $5.00 to get in and I was dirty and tired and well ready for some cleaning up. It wasn't long before I pulled back into the Hot Springs parking lot only to see one of the employees again come running out to greet me! What could they want this time!
Well it turns out one of my tires was now half flat! Jeez, what a day. Another of the employees quickly came out to help me change out the flat for the spare in the back. In an amusing coincidence, this new guy was also named John! At least my jack was easy to access as it was still sitting in the bed of the truck from that morning's copious usage. It didn't take long to make the switch and I was happy to finally get a shower and bath afterwards. Those people at Tecopa Hot Springs sure earned their $5.00 fee that day and I encourage anyone in the area to drop by, say hi, and get a nice warm soothing bath at the springs.
Next and last on my to do list as the sun slowly set on that day was one more try to find that darned Noonday camp!
The Calaveras CFMS show was great, with some spectacular exhibits and a 70th birthday party for the CFMS. Our Editor's Breakfast on June 11 was well-attended, with 41 people signing in. Jonathan North, editor of the Nevada County Gem & Mineral Society bulletin, gave a presentation on using Microsoft Publisher to create bulletins and to maintain mailing and membership lists. Terry Yoschak, editor of the Roseville Rock Rollers bulletin, gave a presentation on finding and viewing club bulletins online. An Editor Survey was filled out by 18 editors who were present, and the results were very interesting!
Awards were presented as follows:
The top three winners in each category will go on to compete in the AFMS Bulletin Contest, and the results of that contest will be announced at the AFMS Show and Convention in Nashville, Tennessee in August 2006.
Microsoft Word 10
Microsoft Publisher 3
Adobe Pagemaker 4
Low 0 (exactly half of respondents said 0)
Other club bulletins 14
CFMS/AFMS newsletters 8
Internet sites 2
No 17 (Some clubs had no junior members)
Need a program for an upcoming club meeting? The CFMS audiovisual program library offers many programs on a variety of subjects. An alphabetical listing of these programs, descriptions and ordering procedures can be found on the CFMS website. Looking for "How to Do" programs? The audiovisual library includes programs on soapstone carving, beading, wax casting, opal and cabochon cutting, wire wrapping, electro-plating, silver soldering, enameling, faceting, hand woven chains, gemstone lamp and butterfly making, and intarsia.
The library also includes programs on field trips, science and travel.
Don't have access to a computer? Contact your club's Federation Director for a 2006 library catalog distributed at the November 2005 meeting and an update distributed at the June, 2006 Directors' meetings. Have a great summer. I am off to check out some sites in Idaho and Washington.
California's geological forces have created one of the widest varieties of rocks and minerals found in any state. This rock and mineral wealth has long been recognized by rockhounds even before the gold rush days.
Early rockhounds were prospectors looking for valuable minerals and gemstones for commercial purposes. Eventually, however, more people were drawn to rockhounding for recreational purposes, mainly for the beauty that rocks and minerals provide.
By the 1930s, interest in rockhounding increased significantly and it was during this period that rockhounding groups were formed and collecting areas in the desert were publicized.
With increased popularity of rockhounding, some rockhounds regarded certain areas as their own and feared that other collectors would deplete their rocks and minerals. This led to substantial amounts of material being removed and an increase in mining claims. By the 1960s the government saw a need to regulate the collection of rocks and minerals on public lands.
Visitors to the Mojave Desert often ask where they can rockhound. Perhaps the best source of information is rock, gem, and mineral groups found in communities throughout southern California. Libraries, bookstores, and "gem and mineral shows" are also very good sources of published information. Although any hill, mountain, or wash can provide some wonderful rock and mineral discoveries, the following listed areas are some of the well-known sites visited by rockhounds in which good samples can still be found.
Many rockhounding sites require hiking or driving to remote areas on sandy or rocky roads where there is a possibility of getting stuck. It is always a good idea to travel in a group and to bring plenty of drinking water with you when traveling in the desert. If you must travel alone, be sure to let someone know of your plans. Remember to stay on designated open roads. Cross country travel is illegal, as is driving in designated Wilderness Areas.
Petrified Wood The collection of petrified wood is governed by regulations found in Part 3622 of Title 43 CFR. Persons may collect petrified wood for non-commercial purposes without charge, from public lands. There is a limit of 25 pounds per person per day, plus one piece (to avoid breaking a large piece) to a maximum of 250 pounds per year.
Vertebrate Fossils The collection of vertebrate fossils is illegal on public lands without a paleontological permit. Violators will be prosecuted under the "theft of government property" provision of 18 USC (United States Code), Section 641, and may face a minimum fine of $1,000 and a year in jail, and up to $10,000 and 10 years in jail. Permits to paleontologists are available from BLM State Offices.
Prehistoric Artifacts Virtually all sources of colored silica (agate, chalcedony, jasper, obsidian, etc.) have been historically used by Native Americans in the building of weapons and other tools. The collection of any artifacts, including projectile points, ovate bifaces, cores, flakes,and all other material worked by prehistoric cultures and now found on public lands, is prohibited by the Antiquities Act of 1906, and the Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979, without an archaeological permit; such permits may be obtained from BLM State Offices.
