From Your Editor
CFMS Insurance Report
All American Report
Member Recognition Report
Field Trips-North Report
Field Trips-south Report
Golden Bear Award Request
Internet Committee Report
2009 AFMS Webmaster Contest
Junior Activities Report
Long Range Planning Report|
Public Lands Advisory-North
Omnibus Lands Bill Update
Notes from John
Rules Committee Updates
Slide & video Library
Tax Advisor Report
Demonstrator directory report
Hi everyone, this is my first (inaugural?) Newsletter as President! Woohoo! I hope my picture is going to be updated; the last one was terrible. (Editor's note: You got it!) Terry McMillin took good ones of Bud, Susan and me camping. Maybe we could use those? I'm looking forward to a great year for CFMS. We have great officers, and I want to give a big thank you to everyone who remained as Directors and big thanks to all new ones, too!
So far, I don’t have a lot to write about. But the year is young and I know I’ll find something interesting! I'd like to remind everyone about the show in April. We're putting our heads together to come up with a great Cracker Barrel! My peeps are working on it, and I hope you can all attend. I don’t think that it will outdo Bural’s, but we might as well try!
Don’t forget to attend field trips. Shep and Dean are great leaders with big plans for 2009! And I encourage everyone to write an article and keep records for the All American Award! I know each club has someone who just LOVES to scrapbook! Tap that person! You all have historians, and this would be a great way for your historian to put together your club’s history every year. C’mon, put a smile on Dot’s face; let’s have the most entries this year!
Let’s also not forget Paradise. Since it’s moved to Spring, it might be filling up a slower, so go to your clubs and let them know about it. It’s the most fun you can have as a rockhound! Well…never mind. Just go and see for yourself!
I think that’s all I have to say right now; my hands are frozen and the guy is here to fix the heater! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and a very Merry Yuletide!
My thanks to all who contributed articles to the January newsletter! The last time I edited a newsletter was way back in the last century, when I edited the Outdoors Club newsletter in college on a mimeograph machine. With your good and timely submissions, you made my job easy and a delight! I encourage everyone, even those who aren't officers or chairpersons, to consider submitting articles of interest throughout 2009.
Past President Dick Pankey sends our insurance question this month: Let us say that I wake up one Saturday morning and it is a beautiful day so I call another rockhounding friend and we decide to go on a little field trip by ourselves. Does our CFMS liability policy cover us on that field trip if we leave a gate open and a cow gets out and gets killed?
No. Only the normal activities of the insured organization are covered activities. These would be activities specifically sponsored, managed and controlled by the organization.
We at McDaniel Insurance Services hope that all of you in CFMS have been enjoying a wonderful holiday season and have a great new year.
Best Wishes! - Patt, Heidi, & Frederick
Last month, I reported on the American Federation judging results for the California Federation entries. Now, we have a report on all the American Federation entries for this year. Nationally there were nine club entries with five Federations represented.
Congratulations to all clubs!
As a result of the vote at the Fall CFMS Directors Meeting in Visalia,
our Bylaws have been revised to reflect a dues increase effective in 2009.
Within this issue of the CFMS Newsletter (page 12), you will find an updated
page 4 of the Bylaws showing revised Article IV - Dues - Section 1, as revised 11/08.
Please replace page 4 in your club's copy of the Bylaws with this updated page.
I would like to praise all of the clubs who sent in a member recognition nomination for 2008. I am sure your members were flattered and honored. I hope you all tell the people you know from other clubs how easy it was and how much it was appreciated. Thank you and keep up your annual award tradition. If you have not made this a tradition in your club, 2009 is a good year to start. It's easy! You choose an individual or couple and write up their accomplishments and contributions to your club in 50-100 words and send it to Loretta Ogden, email@example.com, subject: Member Recognition.
As late-breaking news, I'm very happy to report the following submittal from Michael Kokinos, President of the El Dorado club!
El Dorado County Mineral & Gem Society is proud to nominate Merryan O’Neill as our Society’s Rockhound of the Year through the CFMS Education Through Sharing program. Merryan has been a member for many years and consistently contributes to the successes of our society.
Merryan’s many contributions to our Society continue to play an important role in increasing membership, which today stands at over 280.
In the August 2008 Rock & Gem magazine there was an excellent article on claims and the Mining Law of 1872. This is MUST reading for anyone who rockhounds on public land and “required” reading for anyone planning to attend the Claims Seminar. The article was written by Steve Voynick and titled “Mineral, Mining and Public Lands.” You can find this article starting on page 64 of the August 2008 issue of Rock & Gem. This outstanding article covers the history, purpose, updates/changes over the years, and current status of the Mining Law. Get it and read it; great information. You will be better prepared for the seminar.
