Table of Contents
The President's Corner
From the Editor
All American Report
Junior Activities Report
Safety Report
Program Aids Report
Program Library Update
In Memoriam - Toni Ewers
CFMS Dues & Insurance
Field Trip to Beaches

Tri-Fed Field Trip
Tri-Fed Field Trip nfo
Field Trip Prep
Bulletin Contest
Route Designation Workshop
Fed Show Exhibiting
Federation Directors
Mining Standards
Field Trip Guidelines
Show Dates

The President's Corner

By Dick Pankey, CFMS President

Dick Pankey - CFMS President -  2007

"Moving on"

Well, I have just about completed my year as President and 5 years of "going through the chairs" of the California Federation. It has been fun, challenging and a very rewarding experience. And what a fantastic group of people to lead and to work with.

A BIG THANK YOU to this year's Executive Committee that I have served with and a BIG THANK YOU to all of the chairmen and the committees that have served with me this year.

But I am not going away, I am just "moving on." I will soon join what I consider a special group of very special people - the Past Presidents of CFMS. They have served and continue to serve. If you want to be impressed with their numbers just listen to the Past Presidents introductions at the Cracker Barrel and at the Directors meetings.

When they completed their term as president they stayed involved by being directors and by chairing and serving on committees, and are still serving. Several went on to serve with the AFMS and several are still active and still serving. Many of our Past Presidents are also Past Presidents of the AFMS and one is currently the AFMS President.

The first year as past president I get to chair the Long Range Planning Committee. The Long Range Planning Committee is composed of all living Past Presidents and the current Executive Committee. This committee:

  1. Selects the CFMS representative to the AFMS Board.
  2. Researches projects that further the progress of the Federatio. This information should give the club a historical picture for the year.

    If there are any questions, contact me. Let's have a great showing with many entries in the CFMS!

    Junior Activities Report:
    Kids' Crafts for the Holidays

    By Jim Brace-Thompson

    Jim Brace-Thompson

    With the Holiday Season upon us, consider organizing a workshop for your club's kids centered on crafting gifts for teachers, friends, and family. The choice of a lapidary project should be matched to the ages and abilities of your club's kids. Following are some project ideas, starting from simpler ones appropriate for younger members and progressing to more difficult:

    • Rock painting. Using enamel, acrylic, or tempura and flat, smooth rocks, paint designs of snowflakes, stars, wreaths, snowman or Santa Claus faces, or other images appropriate for the Holiday Season as paper weights or decorations for the mantel.
    • Rock Critters. Stack and glue small round stones and paint them to make snowmen, Santa's, or Christmas trees. Incorporate glitter, "google" eyes, pipe cleaner arms, felt scarves or hats, and other ornaments available at hobby stores.
    • Light-catchers. Glue tumble-polished agates or beach glass onto translucent plastic container lids and insert a wire or fishing line to hang the creation against a window or to dangle in a Christmas tree.
    • Free-form jewelry. Bring in a supply of tumble-polished agates and jasper and have kids glue on bell caps to make necklaces.
    • Beading. Beading is a hot hobby at the moment, and you can buy a supply of inexpensive beads and wire to craft bracelets and necklaces.
    • Cabbing. If you have the time, space, and equipment, work with your kids to create cabs to mount into findings for brooches, belt buckles, necklaces, and bolo ties.
    • Flat-lapping. Flat-lapping allows you to create super gifts in the forms of bookends or polished agate-, geode-, and thunderegg-halves.
    • Wirewrapping. While wirewrapping can be involved and require fine motor skills, some simple wire-wrapping projects can yield fine results with inexpensive copper wire and a tumble-polished stone.
    • Gemstone trees. Now we're really getting into the advanced side of the hobby, but a neat gift is a gemstone Christmas tree featuring tiny tumbled gems of varied color to light up the branches of a wire-wrapped tree.

    More involved and technical lapidary arts for your more advanced juniors include such things as: scrimshaw; flint knapping; intarsia, inlays, and mosaics; sphere making; rock carving and sculpting; glass bead forging; metal smithing; and faceting. However, there are a variety of projects you can do with simple tumbled stones for very young kids.

    I've already noted free-form jewelry and light-catchers; in addition, kids can glue seashells and tumbled stones against a framed background in the shapes of flowers, or they can coat a simple clay flowerpot with plaster or self-hardening clay and press in tumbled stones for an inlay effect.

    If you have a club member with a drill who can drill a large number of tumbled stones, you can teach your kids to make bead necklaces with free-form tumbled stones. Draw from the expertise and experience of your fellow adult club members and get a Holiday Season workshop going for your junior members to share their hobby with teachers, friends and family while-as always-having fun!

    Residential House Fire Sprinklers
    Via City of Phoenix Source 1997 Last modified 06/20/2000 00:25:42

    By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chairman 2007

    Chuck McKie

    I saw in the newspaper the other day about a family losing their home to a house fire. It is very sad. I found the following advice from the City of Phoenix Safety Web site.

    Residential sprinklers are devices installed in a home to attack a fire in its early stages by spraying enough water to put out the fire or keep it from spreading.

    Sprinkler heads are held closed until heat activates them. Only the sprinkler heads near the fire open, spraying water on the fire to extinguish it or control it and keep it from spreading.

