Table of Contents
The President's Corner
Fall Business Meeting Plans
All American Club
Program Library
CFMS Committees
Member Recognition
Nominating Committee
Juanita Curtis In Memoriam
Bulletin Contest Report

Bulletin Contest
What's The Purpose
Juniors Activities
California's Official Emblems
Thanksgiving Field Trip
Who Are Our Customers?
Earth Science
Note from Brad Smith
Press Release

The President's Corner

By Colleen McGann, CFMS President

Colleen McGann - CFMS President -  2006

The year 2006 has only a couple of months remaining and I want to thank all the clubs for all activities scheduled this year. CFMS is a result of team work. The team work of the CFMS officers and Committee chairs and all the folks we called upon. All of us are volunteers. None of the CFMS activities would have occurred this year without this team of volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and money to create the entire organization working together for the common good. Volunteers made our annual show. Volunteers lead field trips. Volunteers are Federation Directors. Volunteers are club bulletin editors and article writers. Volunteers attend workshops. Volunteers collect scholarship and endowment fund donations. Volunteers ship video programs to your clubs. Volunteers instruct at the earth science seminars.

In past messages I have informed on what it is the CFMS can do for your club. Now I want to ask what can you as an individual do for the CFMS? You too can be a volunteer. The original CFMS volunteer is the club Federation Director. After participating this way for a couple of years, you become knowledgeable about the CFMS. Now you can volunteer in one of the CFMS committees.

After volunteering in a committee, you can work up to being a committee Chair. After being a committee chair and enjoying the good times that occur at the yearly events, you may decide to up the ante and become a CFMS officer. Without the volunteers from around our state, CFMS would not exist. We count on you and want you to reflect on increasing your volunteering next year. I am asking you to consider volunteering for CFMS and you also can volunteer more for your own club and for other clubs.

Clubs joining together to set up shows or classes or to keep lapidary shops open around the state. Working together we can go further to provide earth science awareness in our communities. We can make Earth Day more than beach or park clean up and planting trees, we can remind our neighbors about the geology aspects of our planet. The second annual CFMS Directors meeting is Saturday, November 11th. I anticipate having all 119 clubs' Federation Directors attend the meeting in Visalia. See you there. Also, did you check that your clubs information is current and correct on the CFMS website? Remember, only you can keep this information current.

Fall Business Meeting Plans

By Pat La Rue, Executive Secretary/Treasurer/Printer

Pat LaRue - CFMS Exec Secretary/Treasurer

The annual Fall business meeting and election of officers will be held November 10-12, 2006 at the Holiday Inn Plaza Park, off Hwy 198 on W. Airport Drive, Visalia, CA.

Room reservations at the Holiday Inn may be made by phone at (559) 651-5000. To receive the special rate of $72 per night, you must tell them you are with CFMS. Cutoff date for the rate is 10/28/06. Add 10% room tax.

Special note to those who prefer to bring their RV. The hotel still allows you to park in the large lot to the rear of the building. However the hotel will charge a one time fee of $30 for the privilege. Pay this at the front desk of the hotel when you arrive.


Chicken Wellington
(boneless, skinless breast of chicken, fresh spinach and mushrooms tucked in a flaky puff pastry)
OR Marinated thin sliced tri-tip w/ a Hunter style sauce
House salad w/ ranch and raspberry vinaigrette
Roasted Parmesan red potatoes
Italian style vegetables
Bread pudding

For the vegetarian•  
Pasta Primavera
(fettuccini pasta w/ assorted vegetables sauteed in garlic and olive oil)
House salad as above
Bread pudding

All entrees come with rolls and butter, coffee or tea service. Price $25 (includes tax and gratuity).

Make banquet reservations by October 31. Mail your check payable to CFMS and your entree selection to:

Pat LaRue
PO Box 1657
Rialto, CA 92377-1657

Committee meetings will be held in the Executive Conference Room. This will be a new location. Notify Dick Pankey of your needs. 1•  4 pm on Friday afternoon is reserved for the Executive Committee.