This seminar will be hosted by the Contra Costa M&GS on Saturday, March 21, 2009 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg, CA. An announcement flier with details and directions is available on the CFMS Web Site - www.cfmsinc.org. This seminar is for field trip leaders, and all rockhounds that enjoy collecting and using our public lands; all CFMS society members and guests are welcome.
Wow! Can we talk weather? Even so, 60+ people came to the annual Thanksgiving Wiley Wells Field Trip…not counting kids and dogs! We came in all sorts of vehicles and camped in RVs and tents in mud and rain. Those arriving Tuesday were met with all-day rain. Those arriving Wednesday were greeted with a "roads flooded" sign where Wiley's Well Rd became graded dirt for 12 miles to the campsite. And flooded they were! Water-covered mud holes led to the camp, but when arriving, we were greeted by a warm campfire and hardy souls with friendly faces.
By Thanksgiving, 15 vehicles with 45 people were itching to hit the road to Pebble Terrace. After a brief lecture by Adam Dean and signing waivers, we left to seek agate, jasper, fossils, chalcedony, and petrified wood. Much was found but then the weather changed again as a large storm cell came over the mountains, aiming for the campground and producing bright lightning and loud thunder. We regrouped and headed back in case of flash flood in the ravines we had to cross but not before stopping near Opal Hill Mine to search for fire agate.
Arriving at the camp and our waiting feast, we found they'd been pounded by the storm, turning our camp in to streams and ponds. Our worst fear struck home. While our camps were dampened, our spirits remained high and dry. After getting a warm fire going, we feasted on a potluck dinner. Thanks to ALL who contributed and those who stayed behind to cook.
The next day brought even more Rockhounds, but we found Adam and Teresa ran into transportation problems while running home for personal business and would be unable to return. They were sorely missed. After drafting Matt from the Palomar club and Jon Lovegren from the Orange Belt club to assist, we revised our plans due to road conditions, made sure everyone was in a 4WD and headed for the psilomelane mine nearby. The flash floods the day before uncovered countless new veins of material, and we scattered to hammer out and collect massive botryoidal and druzy psilomelane. Then we headed for Hidden Saddle to collect black agate from veins and geodes.
Saturday brought even more Rockhounds as we hit geode areas: Cinnamon Beds, Potato Beds and Hauser Beds. Thankfully, each day now brought sun and warmer weather, drying the roads. Each night at the campfire we were privy to meteors streaking across a magnificently starry sky. We sat well into the dark swapping stories and tales. Again, Matt and Jon did a great job of assisting and guiding.
The week and the campout came to an end much too quickly and by Sunday morning (after being treated to a violin solo by a camper at sunrise) most of us headed for home and warm showers. Others waited until Monday to leave. All-in-all, a good time, good food and good company was had by all. Coyotes serenading at night and violins in the morning. It was an adventure. Happy Hunting from Shep Koss!
From John Pickett: Thanks to all the wonderful cooks on our trip, Thanksgiving dinner was incredible. Never thought it would be possible in the middle of nowhere with limited resources. Even dessert was home made! The ham and turkey were incredible. I usually don't do salad, but even that was special! Emma led festivities with grace. There's still a lot to be thankful for through these hard economic times. Pebble Terrace was an endless treasure chest. Thank you to leaders Adam, Teresa and Shep! The rain was just bad enough to make it interesting and more fun. An up note: rocks weren't cemented into the ground as usual! Got a chance to meet Shep, as he had to put up with me on the drive to Pebble Terrace. What a cool guy! He shared some of his treasure hunting stories with me! If you're curious, you should ask him about his special find. (I won't ruin the surprise so you'll have to ask him.) Take care all!
From Timothy Harned: A big thank you to Shep and Adam for leading our trips. Thank you to the good cooks. The food and fellowship were great. The rain will leave a memory for us all. We had everything including food, fun, rocks and...a violin player!
From Adam Dean: Well, I think Shep summed it up: a successful trip, lots of good food, rocks and friendship. The trip in was a lot of fun, skipping though puddles, the morning air was clean, and a nice breeze scented with creosote greeted us along with an awesome sunrise. We ended the day with our bellies full of food, our sacks full of rocks and plenty of good stories around the campfire. I'm already excited about 2009; hope to see you all there! Please see the CFMS Web site for photos I'll be posting!
As noted last month, the CFMS Golden Bear Award is presented each year at the Convention Meeting to a CFMS Member who has contributed outstanding services to our organization. This is a very special award that is meant to honor a person who makes us proud of what he or she has done for the CFMS.