    Sprinkler heads operate quickly to minimize the threat from heat, flames and toxic smoke. The National Fire Protection Association has no record of a multiple-death fire (killing three or more people) in a residential property where a complete sprinkler system was installed and operated properly. This includes houses, apartments, mobile homes, hotels, motels, dormitories, etc.

    Sprinklers have been used for years in commercial and industrial buildings and the record is almost as good.

    More than 6,000 people die in fires in the United States each year. Sprinklers could save thousands of these people. In fact, as many as 90 percent of the deaths in residential fires could have been prevented by using sprinkler systems.

    Residential sprinkler systems use lightweight, inexpensive piping and fittings of plastic, copper or thin-wall steel in place of traditional materials. Their "quick response" opens faster than those in industrial and commercial properties and operate from the household water supply. These sprinkler systems can be built into new housing or added to existing buildings.

    It is estimated that residential sprinkler systems would add only about one to one and a half percent to the cost of new housing. Because home sprinklers are effective, they may help reduce insurance claims. In many states, insurance companies offer special discounts to homeowners if their home has an approved sprinkler system.

    Residential sprinklers are practical. They are small enough to blend into a typical household and are attractively designed. The sprinkler heads stand out less than one inch from the ceiling. You also can buy ornamental plates to blend in with the decor of a home. A home system uses much less water than an industrial or commercial system.

    Myths About Sprinklers

    • Many people have a concern about sprinklers accidentally going off in their home. One study showed that sprinkler accidents generally were less frequent and less severe than accidents involving the rest of the home's plumbing system.
    • Some people believe that water damage from sprinklers will do more damage than the fire itself. Water damage from sprinklers is not greater than fire damage. All fires have to be extinguished eventually and a sprinkler puts far less water on a fire than a fire hose would! Plus, the value of the lives that might be saved is far greater than any furniture or carpeting.
    • Residential sprinkler systems are far less expensive than they used to be, principally because of the new, quick-response residential sprinklers and the smaller water supplies they require.
    • If one sprinkler goes off, they will not all go off. Only the sprinklers in the area of the fire will go off. "Fires Only Happen to Other Guy."
    • Nearly everyone in the United States will have a fire in his or her lifetime. Almost everyone knows someone who will die or be injured in a fire. The people who consider themselves immune from fire are the very ones with the highest risk of having a fire.

    Program Aids

    By Name, Cheri George

    Cheri George

    This month is the month when all the Program Chairmen should be gathering up their yearly information to send to the Program Aids Chairman. I know, I know, I am harping on about this. I was pleased to received two end of year program reports from two of our Program Chairmen. Unfortunately that was two (2), out of all those Program Chairmen out there who have so many great programs every month.

    I would like to know what it is about making this report to the Program Aids committee that is so distasteful to most of the Program Chairmen. Is it that it takes a little time to gather it all up?? Or do you think no one on my end cares to receive it?? I will tell you that no one could spend as much time making out that report as Bill Gissler does, his report was several pages long. WOWEE!!

    The second report from Lorna Lass last year was shorter, but it was nonetheless an End-of-Year Report.

    Sometimes your clubs have programs and speakers that are not pulled from the Podium People Brochure, by filling out your End of year Report, you are giving me the names of the people who find in their good will to come out and talk to us about their hobby or area of expertise. This is how I find speakers, especially NEW speakers.

    I would really appreciate it if you would think really hard about filling out your End of Year Program Report and sending it to me. I will accept them by email, or snail mail. I am not particular, just as long as you send them. Usually I write the begging article at the end of January, for the February newsletter, I just thought I would start early this year.

    For Your 2008 Club Programs

    By Bill Gissler, Program Librarian

    Bill Gissler

    Program Library Update

    The 2008 Program Library Catalog was distributed to Federation Directors at the November 10 meeting.

    • The catalog listed 154 slide and 134 video (VHS format) programs available for loan to CFMS clubs.
    • In addition the library has 27 videos in DVD format and 8 programs in power point (CD-ROM) format.
    • The programs are on a variety of lapidary and geological subjects.
    • Procedures for using the library and an order form can be found in the front of the catalog.
    • The catalog also includes information on the AFMS Program Competition. It if from this competition that many of the programs have originated.

    For more information contact:

    either Colleen McGann
    at (831)212-1951 and
    or Bill Gissler
    at (408)241-0477 and

    The catalog is also available on the CFMS web site (manuals page)

    In Memoriam
    Toni Ewers
    Annette S. Ewers (1923 - 2007)

    Submitted by Grant Ewers

    Toni Ewers

    Annette S. Ewers of Boulder City passed away September 26, 2007 in Las Vegas. She worked as a secretary for an automotive dealership before her retirement. A resident of Boulder City, NV for 31 years, she was a member of Las Vegas Boat and Ski Club, Daughters of the American Revolution, Boulder Gem Club and California Federation of Mineralogical Societies. She is survived by Grant, her husband of 61 years, son Scott Ewers (Brenda) of Boulder City, daughter Vicki Miller (Bart) of Roseville, CA, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

    She attended the first 10 years of Zyzxx and loved the time she spent at Camp Paradise. For many years she and Grant brought the CFMS mineral specimens housed in Las Vegas to the CFMS shows. She and Grant were honored with the Golden Bear Award in 1999.

    Donations in her memory can be made to the CFMS Endowment Fund.

    God saw she was getting tired,
    A cure was not to be,
    So he put His arms around her and whispered come with me.
    With tearful eyes we watched her suffer,
    And saw her fade away.
    Although we loved her dearly, we could not make her stay.
    A golden heart stopped beating,
    Hard working hands at rest.
    God broke our hearts to prove to us,
    He only takes the best.

