Vol. XXXVII, No. 5 --- May 2000

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents

President's Message ........................................................ Pat LaRue
Field Trips South .............................................................. Steve Ivie
Gold & Gem Show ........................................................... Pat LaRue
Wiley Well District Field Trip - Part 2 ................................. Richard Pankey
Junior Activities Report ..................................................... Jim BraceThompson
Proposition 17 - Raffles ..................................................... Mike Kokinos
CFMS Historian's Files ..................................................... Shirley Leeson
Dear Bulletin Editors ........................................................ Dee Clason
From the Ledger .............................................................. Teresa Masters
Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound ............................ Cathy Gaber
CFMS Earth Science Studies at Camp Paradise ................ The Committee
Wyoming Show ............................................................... Ron Laher
Faceter's Symposium ...................................................... Glenn Klein
The Rockhound's Soliloquy ............................................... Unknown
P.L.A.C. Report ............................................................... Jim Strain
CFMS Jury of Awards for AFMS Scholarship Foundation .... Jo Anna Ritchey
Streaking Minerals - Streak Testing! .................................. Dr. Bill Cordua
Are You a diabetic? ......................................................... Chuck McKie
What Are You Doing This Summer .................................... Marge Collins

For a copy of the CFMS Endownment form (Click Here).


By Pat LaRue, CFMS President
CFMS President

    One of the challenges facing some, if not most, of our organizations is how to attract potential new members. If your club is one of those few which has sufficient cash to pay for commercial advertising, you could put a regular ad in one of the magazines catering to those who pursue our interests. You can put free announcements in the weekly calendar section of the local paper. Those clubs which sponsor an annual show or set up an information booth at a local craft show or community event also attract interested persons. These are all proven methods of getting strangers to attend one of your meetings.

    Now that you have a perfect stranger actually interested in attending a meeting, how does your club react when that person shows up at the door. It really doesn't matter whether our stranger is a newcomer to our interests or an old pro looking for a new club to join. The first impression is critical in getting that stranger to come back. Let's compare two imaginary clubs: club A and club B.

    Put yourselves in the shoes of that stranger when he/she enters the building where club A holds its meeting. The hospitality table is located right by the door and our visitor is warmly greeted by this super friendly person, given a paper name badge and invited to sign in on the roster. Perhaps another person is standing by to show this visitor to a seat and introduce him/her to the persons seated nearby. The host introduces each visitor by name when the meeting is called to order. The goal of this club is to make every visitor feel welcome and less of an outsider.

    The meeting begins promptly at the scheduled time. The presiding officer follows a written agenda and is careful to keep meeting items moving along at a comfortable pace. Items which are more appropriately handled at the board meeting are deliberately avoided lest the meeting become hopelessly bogged down. The agenda is refreshingly non-political and kept short. The educational program for the evening is related to the club's interests. Even the time for refreshments and the brief social hour is designed to let the visitor feel special because all visitors are served first.

    At the same time another stranger enters the building where club B holds its meeting. There is a hospitality table but it is located several feet from the door and the person sitting there is so busy talking to others that our visitor slips into the room completely unnoticed and finds a chair in the back of the room. When the guests are asked to introduce themselves during the meeting, our visitor doesn't bother. The persons seated near the stranger don't even seem to notice his/her presence because they are too busy talking to their friends.

    The meeting is finally called to order several minutes late. The presiding officer left the agenda at home or never had one in the first place, and there is no apparent structure to the meeting. It becomes hopelessly bogged down in trivia and the members argue endlessly about matters which should have been deliberated and resolved at the board meeting. The ones not participating in the argument are having their own meeting. By the time the "meeting" is brought under control and concluded, everyone is probably glad there was no program scheduled. Refreshment time gives everyone an opportunity to continue their socializing without being interrupted by a meeting. Perhaps our poor stranger shyly wanders up to the refreshment area to see if anything is left and then leaves, still unnoticed by anyone.

    My, what a contrast between two clubs. Club A is perhaps a little idealistic, but clubs can come close if they work at it. Let's hope that club B does NOT exist. Clubs must answer the hard question. Is my club closer to being an A or a B? Put yourself in the shoes of that stranger and ask yourself the question - based on my first impression, which club would I want to join? It doesn't matter how you get the stranger to the meeting. What matters most is whether that stranger wants to come back.


By Steve Ivie,
Field Trip South Chairman

    This is the last column to come out before the May 13th Stone Canyon. Trip. I hope many of you can make it and we will all pray for no rain or earthquakes. I will be checking in with the Ranch Foreman Kevin in the week prior to the trip to make sure all is a go. If there are any changes in the last week I will post any changes to the CFMS website field trip page during that time including if it's a go.