This award is meant to be a surprise to the recipient; so please don't let a nominee know his or her name has been suggested. I wish everyone would take a few minutes to think of someone who deserves to be recognized for special things that they do for the CFMS and take a few minutes to send me a nomination for this award with a list of their qualifications. Mail your suggestions to: Isabella Burns, 1038 Bradshawe Ave., Monterey Park, CA 91754 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s always something new going on at cfmsinc.org, the CFMS online information site! Log on to check out these new features and changes:
We are working at feverish pace to get a new contest up-and-running to honor outstanding webmasters of local clubs and societies. AFMS Officers/Directors voted to create a Webmasters Contest on a 3-year trial basis. Ike House (new SCFMS president) started a Webmaster Contest within his region while he was SCFMS Bulletin Aids Chair. Marty Hart, AFMS Webmaster, took the SCFMS Webmaster Contest judging sheet as a start, and he did an outstanding job of developing the documents (entry form, judging score sheets, score sheet guidelines) now available for download on the AFMS web site./p>
The Webmasters Contest Committee Members (one for each regional federation) are in place, and they are the ones running the Webmasters Contest for their federation. The Committee Members receive entries, they forward the entries to judges for that region, they receive from the judges the completed score sheets, and they rank results and award the 1st-place plaque and certificates (places 1 through 10 and honorable mention) at the Bulletin Editors’ Breakfast at their regional federation’s annual show. The 1st-place entry is forwarded to the AFMS level for judging. Currently, Committee Members are notifying webmasters in their region with details of the contest, due dates, and the schedule for their regional contest.
Webmasters Contest Committee members are: Merryan O'Neill (CFMS, email@example.com), Dan Imjel (EFMS, firstname.lastname@example.org), Cindy Root (MWFMGS, email@example.com), Cheri George (NFMS, firstname.lastname@example.org), Jim McGarvey (RMFMS, email@example.com), Don Shurtz (SCFMS, firstname.lastname@example.org), Jim Flora (SFMS, email@example.com).
Contact the Committee Member for your region for information about the contest and deadlines. (Editor's note: For CFMS, that's Merryan O'Neill, firstname.lastname@example.org) This information varies by region according to when their annual show is scheduled. Webmasters wishing to enter their web sites into the contest should download from the AFMS web site (or from their regional federation’s web site) the contest Guidelines, the Entry Form, and the Score Sheet form. These are in PDF format and can be opened with Adobe Acrobat Reader®. Contest information is on the AFMS web site at http://www.amfed.org/web/webmasters_contest.htm.
To enter the contest, a webmaster needs to fill out the Entry Form and fill out the information requested in the top part of the Score sheet. These forms can be filled in on your computer and saved to your hard drive. Note: You need Acrobat Reader version 8 or later to be able to save the forms to your hard drive once you fill them in. Send the two completed forms as e mail attachments to your regional Committee Member before the due date in your region.
My plan is to have two judges for each regional competition and for the AFMS level (their scores for each contestant would be averaged) for a total of 16 judges. This is a very ambitious goal, but it would ensure that no judge has an overload and that they don’t judge entries in their own region. So far, I have five judges. I know there are lots of webmasters out there who would make outstanding, thoughtful, and responsible judges. If you are a current (or former) webmaster or are very web site-savvy, please help make the contest a success by volunteering a little of your time to act as a judge. Read the Guidelines to see what the judges will be looking for, and contact me at email@example.com to be part of our team.
David Rich of Summit Lapidary Club in Ohio, in association with AFMS Future Rockhounds of America, is sponsoring his Second Annual Youth Poster Contest and is looking for a good turnout from kids all across America. Here are details for entering kids in your club or community…
“Gemstones of the World” - a poster illustrating one or more gemstones or minerals that interest you, from anywhere in the world.
Any kids grades 1-8. Each grade will have a winner. Ribbons awarded for 1st through 4th place. 1st place winner will also receive a prize./p
Scale of Points
Originality and Artwork—30 points; Design—25 points; Title—25 points; Listing of gems and/or minerals and reason—20 points.
Entries must be postmarked by April 1, 2009; send to David Rich, 1166 Broadview Road, Tallmadge, Ohio 44278.
Winners to be displayed and awards given at Summit Lapidary Club's Spring Gemboree on April 25, 2009. If you have questions, contact Contest Chairman David Rich: (330) 630-9625, DRICH@lapidaryclubofohio.org.
A project I have undertaken is to improve the perception and understanding of the Federation by our member societies. In the January 2008 Newsletter I asked for feedback from our member societies. I wanted to find out what you, the clubs, the people of the Federation, know about and how you perceive the CFMS. And what kind of response did I get? Less than 10 clubs responded. Some were very detailed, lengthy replies. Some were short and concise. All were good information. What do the other 110 societies think about the Federation? What do they know about the Federation?