    Our thoughts are with Grant and the family in this time of sorrow.

    Toni and Grant Ewers

    CFMS Dues and Insurance

    By Richard Pankey, President

    It is that time of the year again. The time when each society is to send in their:

    • Dues Dues that pays for the 3 CFMS and 3 AFMS Newsletters each society receives; the services, the representation, the workings and the support that each society receives from CFMS and AFMS.
    • Insurance payment. For insurance that protects each society with liability coverage for show, field trips meetings and more. With this insurance we don't have to be concerned about potential liability and law suits.
    • The Officer Change Form so that the Federation knows who you are, where you are and how to contact you.
    • Your supplemental insurance payment that protects your equipment and meeting place.
    • Your membership rooster as of December 31. This is your rooster for 2007, not your 2008 rooster. These are the members who have been protected with liability insurance and receiving services all year.

    The dues paid by Member Societies for CFMS are $1.50 annually per individual member, regardless of membership classification. The only exception is for CFMS Honorary members. Some clubs have interpreted this as meaning club or society honorary members, also. The intent of the Bylaws was to exclude CFMS Honorary members only. A change to the Bylaw was made in 2003 to add "CFMS" in front of Honorary in ARTICLE IV DUES: Section 1: to clarify any misunderstanding.

    At our November 10th Directors' Meeting the directors approved the insurance charge of $6.00 per "active" member" for 2008. As defined by our insurance company (the basis for our rate) an "active member" is any member who attends one or more functions each year. This includes activities such as, but not limited to, general membership meetings, annual picnics, Christmas gathering, field trips, participation in shop or classes, etc. Any attendance and/or participation in a club activity creates liability exposure and therefore requires payment of the insurance charge. Our insurance renewal date was October 16th and the Federation has already paid the entire premium for this year.

    Dues are due and payable by January 1st based on your membership list as of December 31st, which should accompany the dues payment. Dues and insurance for 2008 are $7.50 for all classes of members and for all "active members." The dues/insurance payment form is in this Newsletter along with the Officer Change Form or they are available from your Director.

    The Officer Change Form is very important to your society and to CFMS. It is contact information for your society and the information used to prepare the CFMS Society Roster.

    It is important to your club that this form is completely and accurately filled out so that your club information is up to date. This is the contact information that the Federation uses to notify your club, your Federation Director and your members of Federation news, events and happenings.

    The importance of filling this form out completely was pointed out several times at the Directors' Meeting. Too many clubs fail to provide contact information: addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses. We need more than just a PO box, especially when your mail is only picked up once or twice a month. At a minimum we need club contact information and the addresses of the 3 people that you designate to receive the CFMS Newsletter.

    If you don't want your officer's addresses, etc., published please state that and Pat won't publish them in the roster. However, they need to be on file with our Executive Secretary so that CFMS can contact your club.

    The Information from your Officer Change Form is used to prepare the Society Roster. The Society Roster is your link to the Federation and its member societies; it tells us who you are, where you are, where and when you hold your meetings, to whom to send the CFMS Newsletters and how to contact you. The sooner this information is provided the sooner the new officers will stat receiving their CFMS Newsletter. Update the names of the people who are to receive the AFMS Newsletter with the AFMS Office, also. It is extremely important that each society provide an email address/contact as well as a telephone number. Email is faster and less expensive. It is also very helpful to at least include email addresses for the Bulletin Editor and Field Trip Chairman.

    When paging through this year's roster I was amazed at how many societies had no email address listed and several without any telephone number listed. I am contacted on occasion by interested rockhounds looking for a local club in their area but all I can tell that there is a club but no way to contact them. A lost opportunity for everyone!

    Please send your dues payment, membership list and officers change form to Pat La Rue before the end of January.

    CFMS Field Trip to Santa Barbara, CA

    By Jon Meredith and Lew Helfrich

    Lew Helfrich When : January 19th, 2008
    Hosted by: DelAir Rockhounds Trip leader: Jon Meredith
    CO Host San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society
    CO Host Lewis Helfrich CFMS Field Trip Chairman South
    Both Clubs members of the CFMS Field Trip Co-Op Southern CA.

    Where: Santa Barbara, CA (Refugio, Gaviota, and El Capitan State Beaches)
    Location/Directions: Refugio SB is located 20 miles West of Santa Barbara on Highway 101 at Refugio Road.
    Map: http://www.parks. long_map/ default.asp? lvl_id=242
    There are public restrooms at all sites, changing rooms at Refugio, and beach "showers" at all sites.
    Materials available: Fossil Whale bone, chert, fossil horse teeth have been found in creeks, agates, jasper

    What Does It Cost?
    Parking fees: $8.00 per vehicle, fee good for all locations on same day


    1. You will need; Water, shoes, sandals, or old sneakers old clothes you don't mind getting sandy and a towel
    2. or Dry clothes for trip home a variety of warm garments (sweatshirts, jackets, etc.)
      Temperatures could be anywhere from 45 to 75,
    3. Citrus based hand cleaner for tar removal (there are natural seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel)
    4. Food and/or beverages - NO ALCOHAL - (mini marts closed in winter)
    The day will start at Refugio State Beach at approximately 11 a.m.
    With low tide at 1413(2:13 p.m.) , this will give us about 2 hours of collecting time here before moving to Gaviota or El Capitan for the low tide period.
    Refugio has rock beds which are exposed during mean tide periods where whale bone can be found.
    This can be quite an eventful trip, depending on weather, wildlife, civilians.
    In January 2006, we collected over 200 lbs of bone as a group. This is a good trip for rock hounds of all ages, and for scout troops, etc.