Rock for Decorative Purposes With respect to the collecting of decorative veneer stone, the Barstow Field Office considers a "reasonable quantity" to be not more than can be carried in the trunk of a car.
Mining Claims The requirements for location of mining claims on public lands for commercial mineral development is contained in various Federal Regulations. The information is also available in an easily readable publication entitled "Discovery, Location, Recordation, and Assessment Work for Mining Claims in California.". This publication can be purchased at any BLM office. BLM field offices maintain a record of location for active and abandoned mining claims in the LR-2000 computer system.
Maps Desert Access Guide Maps showing the distribution of public and private lands are available for sale at BLM offices. These maps can be purchased at any BLM office.
Additional Information If you would like additional reading material on rockhounding, please visit the California Welcome Center, Tanger Way, Barstow, CA 92311 (760) 253-4813.
Reprinted from California-BLM Newsletter
Political Campaign Activities
Source: IRS e-news,
submitted by Mike Kokinos, Tax Advisor
The Internal Revenue Service recently announced it will step up efforts to enforce rules against political campaign activities. In the 2004 elections, the IRS noticed an upturn in politicking on the part of 501(c)(3) organizations. The agency responded by increasing its educational efforts and launching an enforcement program, the Political Activity Compliance Initiative (PACI), to investigate specific, credible allegations of wrongdoing.
While the vast majority of charities and churches do not engage in politicking, an increasing number did take part in prohibited activities in the 2004 election cycle, IRS Commissioner Mark W. Everson said. The rule against political campaign intervention by charities and churches is long established. We are stepping up our efforts to enforce it.
The IRS has put procedures into place for the 2006 election season to more quickly address instances of potential prohibited activity on the part of charities, churches and other tax-exempt organizations. The procedures are meant to ensure that public referrals as well as activities the IRS itself uncovers are reviewed expeditiously and treated in a consistent, fair and nonpartisan manner.
As a rule, charities, religious organizations such as churches, educational organizations and other groups that are tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the tax code may not participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.
This prohibition means 501(c)(3) organizations may not endorse candidates, distribute statements for or against candidates, raise funds for or donate to candidates or become involved in any activity that would be either supportive or opposed to any candidate.
Whether an organization is engaging in prohibited political campaign activity depends upon all the facts and circumstances in each case. For example, organizations may sponsor debates or forums to educate voters. But if the debate or forum shows a preference for or against a certain candidate, it becomes a prohibited activity.
The Fight Goes On for Public Access to Public Lands
Submitted to John Martin by Vern Cliffe
On December 8, 2004, despite a last-minute outpouring of letters and phone calls and a flood of negative editorials, an Ohio congressman with no public lands in his district succeeded in his attempt to sellout America's priceless heritage of public access to public lands. On that day, Representative Ralph Regula's bill, officially titled the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA) but more accurately know as the Recreation Access Tax, or RAT, became law. The RAT authorizes permanent access fees for recreation on all land managed by the Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and Bureau of Reclamation. There is no denying that December 8, 2004, was a black day for lovers of public lands.
But there is good news, too. The RAT contains the seeds of its own eventual destruction, and those seeds are beginning to take root. This newsletter is an update on accomplishments by the WSNFC and our affiliated groups in the effort to oppose access fees. With your help, we will reclaim our public lands!
Documents provided by the Forest Service to the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and recently released to the public have confirmed that the vast majority of fee sites on National Forests are not in compliance with the new Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act, also known as the Recreation Access Tax, or RAT. Of 1,339 sites that are located within agency-designated "High Impact Recreation Areas," 981 are Standard Amenity Fee sites that are required to have six specific amenities in order to qualify for fees. The Forest Service documents reveal that 739 of those -- a fu11 75%--do not have a11 of the amenities the law requires. In addition, 627 sites--47% of the total -- have never been previously reported to Congress as fee sites, yet have not been subjected to the public participation process that the FLREA requires for newly instituted fees.
The information is included in answers that Mark Rey, Undersecretary of Agriculture, provided in response to Supplemental Questions posed to him in writing by Senator Larry Craig (R-ID), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests, fol1owing Rey's October 26, 2005 testimony before Craig's Subcommittee. The October hearing was held to review imp1ementation of fees by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management under the FLREA.
There is wording in the FLREA that prohibits entrance fees from being charged for Forest Service or BLM lands. Fees are also prohibited solely for parking, for access to undeveloped backcountry, for passing through without using facilities, for undeveloped camping, for scenic overlooks, or for general access. In addition, FLREA requires day-use fee sites to have six specific amenities. The restrictions were meant to deflect criticism that arose under Fee Demo's unrestricted fee authority, but are being wide1y ignored by the agencies.