    Also, One final reminder to bring cash to pay for your material on this trip. Also bring your safety equipment such as glasses, gloves and any other protective equipment you normally use, remember this jasper is extremely sharp. After washing the material from the Sandy Wash from the cancelled trip I found I had several cuts during the washing of the material.

     I have had a couple of inquiries regarding local lodging and have included two motels that I looked up in Paso Robles. I haven't checked with them, so if you plan on staying at one of them, it would be wise to call ahead. The other item is food; the diner in town may or may not be open so it might be smart to pack some snacks or a lunch with drinks.

    I am also planning another trip for late September or early October to the North Cady Mountains for Sagenite Agate, Moss Agate, geodes, and great calcite specimens and Fluorite among other items. This area boasts plentiful material and really does come in a rainbow of colors like Mary Francis Strong said in her book. This is a special place, especially since it was closed by the BLM until about two years ago when, after much work by people like Bill and Isabella Burns it was reopened to allow access to the collecting area. This also means that we need to take extra care to not abuse the rules governing the use of this area. That means to stay on marked "open routes" and obviously stay off closed routes and do not drive on non established roads. If you haven't been to this location it will be a treat for you to find what is here. There may be a surprise side trip involved but it is still being looked into.

    I look forward to seeing many of you in Parkfield or maybe at the Bakersfield show on May 6th and 7th.

Best Western Black Oak Motor Lodge
1135 24th St
Paso Robles, California 93446-1309
(805) 238-4740
Fax: (805) 238-0726

Travelodge - Paso Robles
2701 Spring St
Paso Robles, California 93446-1253
(805) 238-0078

Riverside, CA
August 4,5,6 - 2000

By Pat LaRue
Exhibit/Registration Chair

    Registration forms are beginning to dribble in slowly. Just a reminder...due to limited seating, the banquet will only accommodate 120 people so don't wait until the last minute. Our creative hospitality committee has some really unique table decorations planned and you wouldn't want to miss the chance to win one of them. Hint - they feature donkeys and gold pans.

    Guest exhibitors are mailing their space reservations to me and from the early returns, it appears that this show will not fall short in the area of exhibit quality. We will feature some very special displays that no one will warn to miss. Art Riggle will display that magnificent pyramid of spheres. Rosamond Riggle will present her display of exquisitely crafted trivets. This is a display of lapidary craftsmanship that no one ever gets tired of viewing. Do you recall that huge chunk of Horse Canyon Agate from 1996? The Lake Elsinore Gem & Mineral Club has promised to show it in honor of the late Bob Berg. This may be the last time this enormous prize is shown in public. The El Cajon Valley Gem & Mineral Society will display their wonderful dinner of rocks complete with fine china and tableware. This has been a crowd favorite at shows for many years. The Rules Committee is hoping to have a good turnout of competitive displays. If interested in competition be sure to contact Rules Chair, Norvie Enns, to find out how you get involved.

    Remember that incredible metal detecting hunt in 1996? We plan to have another one which will be just as exciting. An entry form is printed in this newsletter. This year's hunt is planned for Sunday morning at 9 a.m. Let us know if you need to borrow a metal detector. We will attempt to have some loaners on hand. The metal detecting hobbyists will be pleased to know that two metal detector dealers will be on hand to meet your needs. See you in Riverside!


By Richard Pankey, Field Trips - North

    We collected a lot more than geodes at Wiley Wells this year. We really cleaned up. The desert that is. One of the agreements in the Memorandum of Understanding that establishes the Rockhound Educational and Recreational Area for the geode beds in the Wiley Well District is: "Periodic cleanups will be coordinated between BLM and CFMS to remove trash from the sites. BLM agrees to designate a site for the deposit of the trash collected for proper disposal as needed. CFMS agrees to notify BLM of cleanups as scheduled."

    So to kick-off this arrangement between BLM and CFMS, we dedicated our week of collecting to trash, as well as, geodes. Just before we left on our first trip to the Hauser Beds, Jim Strain passed out big garbage bags to everyone. To encourage participation in the trash collecting, Jim donated 30 faceted amethysts and amethyst cabs to be raffled off each evening. Everyone who brought in trash was given tickets for each day's raffle. The more trash you brought in the more tickets you would receive. Ten amethysts were raffled off on Monday and Tuesday evening and 5 on Wednesday and Thursday evening right after our pot luck dinner. Each afternoon when we returned from that day's collecting trip people would bring their bags of trash over to in front of my trailer. Teresa Masters helped each day with check in and passed out the tickets.