    Please E-Mail me for further information and number of participants going in your group at Meredith@flashercre
    or those leaving Bakersfield contact Lew at lewsrocks@bak.

    1. ALL PARTICIPANTS MUST SIGN A CFMS RELEASE OF LIABILITY PRIOR TO GOING ON THIS TRIP. Lew will have the release and it will be distributed at the meeting site at Refugio State Beach .
    2. No Guns or alcohol
    3. Trips are designed to be fun for both young and old. Profane language or disorderly conduct will not be tolerated and dealt with accordingly.
    4. Every day we are losing rock hounding places due to abuse and neglect. Please pack out more than you packed in .Take what you need and if you dig when you are finished fill it in.
    5. Hope to see you there.

      Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip
      May 21 - 26, 2008
      Texas Springs, Nevada

      By Dick Pankey

      The Northwest, Rocky Mountain and California Federations of Mineralogical Societies are hosting a Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip to Texas Springs, NV, over Memorial Day Weekend 2008 and all AFMS members are invited. The Texas Springs area is well known for spectacular pink agate limb casts, as well as, other agate and petrified wood. Texas Springs Canyon is located approximately 25 miles southeast of the town of Jackpot in the northeast corner of Nevada. In addition to the collecting trips we will have potluck dinners, happy hours, speakers, evening campfires, tailgate displays, map exchange, and a great rockhound get-together.

      Directions: The Texas Springs area is located about half way between Wells, NV and Twin Falls, ID, south of Jackpot, NV, and east of Hwy 93. From the south, take I-80 to Wells and go north on Hwy 93. From the north take Hwy 93 south out of Twin Falls. About 2.5 miles south of Jackpot turn east on to the California National Historic Trail and follow the orange plates to camp.

      Camp: Our camp will be located about 6 miles from Hwy 93 on Trout Creek. Roads to campgrounds and collecting sites are typical desert roads. OK for motor homes and trailers to campgrounds. This is a dry camping area: no services, no hook-ups. We will set up camp starting Tuesday afternoon, May 20th. Please try not to arrive before Wednesday, May 21st; this is due to our BLM camp permit.

      Wednesday, May 21 - Arrive at camp.
      Thursday, May 22 - Daily Field Trips
      Welcome potluck dinner and get together
      Friday, May 23 - Daily Field Trips
      Tailgate displays
      Saturday, May 24 - Daily Field Trips
      Tailgate displays
      All Rendezvous Potluck Dinner
      Sunday, May 25 - Daily Field Trips
      Monday, May 26 - Break camp to head for home or other adventures

      Plan on several potluck dinners, and daily happy hours. Bring firewood for evening campfires. We plan on having a good time and collecting some good material. Please notify your respective Federation leader early, but no later than May 16, if you plan to attend. E-mail (or call) if you have questions or need more information. This will be a great opportunity for rockhounds from all over the west to meet one another, to share stories, and information about collecting in their home areas. Be sure to bring material from your favorite collecting sites to show and share.

      Come join us for a great Tri-Federation Rendezvous of collecting, fun and fellowship.

      Dick Parks Northwest Federation / 360-892-3716
      Yonis Lone Eagle Rocky Mt. Federation / 505-860-2455
      Richard Pankey California Federation / 925-439-7509

      Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous

      By By Richard Pankey - Inter - Regional Field Trips

      As promised the announcement flier with detailed information on our 2008 Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous is now available. The flier has the information about the Rendezvous: material available; location; directions to camp; schedule; motels and RV parks nearby; and various activities that are planned. It is available on American, Northwest, Rocky Mountain and California Federations' web sites and, depending on available space, may be published in your the Federation Newsletter. I request and hope that whoever in each club that receives the Newsletter will pass this information and the 2 page flier on to your club Field Trip Leader or Editor or to someone to make copies and distribute to interested members of your club. A challenge with any event is the advertising, with getting the word out to the user. In this case, to the people who might be interested in attending this field trip/rendezvous. So we are looking to the people who get the AFMS and/or your Federation Newsletter to get this information to your members.

      Look for the flier and other Rendezvous information on these web sites:

      AFMS -
      NFMS -
      RMFMS -
      CFMS -
      For more information and to sign-up to attend the Rendezvous e-mail (preferred) or call your respective Federation Field Trip Leader (bottom of the first page of the flier).
      Or Contact me at

      Come join us for a great Tri-Federation Rendezvous of collecting, fun and fellowship. Mark your calendar, schedule your vacation, and plan to join us next May 21st to 26th.

      Are You Ready for a Field Trip?

      By Dick Pankey

      A couple of months ago I was sent some information about going on field trips. The two pages of information was developed by Barbara Terrill for us in the New Member Handbook of the El Dorado County M&GS. I have seen similar documents on the subject but this was the most straight forward and complete effort that I have seen. Barbara has written two simple pages: Field Trip Guidelines and Equipment Checklist. While they were written for new club members who may be new to field trips I believe and recommend that they are applicable and useful for all people who attend field trips.