So again in the December 2008 CFMS Newsletter I have asked for feedback from the societies in the form of a questionnaire. Hopefully this will get better participation from the societies. The questionnaire was directed to the Federation director but could be responded to by the society president. If you haven’t seen or don’t remember the questionnaire, please go back to your December issue and take a few minutes to complete it. Just pull it out of the newsletter, complete and mail it back to me.
This project has two main objectives:
Knowing how the societies currently perceive the Federation is valuable information for achieving these objectives.
After three times applying for a position on the BLM Resource Advisory Committee, I've received a notice of acceptance to the Northeast CA RAC. Hopefully, input into this committee will have a positive effect on our rockhound collecting and enjoyment of public lands.
Concurrently I am also a member of the Blackrock/Highrock Wilderness & Conservation Area for the BLM RAC Subgroup. For four years the Subgroup worked with the BLM on a management plan that was agreeable to everyone. There are still issues to be addressed, one of which is to have the Blackrock Desert geodes area named as a rockhound recreation area. This would require the stewardship of the local gem and mineral club and the CFMS. I do not know whether this will happen or not, but I will keep working on it.
Membership on the CFMS PLAC Committee has declined from 18-20 people in the 1980s and 1990s to five members now. All rockhounds need to notify and inform PLAC committee members of upcoming meetings and hearings involving our collecting rights. Also please keep in touch with PLAC members about new issues and concerns that need CFMS input regarding public lands. Norvie Enns, Reno Gem & Mineral Society, 775-786-9887, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you are aware of the Omnibus Lands Bill that was introduced last fall. The intent was to push this legislation through the Senate before the last session concluded with the end of 2008. An update: the bill was withdrawn. Reasons included a threatened filibuster by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn and a perceived lack of 60 votes to invoke cloture. And of course, the Senate did have important economic issues to deal with, so a filibuster would truly have bottled things up. Note, however, the bill will probably be reintroduced in January when the new Congress begins.
Proposed 29 Palms Acquisitions Project
Toward the end of last year, the US Marine Corps (USMC) announced they would hold three Open House Scoping Meetings in early December 2008 (Dec. 3 in Twentynine Palms, Dec. 4 in Victorville, Dec. 5 in Ontario). The meetings were part of the Navy's Proposed Action to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed acquisition of 366,000 acres of public land, including 189,000 acres of Johnson Valley OHV Area, from the Bureau of Land Management. As most of you already know, the transfer of these public lands would have huge impact on the OHV community and recreating public. While it's now too late to attend one of these Scoping Meetings to let the USMC know where you stand, you can still send comments, pro or con. Comments must be received by Jan. 3l, 2009, for consideration in the Draft EIS. For more information, visit http://www.29palms.usmc.mil/las.
A Warning about Artifacts
Just a note to remind any rockhounds with an interest in arrowheads, scrapers and the like: these can get you into a lot of trouble if they are collected on Public Lands. That's BLM and USFS managed land and maybe others. Did you know that old rusty cans, rusty barbed wire, pieces of purple glass and even nails, especially the square ones, are also considered archeological artifacts? Collect them, and you can be arrested, your vehicle impounded, and you may face fines and jail time. So when you are out collecting rocks, just remember that even junk is now considered archeological artifacts, and be careful about what you pick up, as illustrated by the case below.
"Folsom pair pleads not guilty in artifact-theft case" (Sacramento Bee, 11/13/08) "A Folsom father and son pleaded not guilty Thursday to allegedly removing archeological artifacts from public lands." The pair "allegedly unlawfully collected archaeological items that were at least 100 years old and had archaeological interest including Native American projectile points, stone tools, bifaces and flaked or ground stone from Nevada ... The two men face a potential prison sentence of 10 years and a fine of up to $850,000..." Above reprinted from News.bytes, issue 358 - BLM California
Mojave Max Emergence Contest for Kids
Pennsylvania has the country's official Ground Hog to mark the emergence of spring. Now, California has "Mojave Max," a desert tortoise residing at The Living Desert in Palm Desert. A contest is underway for any students in grades 1-12 to guess when Mojave Max will emerge from his burrow, where he's currently snoozing the winter away. Students (one from each participating county) who submit the closest guess will be declared winners. Eligibility is restricted to students enrolled in public, private and registered home schools in Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, and San Diego Counties. If kids in your club may be interested, they must enter online at www.mojavemax.com/ (Above based on a Desert Manager's Group news release.)