Note that the area code for the hotel is now correct. A quick check of e-mails between the hotel and me shows the one time fee for campers is $35. Sorry for the typos. Using old copy is not always good.

All American Club

By Dot Beachler, Chair

Dot Beachler - All American Club Chair

Here we go again! Entries in the All American Awards Program continue in a descending line. Two years ago National entries were 18, last year 12, and this year 7. Again, Texas and California tied with 3 entries each. The California entries continue to do well in the national and regional judging.

Several years ago clubs complained that the entry form was too subjective. The form was reworked to make it easier to collect and check information. Last year a check for website was added. Unfortunately, the field trip category was left off the form. The AFMS chairman was notified and has reassured the clubs that this has been corrected. This will be on the new form.

Every effort has been made to make this entry form reflect a club's activities. Here is solid evidence for a club's history.

Corrected entry forms will be available for downloading on our website in November. If you prefer, contact me and I will mail forms to you.

As with all things worldwide updating, we in our small area of the All American Awards Program have tried to do the same. This past year we added an area for website. In adding this we lost field trips for the individual club. Field trips with other clubs remained. Now, a correction in this omission has been made. I have been assured by the AFMS chairman that this will be in this year's entry form. This form should be available in November. So, don't stop working. There is still time to collect data before the new form is available. Forms will be on the Federation website or send a request to me.

Slide, Video, and CD-ROM Program Library

By Bill Gissler, Program Librarian

Bill Gissler,  Program Librarian

With every loan from the program library, we include a "critique and suggestion" form. Responses help us to review the library's programs and see what we can do to improve the services. Many responses comment that the programs need to be updated. Good point, but how do we do it? AFMS offers one way - the annual AFMS Program Competition. Participating in the Program Competition is a way to share your knowledge and special interest with fellow club members and viewers across the country. Topics for programs can range from agates to zeolites, field trips to museums, and any one of the numerous arts and crafts within our hobby. The Competition also offers cash awards for winning programs. A detail description of the competition program and an entry form follows.

2007 AFMS PROGRAM COMPETITION. The purpose of this Competition is to Recognize and Reward authors of presentations about the Earth Sciences and to make winning programs available to affiliated Clubs across the country.•   Slide, video or digital presentations relating to the Earth Sciences are eligible.•  

Submit entries in one of the four amateur classes or "EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION" for "commercial" presentations.•   •  * Each program is judged on its own merits.•   * Entrants in amateur categories will receive a composite score sheet with comments/score. * Judging Form and "Tips for Good Programs" are available from AFMS Coordinator or your Regional Program Library.•   •  

WHO MAY ENTER. Any Club, Society, or members thereof, with 2007 dues paid to a Federation affiliated with AFMS may enter.

DEADLINE for entry: April 15, 2007•  

CLASSES FOR ENTRIES. Class I -Educational - about geology, minerals, gems, fossils, etc. Class 2 -Field Collecting - showing site(s), specimens, with some geology, collecting methods and other aspects of interest. Class 3 -"How To Do It" - techniques/equipment for fossil prep., jewelry, metal work, carving, faceting, other Iapidary, etc. Class 4 -Just for Juniors - any of the above for youngsters. "Excellence in Education" entries are judged separately.

JUDGING (Judges look for:) -accuracy of information / educational value -quality of photographs / visuals -completeness of story -narration that reads/moves well, one slide/view to the next presentations that explore an area of interest or demonstrate ideas/techniques which viewers may try -title, credits and ?The End? slides -phonetic spelling of unfamiliar words in script example: Sault Ste. Marie (SUE saint marie)

FOR VHS VIDEOS or CD-ROM entries -submit a copy.•   -may be 'live action' or static slides with narration.•  

FOR SLIDE PRESENTATIONS -•  must be 35mm, in standard mounts. -•  must be relatively new originals on Kodak compatible film, otherwise good copies may be impossible.