      I was so impressed with the Field Trip Guidelines and Equipment Checklist that I asked Barbara if we could put them in the CFMS Newsletter. Barbara consented and you will find them on a separate sheet in the back of the Newsletter. I hope that whoever in each club that receives the CFMS Newsletter will pass these on to your club Field Trip Leader or Editor or to someone to make copies and distribute to all members of your club.

      Let us all read the Field Trip Guidelines, the AFMS Code of Ethics and Practice Safe Rockhounding!

      General Information:
      1. Daily Field Trips:
        • All trips will leave at 8:30 AM (Mountain Time), SHARP, from the campgrounds. Assemble at 8:15 for details and instructions for each day's trip. High clearance vehicles recommended to collecting areas.
        • All participants are requested to read and sign a Waiver of Liability.
        • We will collect at 4 to 6 different sites: pink limb casts, small limb casts and bogwood, snakeskin agate, jasp/agate limb casts, geodes, and more.
        • We will divide up into small groups, each group going to a different site each day. Everyone will be able to collect at least once at each site. There will be a signup sheet each day for each site.
        • Much of the collecting will be float. Two sites involve some digging, but not too deep. Bring the following tools: rock bags, rock hammer, shovel, small picks, hoe, rock scoop, spray bottle, safety equipment and what ever else you usually bring.
        • High clearance vehicles highly recommended to collecting sites. We will help arrange rides for those who need them.
      2. This trip is open to all members of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and their guests. This trip is hosted by Northwest, Rocky Mountain and California Federations of Mineralogical Societies. Everyone who agrees to adhere to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Code of Ethics, abide by the direction of the field trip leaders, and practice safe rock hounding is welcome to attend.
      3. There are two full hook-up campgrounds in Jackpot: Saguaro RV Park - 800-821-1103 and Spanish Gardens - 800-422-8233. There are several casino/motels also in Jackpot: Cactus Pete's - 800-821-1103, Western Star Resort - 800-655-0643, Four Jacks - 800-251-6313, Barton's "93" - 800-258-2937.
      4. We will have a welcome potluck dinner on Thursday evening and the all Rendezvous Potluck dinner on Saturday evening. Bring food to share and your own plates, eating utensils, tables and chairs. Bring your favorite beverages and snacks to share for Happy Hour each afternoon. We will try to have a campfire each evening so bring firewood.
      5. Bring rocks and specimens, etc. from your favorite home collecting area to show and swap at the tailgate display. This will be a good time to swap maps, GPS readings and information about your favorite home collecting areas.
      6. This area of Nevada has a lot to offer rockhounds and outdoor enthusiasts. Plan to spend some extra days after (or before) the Rendezvous. Some suggestions and information will be available at camp.
      7. Gas in Jackpot can be expensive. Be sure to fill up your tanks and extra gas cans in Wells or Twin Falls.
      8. Be prepared for a variety of weather. In 2003 we had sunny skies with the temperatures in the 70's and cool night in the 40's.
      Attention Federation Directors, Field Trip Leaders and Bulletin Editors:
      Please announce this trip at your meetings and publish it in your newsletters.
      Please make copies of this 2 sided flier and give it to interested club members to get the word out early so people can start planning for this special field trip and get together.

      The 2008 CFMS Bulletin Contest

      By Doug Arnold, 2008 Bulletin Aids Chair

      Doug Arnold

      Bulletin Contest Deadline is December 10!

      The deadline for all entries is Monday, December 10, 2007, for bulletins and articles published from January through December, 2007.

      Editors, be sure to mail your contest entries for bulletins and individual articles before the deadline. We are sure you will have many award-winning entries this year.

      The rules and entry forms are available on the CFMS website, under the link "Forms". If you have any questions about entering or about filling out the forms, please contact the 2008 Bulletin Aids Chair:

      Doug Arnold, at

      Route Designation Workshop

      By Hugh G. Brady
      Roseville Rock Rollers G & M Society
      Fossils for Fun Society

      On October 11-13, 2007 I attended a Route Designation workshop put on by the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC). This conference was located in the Sacramento, CA area. The first two days were oriented toward the Forest Service managers with the weekend session for the OHV Enthusiasts and other stakeholders. We, rockhounds, should be a serious stakeholder in this process which will affect all National Forest and ultimately BLM lands. Both Forest Service and BLM managers attended.

      Though the workshop was oriented toward off-highway vehicle enthusiasts, it was enlightening, entertaining, thought provoking and very useful to me. Unfortunately, they do not have further workshops scheduled for California, but are giving them nationwide so there may be other opportunities.

      The bottom line is that rockhounds must be involved in the process or we stand a high chance of losing our collecting sites on public land. ANY ROAD OR TRAIL NOT DESIGNATED THROUGH THE PROCESS WILL BE CLOSED TO WHEELED MOTORIZED VEHICLES. Further, there will be seasonal closures. One alternative for the El Dorado Forest proposes a 6 month closure period

      All 19 National Forests in California (Region 5) are going through a Route Designation process. The plan is to have all processes complete by September, 2008. The final result will be a Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM). If a road is not shown (designated) on this map, you may not drive on it. Further, the roads do not have to be posted closed. You must obtain, read and correctly interpret the map or be subject to penalties. Will you want to be a field trip leader under this condition? Some California National Forests or portions thereof had designated systems so didn't have much to do but tweaking the existing system to complete the process.

      The following have final or draft maps: Angeles, Los Padres, San Bernardino, Stanislaus (Summit Ranger District), and Tahoe Basin.