    Each day we collected many bags of trash and many items too big for a bag. The most common items were rusty old tin cans, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and broken glass. The lager pieces included car bumpers and muffler/tail pipes, sheet metal roofing and an old bed springs. A few 50-caliber machine gun shells were found which were probably from the WW II days when this area was used for tank training exercises. Each day the pile of plastic garbage bags and miscellaneous trash grew bigger and bigger. By the end of the week the pile was about half as big as my trailer. While we were out on Friday's collecting trip the BLM people came to camp and hauled off our "great collection". Unfortunately they hauled it off before I got to take any pictures of it. If anyone took pictures of the trash pile, I would appreciate it if you would send copies for Jim Strain and me.

    The purpose of our trash cleanup at Wiley Wells was more than just to pick up some trash and get tickets for a raffle. The purpose was to make us think about the impact we have on our collecting areas and to help us develop some new "collecting habits". The BLM is not a cleanup service that carries off our trash and garbage after our collecting and camping trips. When using any public lands practice "Pack it in/Pack it out". Our first objective when on a collecting trip is do not litter. That is, do not leave any thing behind, i.e. drink cans and plastic bottles, plastic bags, food waste and garbage. Don't be part of the problem. And our second objective is to leave an area cleaner than we found it. Be part of the solution. Nothing spoils the beauty of an area more than discarded aluminum and plastic beverage containers. And they last forever. For many years now I have made it my practice to pick up all aluminum cans and plastic bottles I find out in the field and around the parking area. I stomp them flat so that I can still carry lots of rocks.

    Let us remember and practice these two parts of the AFMS Code of Ethics:

  • I will support the Rockhound Project H.E.L.P. (Help Eliminate Litter Please) and will leave all collecting areas devoid of litter, regardless of how found.
  • I will observe the "Golden Rule", will use Good Outdoor Manners and will at all times conduct myself in a manner which will add to the stature and public image of rockhounds everywhere.

Preparing Your Juniors for the Big Show

By Jim Brace-Thompson,
Juniors Chairman

    It may seem early, but sooner than you realize, the CFMS 61st Annual Show & Convention will be upon us. Now is the time to start organizing your juniors for the big event. Exhibit forms were included in the information packets given to Federation directors last fall; in addition, copies of the forms may be downloaded from the CFMS web site. (More on web sites in next month's column!) Be sure your juniors mail their forms to Registration/Exhibit Chair Pat LaRue at the earliest opportunity. Last month, I tried to give you a handy checklist for your club's Junior Activities Chair, but only a small part of that checklist seems to have made it into the Newsletter. Well, try, try again, I always say!

  • Have you talked with your juniors about the variety of exhibit options? Explain competitive versus noncompetitive exhibiting, educational displays, mineral and fossil collections, lapidary, etc. For young, first time exhibitors who may not have an extensive collection or who are still learning the basics of the lapidary arts, an educational exhibit is often a great way to begin.

  • Have you shared a sample score sheet for juniors interested in a competitive exhibit and discussed how judges evaluate the quality of an exhibit? This includes the quality of specimens, how well they're arranged, quality of labeling and documentation, use of subdued and non-obtrusive liners, and - very importantly - how well the rules for a particular class have been followed. Have you shown your juniors a copy of the official exhibitor's rules and regulations?

  • Have you provided a hands-on lesson at one of your club meetings by showing an award-winning display set-up as a concrete example that kids can see and discuss? If someone in your club has slides or photos of displays from past Federation shows, this makes for a great talk or program.

  • Have you provided juniors with the entry forms available from your club's Federation director or the CFMS web site and volunteered to help your juniors fill them out and send them in?

    Most importantly, have you assured juniors of your support and conveyed a sense of enthusiasm? Local and state gem shows provide a sense of community among a group of folks sharing a common interest, and exhibiting is a great way of spreading that interest to the community at large. As they say, "Think globally; act locally." Start with your own juniors, build a sense of excitement, and - as always - have fun! (This is the complete article. Only part of it was in the April 2000 CFMS Newsletter editor.)


By Mike Kokinos,
Tax Advisor

    California voters approved Proposition 17. It authorized raffles by eligible nonprofit organizations. The proposition left it to the Legislature to define eligibility. It also requires 90% of gross receipts to go directly to benefit charitable purposes.

    Senator Bruce Mcpherson is sponsoring SB 639 which will clarify the proposition. Contact has been made with him asking that the gross receipts test consider that a purchased grand prize should be subtracted from gross or that the 90 percent test be reduced to 75 or 80 percent. We also hope to provide information that will assure that the CFMS member societies will be eligible organizations.

    Two dissolved societies received assistance in processing the necessary paper work with governmental agencies. Another society received assistance in obtaining a different tax exemption. We obtained a change from mutual benefit to public benefit status for one society.

    I was pleasantly surprised and grateful that one of the Societies I assisted made me an honorary member. As your tax advisor, I am available to help you.


By Shirley Leeson,
CFMS Historian

    If you could send me one copy of your newsletter for our historical files, it would be greatly appreciated....