FOR EXCEPTIONS - contact Coordinator -•  must be spotted for projection, preferably with a red dot in lower left corner and coded with entrant's initials. -•  must be numbered to match script -•  a script (written narration indicating when each slide is to be projected) preferably typed, ready for duplication.•   (sample formats available upon request)•   Script on a "floppy" or CD is very helpful but not required.•  

AWARDS. A $200 cash prize for the highest scoring program (with 95+ points) in each Class 1 - 4.•   In addition, Winners receive national recognition. A copy is given to each Regional Program Library, thus winning programs are available to clubs across the country. •  2007 Winners will be announced at the AFMS Awards Banquet. •  

PROGRAM LENGTH Adult programs •   30 - 40 minutes is optimum Juniors - 2O minutes suggested maximum Suggested maximum slides - 138 (+ 2 Award Slides = 140)

REPRODUCTION / DUPLICATION. By entering, all winners grant permission for AFMS to duplicate their entry for the Regional Libraries. Winning slides duplicated by a professional service then returned to producer.•   Arrangements will be made regarding video/CD-ROM•   duplicates.•   Non-winners will be returned after AFMS Convention. AFMS will take reasonable precautions to protect program while it is in our hands.

HOW TO ENTER Fill out entry form (or copy) and ship with carefully packed program to address below.•  


AFMS Program Competition Coordinator,
Marge Collins,
3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd.,
Buchanan Ml 49107
Phone: (269)695-4313

CFMS Committees

By Richard Pankey, 1st Vice President

Dick Pankey - CFMS President 2007

After writing a recent article for membership about clubs officers and committees, I realized that it was also pertinent and applicable to CFMS Committees. That is participation and service on our committees. Each year the incoming President goes on a search for new chairmen and committee people. Some Committees are easy some are a real challenge. I too am looking to fill the last few Chairmen spots. I still have to fill Field Trips North, Financial Advisory and PLAC •   North. I would like volunteers, recommendations and suggestions. Volunteers don't be shy.

Our jobs and committees don't have to be "one man shows." Officers and committee chairs should look for ways for new people and the not so new that are standing on the sidelines, to participate. This is succession planning. Nothing makes a person feel like they are truly accepted and part of the group than when they are contributing to the organization. Be on the lookout for people who are enthusiastic, interested and show that special spark and find a place for them to grow. If we want to get more people involved, if we want our new, younger members involved, we have to be ready for new ideas and new ways of doing things. We not only have to let new people get involved, we have to encourage and help them get involved with guidance and council.

I plan (hope) to have all the committee positions filled by the Fall Directors' Meeting in Visalia. We will have the change over meeting on Sunday morning at 8:00 AM. I hope that all new and continuing Committees chairman will be able to attend. Outgoing Chairmen should have files and other pertinent information to pass on to the new chairmen. Bring your Officer and Chairmen's Manuals so that we can discuss and resolve any questions about duties and responsibilities. If you don't have one contact Pat La Rue. I will have copies for all new chairmen at the meeting.

The Officers and Chairman's Manual is available for download at the CFMS website. It is not really necessary to print the whole thing. All you need are the pages pertinent to your committee assignment.

Member Recognition Goes A Long Way

By Loretta Ogden

Loretta Ogden

I would say it goes all the way to the heart of the club. It is a Warm Fuzzy, a Pat on the Back, Kuddos, Atta Boy, Hurrah, Good Man, Well Done, Hip Hip, and a lot of other words. Most of all it says THANK YOU for your extra ordinary contribution. So Just do it.