      El Dorado is under court order to finish their Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) by December, 2007, so is further along than the rest. The final comment period for their Draft EIS closed on October 20, 2007. If they implement the Preferred Alternative unchanged, they will close over half of the roads currently inventoried as accessible to 4 wheeled drive vehicles. And this does not include ones not even on the inventory.

      Most of the other California National Forests have a completed inventory and have or will be shortly publishing their Notice of Intent/Scoping Document for the EIS. This is about equivalent to 9 or 10 PM on a 24 hour clock of the process. You can still make impacts but only by quick action.

      If you have collecting sites in any National Forest which you want to access, you need to contact that Forest now and:

      1. Find out where they are in the process and get on their mailing list. Become familiar with the process.
      2. Obtain and study the inventory maps and determine if the routes to the site are on the map. If not let the FS know in writing.
      3. Stay involved in all further steps through the Final EIS and map preparation. Scoping is important because if every purpose is only to minimize some impact, roads are sure to close. The battle in El Dorado was basically lost at this stage. Be sure to comment on the Draft EIS both positively and negatively, as needed, or you lose any standing for later action.
      4. Obtain a final Motor Vehicle Use Map and determine where you can go and maybe even when to go or how you park.
      5. If precluded from an area, see if you can work with the Forest Supervisor to open it up.

      If you work on the Internet, you can go to which will take you to the Region 5 site. From here you can work to the individual forests and look for Route Designation information. I have also had luck adding /forest name/ after r5 to get to the individual forests. I have not looked at every site and the ultimate contact is a meeting or call to the forest supervisor or his designated route manager.

      (Note: This was written from a California perspective, so other areas may have to adjust accordingly.)

      Federation Show -Exhibiting

      By Name, Dick and Betty Pankey

      The show packets were distributed at the Directors' Meeting at Visalia in November, if your director was there he or she has it. If your director wasn't there maybe a director from a nearby club picked it up for your club (and probably your meeting packet, too.) If not, both have been mailed to your club. The show packets have the information and forms for all that is going on at the 2008 CFMS Show in Ventura. Your meeting packets have the reports and forms important to your club for the business and activities of the Federation. Your director or a designate should copy the forms and give them to all members interested in attending and exhibiting at the show. The forms will also be available on the CFMS web site.

      There are 2 exhibit forms: Competitive entry form and a Non-competitive form. The Competitive form should be completed and mailed to Tom Burchard by June 5th. The Non-competitive form is for use by individuals and society case entries. Complete this form and mail it to us by June 13th. But please don't wait until the last minute to enter. All entries will receive a postcard within 14 days of receipt of the entry form confirming your entry. All exhibitors will receive two 3-day Guest Passes.

      We are really hoping for big participation in exhibiting at our 2008 Show. We have arranged for ample space and display cases. We encourage clubs and individuals to bring their own cases; but cases will be available. Unfortunately CFMS does not have display cases, so we have to rent some from the Fairgrounds and borrow the rest from a generous club. However, the Show has to pay the transportation expenses. Therefore, we need to charge a $10.00 rental fee for "borrowed" display cases. If you need to rent a display case, Please include a check with your entry form made out to CFMS.

      Details on case dimensions will be provided in a future Exhibiting article as soon as we can get them and no later than the May issue of the CFMS Newsletter.

      This is the Federation Show, hosted and put on by the Federation; your club and your members are the Federation. This is your show and every club should want to participate and be represented in the show.

      Are You Interested In Learning How Judging Works?

      By Name, Dick Friesen, CFMS Rules Committee

      Dick Friesen

      Even if you are not interested in becoming a CFMS Judge you might like to know more about how judging is done and how the rulebook is used in the judging process. Knowing what judges look for can help you improve your exhibit even if it is not going into competition.

      Consider volunteering as a clerk. The clerk's job is to record the Judge's comments and scoring for a competitive entry. You will be told everything to write and where to write it. If your handwriting is not too good, no problem, printing is preferred anyway. While the Clerk's position is used as a training step for prospective Judges, not all Clerks are interested in becoming a Judge and we all most always have more openings than volunteers.

      A judging team is normally made up of two Judges and one Clerk. The Rules Committee will review the competitive entries and match the Judges to them based on experience, skill, and interest. This is done, when possible, prior to the Judge's meeting. Clerks are assigned to the Judging teams at the Judge's meeting.

      The Judge's meeting is normally held on Friday morning at 7:30 a.m. somewhere close to the competitive exhibit area at the annual CFMS show. At this meeting the final Judging teams selections are made and the teams are assigned the entries they will be judging. While there are exceptions, the teams are usually finished before noon.

      If you think you might be interested in taking part in this interesting process, contact anyone on the Rules Committee or just show early on Friday morning and let someone know you are interested in clerking. We will do our best to match you with a team that is working on a category that you are interested in. However, even if we can't match you with the category you would prefer, you will find that the categories are really all interesting and what you learn will help you understand the judging process better and that information will help you improve your own exhibit.

      Federation Directors, To Witness and Sanction

      By Elizabeth K. Myers, CFMS Membership Committee, ad hoc

      Imagine a world where everyone has an opportunity to have his or her opinion heard. In this world you can interact directly with the governing body, speak up, be heard and vote. It's the CFMS Business Meeting world. Where representative's from every member club has a voice and a contribution to make. CFMS is you and you are CFMS. I would encourage you to understand the importance of having a voice and a vote on the proceedings done in your name.