  • Livermore Valley Lithophiles, Livermore Lithogram
  • Long Pine Gem & Mineral Soc., The Roadrunner
  • Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society, Long Beach Min & Gem News
  • Los Angeles Mineralogical Soc., Pacific Mineralogist
  • Mindocino Coast Gem & Min Soc., Mendo Coast
  • Mineralogical Soc. of Southern California, The Bulletin
  • Mojave Desert Gem & Mineral, Desert Diggins
  • Mother Lode Mineralites, The Orebin
  • Mt. Jura Gem & Mineral Soc., Arrowhead
  • Napa Valley Rock & Gem Club, Napa Gems
  • Northern Cal Mineralogical Assn, No Name Bulletin
  • North Orange County Gem & Mineral, NOC News
  • Orange County 49ers, Bulletin
  • Orcutt Mineral Society, The Orcutt News
  • The Original California Searchers, Dig It
  • Palmdale Gem & Mineral Club, Hill & Gully
  • Paradise Gem & Mineral Club, The Paradise Gem
  • Rancho Bernardo Rockhounds, RB. Rockhounds Newsletter
  • Riverside Treasure Hunters, Treasure Trove,
  • Roseville Rock Rollers, The Rollin' Rock
  • San Francisco Min & Gem Soc., Bulletin
  • San Luis Obispo Gem & Mineral Club, Mineral Messenger
  • San Pablo Bay Gem & Min Soc., Crystalites
  • Santa Rosa Mineral & Gem Soc., Gem-N-I
  • Shadow Mt. Gem & Mineral Soc., Desert Hobbyist
  • Sierra Pelona Rock Club, Sierra Pelona Gram
  • Stockton Lap & Mineral Society; Rock Chips
  • Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Soc., Yuba Sutter Gems
  • Tehachapi Gem & Mineral Soc., The Rockhound
  • Trinity Gem & Mineral Soc., Trinity Tailings
  • Valley Gems, Valley Gems
  • Victor Valley Gem & Mineral Club, The Bulletin
  • Vista Gem & Mineral Soc., The Rockorder
  • Westend Prospectors, Bulletin
  • Whittier Gem & Mineral Soc., Rockhounder
  • Las Vegas Gem Club, Nevada, Gemtimes,


By Dee Clason
Bulletin Aids Chairman

    There has been a question from a new bulletin editor regarding copying Web Site addresses from exchange bulletins. When I read the letter my first reaction was, well of course it's all right; but then caution creeped in. Although a number of people do it, perhaps it would be best to investigate; and I find there is no reason not to put Web Site addresses in our Bulletins. As it was explained to me, "it is just an address, there is no way for one to know where the person lives:

    If the folks want to sell rocks or for that matter anything else they surely do not want to restrict the access to their web site. This is like free advertising for them. If there is any question of whether or not put it in, one could visit the site and ask for permission.


By Teresa Masters,
CFMS Scholarship Chairman

    Things are coming along for the Scholarship Committee in preparation for the Show in Riverside.

    The Committee will have a booth at Riverside, and I would like to enlist some aid. All Committee members will be attending the business meetings, and we need some volunteers to (wo)man our table. The job will be a break from spending all your money with the dealers. Sit for an hour or two, relax your tired legs, and stir up some attention for us, sell a lot of raffle tickets, smile, show off our photo albums, and point with pride to the past and present recipients of the generous scholarships.

    Please let me know if you can help us out. My address and phone number are listed under Scholarship Committee in this issue.

    Now for the second part, our Raffle will be our major fund raiser for this year, and we need donations to make that a roaring success. We would appreciate anything you will feel pride in donating to us - jewelry, minerals, slabs, clocks, bookends, trees, bolas, and buckles - something you would feel happy to win.

    We will have a case clearly identified, containing all donated items, with the donor or club properly identified. Make this a club project. See how much your society can generate for us.

    In a couple of months, Raffle Tickets will be sent to all societies. Federation Directors please talk this up and generate lots of funds for our Scholarships.

    The year so far has been rather quiet, let us make 2000 a year to r

    Speaking of remembering, please send any checks for the Scholarship Committee directly to Renata. I am still receiving them, and since I am away from home quite a bit, they sit with my unattended mail until I return.


By Cathy Gaber

    Have you heard of this reward program? It doesn't cost a thing and is an easy way to honor a meritorious club member (or couple) each year. Every club affiliated with the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies can participate.

    The rules are simple. The club members or officers select a worthy individual (married couples count as one for this purpose), write up 2 or 3 sentences about why that person deserves to be honored and mail it in to the regional chairman of the ECEYOR committee. There is no contest or competition. Anyone nominated by the club is listed in the regional newsletter and the American newsletter (but only one per club per year).