The Yucaipa Valley Gem And Mineral Society wishes to honor as our 2006 AFMS club Rockhound of the Year, Mr. Lee Peterson. Lee is a very active member who has held many offices including, president, vice president, show chairman, and federation director. Concurrently, he has served as chairman of many committees. He is always willing to help in every aspect of our club. In addition, he has organized club fieldtrips. If a job needs doing, he is always willing to jump in and help. Thus, we feel that Lee richly deserves this award.
Submitted by Judy Christopher, Pres YVGMS

The Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Society would like to nominate Joan and Phil Hoskins for Education Through Sharing 2006. Joan and Phil joined our club in 1996. Phil has served as a Director for several years and as Program Chairman for one year, and provided many good programs that year. Phil is always ready to demonstrate carving or talk about fossils. He has demonstrated carving at the fairgrounds at fair time and at our local club shows, plus during our annual Scout nights. Phil is always there to help with set-up and tear-down at our annual show. He has also volunteered for over night security duty. For several years, Joan tirelessly took care of making sure we had refreshments at each meeting and still helps out with clean up whenever needed. She has worked at the Youth Activities table at our yearly show, along with making prizes for the spinning wheel. She has also been a part of our Crafty Ladies Tuesday Morning Club, learning many new crafts. Phil and Joan are active in their church and the local Historical Society. He has made historical markers and they lead cemetery tours. Phil and Joan make excellent candidates for Education Through Sharing 2006.
Submitted by Inez Berg, CFMS Federation Director


By Chuck McKie

Chuck McKie

"Step on a crack, break your mother's back." All my life I've lived by that rule, even though I knew it would not really happen. When I walked on a side walk, I made a special effort not to step on a crack, taking longer or shorter steps as necessary.

Step on a crack! Break your mother's back! That is a safety issue! Break her back. Save yourself a fall! The other day I was walking out of a medical building, holding Dot's hand when she stubbed her toe on a crack in the sidewalk. I kept her from falling on her face but she spun around and sat down kind of hard. No broken bones but a sore tush.

The thing is, if she had been stepping ON a crack, she probably would not have stumbled. So I say. Be safe. Step on a crack! Break your mother's back! It hurts when we fall down.

A few days before Dot's mishap, I went into my back yard. I was carrying a grocery bag full of old newspapers to the trash can. We had a wind storm the night before and a medium size trash can I was using to cut rose bush trimmings into had been blown down and was slightly in my way. Instead of kicking it out of my way, I attempted to step over it. NOT HIGH ENOUGH! And down I went, softened a little by my bag of papers but with my face speeding ground ward. I hit on my left chest and as I looked at the concrete bricks recently laid down, I thought to myself - at least I didn't hit my face. WRONG! I was still bound for the ground and hit on my face, my right eye and I felt the bells ring.

The lesson here? As we get older (I'm not old, nor older, I'm only 83) we tend to not pick up our feet as much as we did when we were younger. Yes I was younger, I just don't remember when. And maybe if Dot had picked up her foot a little higher, she might not have tripped either.

Let's all pick up our feet a little higher and step on the cracks too.

Report of Nominationg Committee

By Ruth Bailey, Chairman

Ruth Bailey - Nominating Committee Chair

The 2006 Nominating Committee is making the following nominations for 2007 Officers for the CFMS:

Office Nomination
Elected in November 2005
Richard Pankey
1st Vice President, President Elect. Bural LaRue
2nd Vice President: C.J.Quitoriano
Secretary Fred Ott
Treasurer Cheri George
Cal Clason

In Memoriam - Juanita Curtis

Juanita Curtis


Whereas, Juanita Curtis, hereinafter known as the party of "she" did enter into the Realmdom of the Federation, hereinafter known as the party of "it", on or about the year Moses parted the waters, and,

Whereas, she did find it in a condition of public confusion and private disarray, and a general state of whimsy, and,

Whereas, it did prevail upon her to accept the position of Executive Secretary and Treasurer and did assign to her the sole responsibility of bringing order out of chaos and restoring peace in our time, and,

Whereas, she did assume these nebulous duties and more, such that a veritable cornucopia of chores and other functions were encompassed that it might be the better for all, and,

Whereas, she has performed these obligations for almost a full score and now desires to once again enter into the bosom of her family and track anew the elusive crystal thusly with her peers as in those days of yore, and,

Whereas, the Federation has found itself incapable of extending the day beyond it's allotted hours of four and twenty that she might labor still and yet do, as she would choose, now, therefore be it•  

Resolved, that the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, its directors, member societies and individuals do hereby woefully send forth the Lady Juanita into that bright sunlit world she again would roam with the fondest of hopes that her days be many and good and her jaspers all unblemished, her crystals undinged and the matrix and earth in which she would dig be as pliant and yielding to her touch as she was to our demands!