      From the Illustrated Oxford Dictionary (I like the pictures):

      Witness: n. a person present at some event and able to give information about it.

      Sanction: n. approval or encouragement given to an action, etc., by custom or tradition; express permission. authorize or agree to (an action, etc.), 2 ratify, make binding.

      CFMS Director Meeting

      As you can see from the above chart an average of 38.10 % of the member clubs witnessed and sanctioned the actions of CFMS. There are at this writing 115 member clubs with a combined membership of over 9, 473 people. It would be beneficial to all if each could send a Federation Director (or alternate) to the business meetings.

      The concept is rather straight forward; Federation Director's share with their club what CFMS is doing or not doing as the case may be. The club members share with their Federation Director what they think CFMS should or should not be doing. The Federation Director takes this information to the Business meeting, making their club's opinion heard. And while there, can participate in discussions on the topics and exchange ideas. From this process CFMS has grown and is providing timely, pertinent information and aides for the benefit of all.

      In the Society Aides Manual titled "What Does the Federation Do For Your Club" you will find information on the AFMS (American Federation of Mineralogical Societies) Membership, the CFMS Newsletter, Earth Science Studies, Slide and Video Programs, Speakers and Program Aides, the Insurance Program, Public Lands Advisory Committee, Museums, Media Publicity, Workshops (Field Trip Workshops, Judges', Exhibitors' and Clerks' Workshops, Editors Workshops, Many Other Workshops), Education Thru Sharing Awards Program, All American Club, Bulletin Aids, Junior Activities, Rules - Competitive Displays, Show Coordinators, Show Consultant, Bylaws, Historian, Long Range Planning, Nominating Committee, AFMS/CFMS Scholarships and Tax Advisor.

      These services don't spring up over night. There's a wealth of history and experience shared here that developed as a result of the participation of Federation Directors representing societies like yours. More services are under development all the time, like the "Demonstrator's Directory" that lists talented people who are willing to teach their area of expertise to others in classes and workshops.

      • Appoint or elect a committed, active Federation Director to represent your club and bring your opinions and good ideas to the Business Meetings.
      • Make sure CFMS has your Federation Directors mailing information to assure they get the information for the spring and fall Business meetings.
      • Support your Federation Director with guidance, encouragement and help to cover the expense of attending the spring and fall business meetings.

      You deserve to be heard - you are what has made CFMS what it is today and what it will be tomorrow. Our future depends on it.

      The fall 2006 California Federation of Mineral Society's Business meeting in Visalia, CA was my first opportunity, and privilege I might add, to represent our rock club as an alternate Federation Director. The weekend after the CFMS business meeting Dick and Betty Pankey attended our club's annual rock and gem show. While conversing with Dick, he spoke fondly of his first federation director experience expressing what a wonderful group of people the directors are. A sentiment I share wholeheartedly, for they are you. And you are there to witness and sanctify the full spectrum of what constitutes CFMS - Our Federation.

      House Toughens Mining Standards
      1872 Mining Law

      By - John Martin, CFMS PLAC South

      John Martin WASHINGTON - It could get tougher to mine for gold and other hard-rock minerals near Joshua Tree National Park if legislation passed by the House on Thursday becomes law.

      The 244-166 vote on the Hard-rock Mining and Reclamation Act was hailed by environmentalists and others who have been pushing for decades to reform the 1872 mining law governing the mining industry.

      Unlike the coal, oil and gas industries, mining companies don't pay royalties on minerals extracted on federal property. Mining also takes precedence over ranching, hunting, fishing and recreation on public lands.

      "It brings us one step closer to repealing one of the most antiquated, anti-environmental laws on the books today," said Jane Danowitz, who heads the Pew Campaign for Responsible Mining.

      Rep. Mary Bono, R-Palm Springs, voted against the bill. She was among 163 Republicans who voted against the legislation, opposed by the mining industry.

      The bill would impose a 4 percent royalty on existing mines and an 8 percent royalty on new mines.

      It also would set new environmental standards on hard-rock mining and create a fund to clean up abandoned mines. Abandoned mines dot the West, including at least 130 hazardous mine areas within the Joshua Tree National Park, according to Paul DePrey, the park's resources chief.

      The sites pose a safety hazard for visitors on public lands who could fall to their deaths if they drop into historic shafts dug up by gold prospectors.

      No deaths have been reported in the park, DePrey said. But officials there have been working to secure the sites to prevent that from happening in the future. They have been able to secure about 20 sites in the past 15 years, he said.

      Environmentalists are also concerned about the skyrocketing number of mining claims near public parks as the price of gold and other minerals increase.

      Gold is now at $800 an ounce.

      Here are the numbers

      There are 525 claims within 10 miles of Joshua Tree National Park, 207 of them staked within the past four years, according to an analysis by the Environmental Working Group.

      "What we've seen is a modern-day land rush," said Dusty Horwitt, a public lands analyst for the organization.

      Bullion River Gold Corp., based in Reno, Nev., holds 71 claims within five miles of Joshua Tree National Park. On its Web site, Bullion River Gold Corp. says it is a mineral exploration company focused on discovering and mining gold and silver in the West.

      Riverside County has gold, iron and gypsum deposits, according to Marc Springer, a geologist for the Bureau of Land Management in California.

      There are six authorized or pending gold mines on public lands in the county, he said. But it doesn't mean they are currently operating.