Rey's responses confirm charges made in a Survey Report pub1ished last year by the Western Slope No-Fee Coa1ition. WSNFC co-founder Kitty Benzar testified at the October hearing about the Survey Report, telling Senators that the Forest Service is requiring de facto entrance fees for huge tracts of public land, is forcing visitors to pay for activities such as backcountry hiking that are supposed to be protected by 1aw from fees, and has established new fee sites without going through the law's public participation process. She pointed out in her testimony that "High Impact Recreation Areas" are not defined or authorized anywhere in the law.
"This information confirms with the Forest Service's own data their widespread disregard for the provisions in the FLREA that were supposed to protect public access and allow public participation," said Robert Funkhouser, President of the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition. "BUT as bad as the HIRA situation is, it is still only the tip of the iceberg," added Funkhouser. He noted that there are more than 3,000 former Fee Demo sites outside of HIRAs that are charging fees, even though the WSNFC's Survey Report showed that many of them are not compliant with the FLREA.
The transcript of the October 26, 2005 hearing can be read at http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/ senate/senate08ch109.html . The WSNFC Survey Report and the text of the FLREA can be read at this website.
If You Care about YOUR Public Lands, Take Action!! Here is a way you can help "Kill the RAT"
Contact your U.S Representative and both of your U.S. Senators. A letter has the most impact, and faxing it avoids the security delays of regular mail. Call their closest office or your county clerk for contact information. Tell them that the language in the FLREA that was supposed to protect you from being charged for general access and for use of undeveloped backcountry is being disregarded by the Forest Service and BLM. We suggest you pick an example that is particularly irksome to you-a wilderness hiking trail, ATV or 4WD route, river, lake, or dispersed camping area that you use-and ask them to investigate whether access fees charged there are in violation of the law. In your letter, mention the specific sections of the law that you believe the site violates. You can read the text of the law at the Western Slope No-Fee Coalition's website.
http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/ senate/senate08ch109.htmlReprinted from the Fee-Free Press May 2006
Western Slope No-Fee Coalition
PO Box 135
Durango, Colorado 81302
Some Observations From The 2006 Reno Show
By Dick Friesen, Rules Committee
This was the first time in three years I was able to attend this excellent show. I had been a regular exhibitor but a scheduling conflict with the Snyder Ranch Pow Wow prevented my attendance for two years. It also helped me to view the show more as a new event as time allowed my memory to dim somewhat.
The Reno club is unique in that it is the only club that is still having competition and allowing non-club members to enter. This, coupled with the hard work of many members to educate all members of the Reno club in good showmanship, has had a spectacular payback in the club's exhibits. All of the member's exhibits looked like they were going into competition.
While some of the cases may have had minor problems that would result in a few points off if they had been in competition, I didn't look for them nor was there any reason to. It was the overall effect that was important. When the public views our exhibits they come away with an impression of not only the exhibits themselves but the club as a whole. The public had to come away from this show with a great impression.
I would like to encourage Show Chairmen and Exhibitor Chairmen to think about what image the public will have of your show and what you can do to improve it. While most of us don't think a lot about how our club exhibits impact recruiting new members and it may not be the most important aspect of recruiting, it does have an effect. Great work can be hidden by poor showmanship. When a potential new member is impressed by what is seen in your show they will be more likely to be interested in joining.
I would like to extend my personal congratulations to the Reno Club for their efforts to raise the quality of their exhibits, they are excellent. I would also like to suggest that, when possible, club Show Chairmen and Exhibitor Chairmen make an attempt to visit future Reno shows to see for themselves how the Reno club efforts have paid off.
Be Safe - Be Well
By Don Monroe, AFMS Safety Chair
Jewelry making can be a most enjoyable hobby but there are certain hazards which must be avoided, and can be, by following a few simple rules.
- Don't polish a wire or chain on a rotary tool without nailing the wire or chain to a board. This might wrap around the arbor and pull your hand with it.
- Don't set fire to our clothing with the torch. Fuzzy sweaters are dangerous.
- Don't drop the torch or fail to turn it off. An explosion might follow.
- Don't pour water into acid when making pickle; pour acid into water.
- Don't turn over the pickle pot or the boil pot. Keep handles to the rear.
- Don't put a large piece of very hot metal in pickle. It might splash.
- Don't pick up the charcoal block or hot metal until you know it's cool.
- Don't hold a piee being drilled with your hand; the drill might slip or break or the piece might spin when the drill breaks through. Use pliers.
- Don't put your fingers inside any item being polished, for example, a belt buckle, ring bracelet, etc. Hold the work being polished between finger-tips and thumb.
- Don't wear rubber gloves or fingerstalls when polishing. These might wrap around the arbor.
- Don't work without some protection for the eyes such as plastic goggles or a magnifying eye piece, particularly when using a rotating wire brush.
- Don't let your tie or hair get caught by the rotating arbor. This could be fatal.
- Don't get into contact with electricity or belts. Don't work on a wet or damp floor.
- Don't fail to report any apparent hazard immediately.
- We repeat: "Work safely. You can't get by on luck."
Just fail to observe these rules and you will find your situation comparable to that of the fellow whose wife had the stone-cutter carve on his tombstone, "I told you to go to the doctor."From AFMS Newsletter, April, 2006