Following are new and modified AFMS Uniform Rules that were passed by mail ballot and will be in force January 1, 2009. Because the CFMS Show is so early this year, we want to make sure everyone is fully aware of these changes, so we urge local officers and directors to notify members of your club or society as soon as possible. CFMS club members can download the new information at www.amfed.org then look for “AFMS Rules. ”
Certification Award Committee shall consist of Judges Training Chair, Committee members to be Judges Training Instructors of approved courses. A list of persons having received certification cards is to be maintained by the Judges Training Chair. Upon approval of the Uniform Rules Committee and the AFMS Board of Directors, those judges who have already qualified to receive their certification will receive AFMS Certified Judge Cards.
Bring in the new year by nominating someone as a Scholarship Honoree this year. It will be a meaningful experience for your club, and that special person who has made exceptional contributions towards furthering the purposes and goals of CFMS. The person need not be a member of a rock club. It could be that quiet geologist you’ve known for years in your community that makes an extra effort to bring what he learns in the field back home to his community working with kids and giving talks on his free time. The Honorees are announced at the November business meeting and have the unique opportunity to offer a $2,000 scholarship to the college or university of their choice. This scholarship will go to a student who will be attending that school as a junior or senior in the Fall term, majoring in the Earth Sciences or Jewelry Arts, and achieving a 3.0 grade point average. The student will know in sufficient time to prepare for the Fall semester knowing she/he is the recipient of our grant. The student is invited to attend the Awards Banquet during the CFMS Show. Clubs, now is the time to start working your rock magic to find and let me know who those exceptional people are! Enjoy the journey. Send your nominees to: Jennifer Haley, Chair, CFMS Scholarship Committee, 5442 Washington St., Napa, CA 94558.
Welcome to a new column for the CFMS Newsletter by your Show Dates Chair! Each month will have new ideas to enhance your local club’s show. Attendance is one of the most important things to work on. Displays, demonstrations, seminars and good vendors are a few things that will attract your club’s membership, as well as other people, to a show. But, without the proper publicity, they will not come! There are many free places to advertise our club shows, starting with the CFMS Newsletter and Website. We should all also take advantage of the Rock & Gem Magazine's Show Calendar section. There is a link to this on the CFMS Website. Go to LINKS, scroll down to Rock & Gem Magazine Show Calendar and fill out the electronic submission form. The Show information should be submitted as soon as a Show date has been established for the following year. If you have an idea for bettering a Club Show you would like to share, please let me know!
Authors/producers of non-commercial slide, video or digital presentations are invited to participate in the 2009 Program Competition. Entrants must be members of a CFMS or AFMS affiliate society. Winners receive a cash prize and national recognition. Deadline for all submissions is April 15, 2009. Details, entry form and tips to improve presentations are available on the AFMS web site (www.amfed.org) or contact Marge Collins, Program Competition Coordinator, c/o email@example.com (QTM.net) or 3017 Niles Buchanan Road, Buchanan, MI 49107.
Societies that are required to file Form 990 or 990EZ should be aware of material changes to the Forms. Most of our societies have gross receipts less than $25,000 so are only required to file Form 990N. There are no material changes to this Form.
The new forms 990 apply to societies with a 2008 calendar year and organizations with fiscal years beginning in 2008. For example, a fiscal year society with year ending May 31 will file the revised Form for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2009.
I recommend Societies required to file the revised forms access the IRS web site at www.irs.gov, then access the exempt organization section to locate the revised forms and the revised instructions for filing.
Are you looking for new and interesting demonstrators? So am I. I'm in the process of compiling a list of people who are interested in demonstrating at shows and society meetings. If you know of anyone who would like to be included on the list, please send me subject and contact information. The list will be made available at the April CFMS Federation meeting. Please send your leads to: Terry McMillin, firstname.lastname@example.org, (209) 524-3494.
The names of persons considered eligible to Honorary Membership may be proposed by
a Member Society only. A copy of the nomination, including the reason for the
proposal and describing the qualifications of the nominee, shall be sent by the Member
Society making the nomination to each of the other Member Societies and to each of
the Federation Officers to reach them at least sixty-five (65) days prior to the
convention meeting. The affirmative vote of the majority of the Board of Directors
shall be sufficient to elect any Honorary Member.
It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Federation to inform the Honoree of his or
her election. Membership, if accepted, shall be for life and at the pleasure of the
member so elected.
The President shall grant suitable courtesy cards of other credentials to Honorary
Members, and the Secretary shall keep a list of such Honorary Members for future
(d) Eligibility for Office
Honorary Members not affiliated with any Member Society of the Federation, shall be
ineligible for any Federation office.