    Why do you want to participate in the ECEYOR program? There are always people who perform above and beyond their duties in the club, and it is not always easy to convey to them how much their efforts are appreciated. This award gives the recipient national recognition, and what a thrill to be selected as the one person from that club to be so honored for the entire year.

    There is plenty of time left in 2000, but do it as soon as you can, don't let the opportunity pass. Speak to your officers, bring this up at your next meeting, include the idea in your bulletin, and spread the word! It takes only a few minutes to make someone very happy.

    I am the new ECEYOR representative in the Eastern Federation, so those of you in Eastern can send the names and explanations to me. Those in other federations should check your regional directories for other ECEYOR representatives (or contact me and I will find out who your local contact is).

September 10-17, 2000

By The Committee
Izzie & Bill-Burns
Ray & Florence Meisenheimer
Cal & Dee Clason

    It is not too early to start making plans for Camp Paradise. It is a weeklong learning experience with instructors who are well versed m their field. This is the fourth year at Camp Paradise, and each year seems to get better.

    Camp Paradise is located in the mountains about 42 miles North East of Marysville, California, on State Highway E21, just up the road from Clipper Mills. (It is NOT -at the City of Paradise.)

    Facilities are rustic but adequate. There are dorm style rooms and a limited number of double rooms. . Bathrooms are inside the buildings. There is considerable room among the pines for RVs or vans. You might prefer bringing it if you own one. Bring your own bedding and an extra sheet required to cover the mattress before placing your own bedding.

    Three meals a day is delicious, wholesome home cooked meals with food and beverage sent out on field trips.

    The fee for this weeklong leaning experience is $200.00 per person. A small charge may be required for using material in the workshops.

    Workshops include: wire wrap, faceting, casting, stone carving, cabbing, petrified wood identification, bead stringing, and perhaps others. If you plan to take wood identification, you must have a hand held 20-power microscope or a high powered monocular microscope.

    Also included in this full schedule are interesting programs in the evenings, including "Fun Night" when we all entertain each other. Field trips, including gold panning, collecting and sight seeing are planned. We are in the heart of Gold Country.

    Anyone wishing to arrive in camp a day or two early will be responsible for their own lodging fee for those days.

    This is a Church owned camp and there are some rules and restrictions. There is to be NO alcohol and no pets unless you have specific permission from the camp manager.

    For a registration form click here.

    If you have any questions contact Ray Meisenheimer at (805) 642-3155.


By Ron Layer
Show Chairman
(307) 532-3522

     For anyone planning to be in Wyoming the later part of June, the Wyoming State Mineral & Gem Society, Inc. would like to extend an invitation to attend their state show June 24 & 25, at the Goshen County Fairgrounds, West Highway 26, 85; Torrington, Wyoming.


Presented by the Faceter's Guild of Southern California
Riverside, CA Convention Center
August 4-5-6 2000

    You are invited to attend what is shaping up to be an outstanding event for those interested in the faceting area of lapidary arts. At this three-day Symposium there will be presentations by knowledgeable faceters covering many subjects related to faceting. The op-portunity to meet the speakers and have your own personal questions answered will be there. Also, com-petitions are offered at the Novice, Advanced, and Masters levels. Among the speakers will be (alpha- betically):

  • CHARLES COVILL "Where To Get Ideas For Faceting Designs", including those from improbable places.
  • JOHN KOIVULA "Inclusions: Preparation, Analysis, and Photography", inspection of rough, design of cut around inclusion, levels of analysis, lighting methods for photography.
  • HUBERT RACKETS "Cutting World Famous Diamond Replicas", the problems encountered in obtaining correct designs, as well as rough of proper size and color.
  • ED ROMACK "Competition Judging & Cutting Very Large Gemstones", judging which includes all levels including World Class. Experiences in cutting extremely large gems.
  • ROBERT STRICKLAND "Computer Designing With Gemcad", the author will discuss his worldwide used program
  • CARL UNRUH "Faceting CZ", costs, colors, cutting procedure, polishing, and suggested diagrams to use.
  • GLENN VARGAS "The Critical Angle", correct pavilion angles to use with various gem minerals. For more information about the Symposium registration and the competition designs, ask for the packet by contacting:

Glenn Klein,
Chairman Faceters Symposium 2000
e-mail glennklien@yahoo.com
Include your snail mail address.


via The Polished Slab, 12/99

All the day o'er the desert I ride
Not even a dog to run by my side.
My fire I kindle with chips gathered round,
And boil my coffee without being ground.

Bread lacking leaven' I bake in a pot,
And sleep on the ground for want of a cot
I wash in a puddle, and wipe on a sack
And carry my backpack and hammer all on my back

My ceiling the sky, my carpet the grass,
My music the animals as they pass;
My books are the brooks, my sermons the stones,
My parson's a Burro on a pulpit of bones.