      Most of the mines in the region are not, he said. There are 26 authorized or pending hard-rock mining operations in the county.

      Water, air issues

      DePrey said mining operations near the park could create issues with water and air quality.

      It could also create unwanted noise for visitors who go to parks to experience peace and solitude, he said.

      "There's always the issue of what kind of visitor experience the park visitors are going to have," he said.

      Luke Popovich, a spokesman for the National Mining Association, said the mining industry has largely left the state because of state laws and local opposition that made the climate hostile to the industry.

      "I don't think it's because there's no minerals there," he said. "It's just not a hospitable environment."

      Reprinted from News bytes, issue 306 - BLM California.

      This legislation could have an effect on some of our hobby activities. Send your comments to your congress representatives and state your concerns over the pending legislation.

      Field Trip Guidelines

      Adapted from El Dorado County M&GS

      Please try to follow these simple suggestions to make our field trips fun and smooth running for you, the participants, and for the field trip leaders. These guidelines apply to all outings:

      1. Be on-time to the designated meeting place and ready to go.
      2. Sign-in on the sign-in sheet so we know that you have joined us.
      3. Sign the appropriate waiver form.
      4. Listen to all instructions given by the field trip leaders.
      5. Field trip leaders typically use walkie-talkies, CB's and cellular phones. If you have one, too, be sure to check with the field trip leaders to see what channel is being used and/or exchange cell phone numbers.
      6. When in convoy, follow the vehicle immediately in front of you and keep an eye on the vehicle immediately behind you, do not pass the vehicle in front of you. If you no longer see the vehicle behind you, stop and wait; there could be a problem and they might not have a walkie-talkie/cellular phone that can reach the leaders. By doing this, the chance of having a large "break" in the convoy can be minimized.
      7. Walkie-talkies CB's and cellular phones should be primarily used for emergency communications or travel assistance, not for unnecessary "chatter."
      8. Once at our collecting site, a sample of what to find and where to find it should be made available by the field trip leader. It is your responsibility to listen to the field trip leader and view the collecting material.
      9. If there is more than one site to visit in the day, all persons must be accounted for prior to departing to the next location.
      10. Remember to keep your field trip leader informed as to all matters of importance.
      11. Rely upon your field trip leader's directions and guidance; they are more familiar with the territory.
      12. If you are going to leave the group to make a "side trip" or to explore a surrounding area, be sure to notify your field trip leader.
      13. If you are leaving the group early, let your field trip leaders know.
      Some etiquette and safety tips:

      1. Do not litter! Pick up all of your cans, bottles and lunch sacks. Always leave the place cleaner than when you arrived.
      2. Please inform your field trip leader if you intend to take dogs or cats with you.
      3. Be sure to bury any toilet tissue.
      4. Try to stay on existing roads when traveling, and park to the side of the road so others can get around your vehicle to pass if necessary.
      5. Always follow the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies' Code of Ethics.
      Equipment Checklist - What to take on your next field trip.


      • Hat/Head covering with large brim
      • Boots/Sturdy footwear
      • Insect repellant/tick spray
      • Sunscreen
      • Food, Water, Drinks
      • Toilet Paper
      • Towel
      • Change of clothing (long-sleeve shirt & long pants)
      • First-aid/snake bite kit
      • Handiwipes

      • Extra Gas
      • Spare tire and jack
      • Shovel, axe
      • Tool Box
      • Maps, GPS, Compass
      • Extra water
      • Rope and tow strap
      • Tire repair kit
      Knife FOR COLLECTING: (Some items are optional, depending on the rock being collected).

      • Protective eye wear/goggles
      • Gloves
      • Kneepads
      • 5-gallon buckets, tote bags, backpacks (for carrying rocks)
      • Small plastic containers for delicate specimens (film containers work great!)
      • Old paint brush, toothbrush for cleaning specimens
      • Magnifying glass and/or loupe
      • Spray - type water bottle
      • Paper towels, newspaper and plastic bags
      • Magnet; MOHS test kit; hydrochloric acid
      • Ultraviolet light
      • Knife
      • Small or collapsible shovel
      • Rock pick(s), garden claws, and long screwdrivers
      • Small & large sledge hammers
      • Pry bars and gads
      • Various chisel sizes

      • Metal Detector, gold pan
      • Binoculars
      • Mirror
      • Walkie-talkies
      • Tent/shelter

      Show Dates

      By Susan Chaisson-Walblom

      Lew Helfrich

      Hi, my name is Susan and this year I will be your CFMS Show Dates Chairman. My Family & I are members of the Palmdale Gem & Mineral Club, where I currently hold the position of president. My husband, David has a Lapidary Tools & Supplies business. I help him with that when I can. When we are not going to shows, we are very busy watching our Grandkids.

      Hopefully, I will get the chance to talk with many of you as we work together to advertise your Club Shows.

      This is a very important part of preparing to host a Gem & Mineral Show.
      Advertising is a big key!
      Did you know that the Dealers check to see if the shows they will be selling at are listed on the CFMS Web site?
      So please take advantage of the free advertising that CFMS offers your Club and get your Show information in to me as soon as you can.

      The show dates Form and E-Form are located in the forms section of the CFMS web site. MAIL COMPLETED FORM TO:

      Susan Chaisson-Walblom
      42122 - 52nd St. West
      Quartz Hill, CA 93536
      (661) 943-1861