But then if my cooking ain't very complete,
Hygienists can't blame me for living to eat;
And where is the man who sleeps more profound
Than a Rockhound who stretches himself on the ground.


By Jim Strain,
Chairman, P.L.A.C

    The Memorandum of Understanding between CFMS and the Bureau of Land Management on the Hauser Geode Bed Area has been completed: The area is now identified as a Historical Rock Collecting Area and is designated as a "Rockbound Educational & Recreational Area". As identified on the map accompanying this report, the agreement includes all the public lands in Township 8 % South, Range 19E and portions of 3 sections in Range 20E. One section of State Land is also included.

    The purpose of the Agreement is stated as providing for the continual recreational and educational use by members of the public, while maintaining the health of the land. The agreement further states that recreational non-commercial digging and removal of geodes and related minerals from the sites shall continue.

    This is an agreement where both CFMS and BLM accept certain responsibilities that will benefit themselves and the other party. The BLM has agreed to complete the necessary environmental documentation and clearances for management of State Section 16 (the northern portion of the Hauser Geode Beds) so the current use can continue.

    BLM has agreed to work with CFMS in development and production of current maps, brochures and booklets for use by rockhounds and members of the public. They will continue their normal public educational and law enforcement support to assure the safety of the public when we use the area for camping, rock collecting, or other activities.

    CFMS has agreed to encourage its members and friends to comply with the AFMS code of Ethics while using all Public Lands. We will schedule periodic clean-ups as we do in other areas to eliminate the trash that others carelessly leave. As on other public lands we will use the land with care and respect.

    The list of agreed policies is:

  1. The maximum speed limit on non-maintained roads and access routes will be 20 miles per hour.
  2. Dogs will be allowed in the area, but must be restrained at all times, i.e. on a leash, in a pen, in a vehicle, etc.
  3. No new access roads will be constructed to the sites. CFMS will have the right to do routine pick & shovel maintenance of existing routes without having to obtain permission prior to such maintenance.
  4. No desert tortoises will be handled or harassed. (Harassment includes touching.) (We are presently attempting arrangements to allow properly trained CFMS members to assist any desert tortoise found in immediate danger.)
  5. No scrap food or trash may be disposed of in the area. Scrap food and trash attract Ravens. Ravens eat baby tortoises. (The Raven population has increased up to 1500% in some desert areas in recent years.) All scrap food or trash must be stored in a raven-proof container while we are in the area. A vehicle, trailer or mobile home qualifies as a raven-proof container. (A plastic or paper bag hanging on a bush or vehicle is not raven proof.) If we all practice proper disposal of waste food or trash it will set an example for others which will result in a cleaner area for all to enjoy.
  6. When we leave an area where we have been digging geodes or related rocks, slope one side of the hold to a 30 degree angle to allow desert tortoises (or any other animal or person) to get out of the hold if they fall in. An example of a 30-degree angle is shown below. (In case you are wondering how the 30-degree angle was specified, the California Department of Fish & Game, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, various County Fish & Game commissions, and Desert Wildlife Unlimited agreed to this slope when and the Imperial County Sheriff's Office in Palo Verde at (760) 854-3469. In emergency situations, 911 work here as well as in other areas of the state when installing water sources in desert areas.)
  7. If we observe illegal activities (Drug labs, illegal removal of plants, rocks, wildlife or anything endangering people, animals or property) notify the BLM or Law Enforcement so enforcement actions may be taken if necessary. The El Centro BLM office can be contacted at (760) 337-4400 and the Imperial County Sheriff•  s Office in Palo Verde at (760) 854-3469. In emergency situations, 911 work here as well as in other areas of the state.

    As we have in the past, we share this area with many different groups as well as the public. In scouting the area to complete the agreement, we talked with a geology instructor and a class from North Orange Coast Community College, a Boy Scout Troop from Apple Valley, a group from a college in Phoenix, members of 7 CFMS clubs, and several people with no affiliation. Several were there just to enjoy the desert area; the classes and scouts were there as part of the educational process, and a few serious rockhounds who really did some digging for geodes.

    As on all federal public lands, the normal casual collecting is limited to hand tools. No power tools or explosives are allowed. While no specific limit on quantity has been stated, please observe the AFMS Code of Ethics so we can continue to enjoy this area.

    Please be aware that there are several sections and parcels of private land in the area. The Memorandum of Understanding does not give any authority for anyone to trespass on private land without permission from the owner of the property.

    If anyone is challenged by a property owner, please get the name of the owner and information on how to contact them so PLAC can meet with them to work out details on actual property line and come to an agreement. Some property owners do not want anyone on their property while others are willing to allow responsible people, who will respect their property rights, to have access and possibly collect materials.

    If you need additional information, contact Jim Strain at (760) 356-2361.

    Please inform PLAC of any violations or unusual situations that may occur while you are in or close by the area covered by the MOU. We re required to meet with the BLM at least one time per year to discuss issues in order to meet the terms of our agreement.


By Jo Anna Ritchey,
Chairman, CFMS Jury of Awards for the AFMS Scholarshiip Foundation
e-mail jritchey01@aol.com

    Nominations are needed again for an Honoree to be selected for the AFMS Scholarship Foundation Award. The selection will be made by the CFMS Jury of Awards Committee at our Fall Business Meeting in Visalia but we need names and qualifications of people who could be honored by this Award.

    Guidelines to keep in mind when making your nomination are: The nominee

  • Must not know that his/her name is being considered.
  • Should be well versed in the Earth Sciences.
  • Should have helped further the knowledge and skills of rockhounds and the Earth Sciences to societies as well as individuals.
  • Need not be a member of a CFMS Society.
  • The honoree may receive this honor only once.
  • The nominee's name and the documentation for his/ her nomination should be sent to the Committee Chairman.

    November 1, 2000 is the latest date that nominations may be received but please don't wait until the last minute to send in your names. There are many people who are deserving of this award and the Committee would like to have several names to consider when making their selection.


By Dr. Bill Cordua

    Copyright 1998. This document may be copied and used in mineral and gem club newsletters without asking permission, given that the article is reprinted in toto and that credit is given Lapidary Digest as the source. Others wishing to reprint the article may send a request to Lapidary Digest, using the e-mail form on the first page.

    Streak tests are easy tests, helpful in mineral identification. The streak is simply the color of the powdered mineral. It doesn't matter how the mineral is powdered =you can scrape off some with a nail or pound the mineral to bits with a hammer. More commonly, mineralogists use a streak plate, a piece of unglazed porcelain usually cut in a square or hexagon a few inches across. Streak plates have a hardness of about 6.5, so if you want to test the streak of anything harder, get out the hammer! They can be bought from most mineral supply houses. For example, the latest Ward's Natural Science Establishment catalog lists them at 10 for $2.90. When they get dirty they can be cleaned by scrubbing them off with an old toothbrush. I often use some sand with the water to scour off resistant streaks. If they get too dirty -heck, toss them out - they cost less than 30 cents each. When I was a kid, I used the back of old bathroom tiles to make an even cheaper streak plate.

    Why do a streak test instead of just looking at the color o the bulk mineral? The color of a larger chunks of mineral can really vary, depending on what trace element impurities may be present. Calcite, for example, can be any color of the rainbow (and a few that aren't on any rainbow). But calcite always has a white streak. So why don't the impurities color the streak? They do, but only to a slight extent. This is because light going through a small grain of a mineral has less chance to interact with the impurities than light going through a big chunk of the material. Powdering the material thus minimizes the effect of the impurities.

    Streaks are most useful in the oxides and sulfides. Silicates and carbonates generally have white or light colored streaks. The oxides are fun to streak. Hematite's red streak is distinct from goethite's yellow-brown streak and pyrolusite's coal black streak. Sphalerite is another mineral that can be lots of colors, but gives a yellow streak.

    The streak of rocks is generally not distinctive. They usually give a light streak that reflects their dominant silicate or carbonate composition. If they give a red or brown.streak, it suggests the presence of iron oxides. Of course, if the rock is coarse grained, you can try the streak test on the individual mineral grains.

    Mineral databases and texts sometimes list the streak colors and some times don't. It depends on the tastes of the author and the data available. All minerals have streaks (you can powder anything if you put your mind to it) but they may not be too distinctive (hundreds of minerals have white streaks). I think that when a new mineral is described, the streak should always be included. After all, the material had to be powdered in order to do its microprobe or x-ray analysis, so all some one needs to do is remember to record the color. That would be a real help to those of us who don't have well-equipped analytical labs


By Chuck McKie
CFMS Safety Chairman

    Diabetes has become a worldwide epidemic, and YOU COULD BE PART OF THAT WORLDWIDE EPIDEMIC.

    Diabetes is the most common disease of the endocrine system. The odds are that you know someone with the disease. But what you might not know is that diabetes is now an epidemic of worldwide proportion and only half of those who have the disease even know

    "Unfortunately, diabetes is most likely diagnosed only when its complications, such as heart disease, are discovered," says Cindy Symons, North Bay Healthcare (Fairfield ,CA) registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator. Diabetes, undiagnosed or untreated, also can damage your eyes, nervous system and kidneys, as well as hinder your body's overall resistance to infections. Complications from diabetes are the primary cause of adult blindness in the United States.

    Basically, diabetes is brought on by disorders in blood levels of insulin, a hormone that helps convert blood glucose (sugar) into energy. Type 1 diabetes, also called insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile-onset diabetes, results from a shortage of insulin. Type 2 diabetes, also called adultonset diabetes, results from the body's inability to process insulin effectively:

    You can develop diabetes at any age, according to Symons. And although what you eat can't cause diabetes, gaining weight can cause the disease to reveal itself. The more you weigh, the more insulin-resistant you become, if you are prone to develop diabetes.

    "Controlling your weight through diet and exercise is an important step in avoiding diabetes as well as in managing the disease once you are diagnosed,' Symons says. "Exercise helps lower blood glucose levels, while the proper diet and eating several small meals a day helps your glucose levels remain steady."

    Symons teaches her patients to eat a variety of foods using the food pyramid. Diabetics need to understand which foods contain carbohydrates. Then they need to learn how to regulate carbohydrate intake by reading food labels and through portion control.

    "Diabetics have many more food choices today," Symons adds. "It's the total carbohydrates eaten each day that affects glucose levels."

    The following is a list of the common symptoms associated with diabetes. If you suspect you might have this disease, contact your physician as soon as possible.

  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, perhaps vomiting
  • Blurred vision
  • In women, frequent vaginal infections
  • In men, impotence
  • Numbness and tingling in the legs

    Check for classes and individual counseling for managing your diabetes at your local health care organization.


By Marge Collins
AFMS Program Competition Coordinator

    Are you going on a field trip, taking part in a hobby-related workshop or visiting a museum with displays of minerals and gems? Why not take a camera (or camcorder) along and take slides (or video) which can be made into a presentation? You can show it to your Club, then enter it in AFMS Program Competition. If your program takes a 1st - or even a high 2nd - Place, it will be made available to Club members across the country, so they can learn from and share your experience! The top prizes are $200.00 cashes surely enough to defray the expenses involved!

     If you are interested in making a slide or video presentation, the following suggestions can help you earn a high score from viewers and judges and limit the expenses if you will be taking slides.

    Tips to earn a high score

  1. Present you're subject in a way that creates interest and anticipation without being 'cutesy' or 'kitsch'!
  2. Be sure information is accurate and up to date. Do not include irrelevant details.
  3. Use enough slides to keep narration moving along. Some suggest 100 words per slide is maximum.
  4. Good quality slides/images are essential -not over or under exposed, subject is clear, good backgrounds...
    **Good 'developing' and proper care of film* is more important to the quality of slides than film brand name. (*don't let film 'roast' - in the camera or out!)
  5. Include Title and End slides - and Credits, if others have helped you.
  6. If copyrighted slides are included, obtain written permission from producer.
  7. Show your program to someone not involved in the production. Ask for a candid evaluation and be willing to do some rewrite - remember even professional authors have editors!
  8. Request "Judging Form" (For more info) to see how judges evaluate a program.
  9. Watch the time. 40 or 50 minutes is usually max. for adults - 20 minutes for Juniors.
  10. Also, it is better to leave viewers wanting to know a bit more - than to have them wondering when the program will end!
  11. Although videos are far less expensive, consider if you will be able to edit and add extra shots to tell the complete story.

    Tips to make a slide program less expensive

  1. Shop around for slide film. Fuji and several others cost less and are excellent quality. Watch for discounted 'out of date' slide film. You should not be able to detect any loss of quality. Try to use within months. Consider a mail order source for rolls or bulk film.
  2. If you use Kodak film, choose Ektachrome -. developing costs less than, Kodachrome.
    ***DO not be tempted to use Seattle Film Works or 3M film for slides. Duplicators will not assure good color duplication.
  3. Check around for a good developer. - Consider Wal-Mart - slides go to a Kodak lab - Some labs offer pre-paid mailers for processing - cost can be competitive.
  4. Plan your presentation. Make a list of slides you'll need, so you won't take too many slides or come up short. But it is good to have more than one to choose from.
  5. As you snap the pictures, make each one the best possible - so you won't waste slides: focus carefully, watch the lighting exposure, subject must be easy to see; try to avoid distractions in the background.

    Something new - I've heard it is possible to take a slide of a digital image on a computer screen. Use tripod and a slow shutter speed. Do a test!

    The bottom line:

  • Most Clubs still want good slide programs.
  • It is important for us to share our interest in this hobby so newcomers will have current information about field trips and see interesting presentations of educational and gemcraft topics.
  • You can be the inspiration for a new generation of 'Rockhounds'!!

    QUESTIONS? Contact author
For more info about Program Competition
contact your Regional Program Librarian
OR Marge Collins, 3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd.
Buchanan MI 49107
phone: (616) 695-4314