From all of your many friends in the federation

Juanita was born near Offerle, Kansas on October 31, 1917. She went to collect more illusive crystals September 24, 2006. She went peacefully at home, we're sure she was packed for some collecting with her husband Bob and many of their collecting friends who went ahead of her.

She will be missed•  

Art Reno wrote the text of this proclamation and Sharr Choate did the calligraphy. The proclamation was given to Juanita upon her retirement at the November Directors meeting in Visalia. It is a wonderful work of art and will be available for viewing at next years Federation show thanks to her daughter Julie and daughter in law Carole, along with a few more pieces of memorabilia.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the CFMS Scholarship in her memory please. The Scholarship was very important to her.
Submitted by Julie Steele

Juanita Curtis was the first person to serve as the Executive Secretary/Treasurer of CFMS. Julie could not remember the actual year she began this responsibility. She was a legend in the world of mineral collecting and a long time volunteer in the mineral department of the Los Angeles Museum of Natural History. She was inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame and had the honor of having a mineral named for her•  juanitaite. The first specimens of this tiny material were found by her and husband Bob. Although she was on a first name basis with some of the preeminent mineralogists of our time, she always had time to help and encourage newcomers to micro-mounting. She will be missed by all those whose lives she touched.

Bulletin Contest Report

By Terry Yoschak, Bulletin Aids Chair

Terry Yoschak
Report on the 2006 AFMS Competition:

The top three 2006 CFMS entries in each category were entered into the AFMS competition, and the winners were announced at the AFMS Editors' Breakfast on August 20 in Nashville. The AFMS contest rewards only "the best of the best." Our CFMS bulletin editors and authors scored very well.

In the New Editor category, the CFMS captured three of the top five spots!

First place •   Kris Jarusevicius, editor of The Matrix (Sacramento Mineral Society)
Second place •   David Dills, editor of Rock Chippings (Woodland Hills Rock Chippers)
Fifth place •   Peggy Haines, editor of Desert Diggins (Mojave Desert Gem & Mineral Society)

In the Large Bulletin category, it was a one-two punch for the CFMS!

First place •   Merryan O'Neill, editor of Petroglyphs (El Dorado County Mineral & Gem Soc.)
Second place •   Anne Schafer, editor of The Pegmatite (San Diego Mineral & Gem Soc.)
Authors of individual articles also did well:

In the Adult Article category, the CFMS scored the top win!

First place •   Gloria Marie (Roseville Rock Rollers) for "Fulgurite •   The Essence of Lightning"

The CFMS Junior authors scored second, third and fourth places in the under-12 age group, and second and fourth place in the 12-17 age group.

Congratulations to all for their excellent work! We should be very proud of the quality of our CFMS entries this year. Let's go for more wins next year! BUT YOU CAN'T WIN IF YOU DON'T ENTER!

The 2007 CFMS Bulletin Contest

By Terry Yoschak, Bulletin Aids Chair

Terry Yoschak

The deadline for all entries is December 9, 2006, for bulletins and articles published from January through December, 2006. The rules and entry forms are available on the CFMS website. If you have any questions about entering or about filling out the forms, please contact me.

Terry Yoschak,
916-624-2956 evenings, or

What's The Purpose

By Steve Weinberger, AFMS Central Office
From AFMS Newsletter, 10/06

Someone recently asked me "What's the purpose of the AFMS?" Good question, and one that caused me to do a little research so I could give the individual the "official" answer. My probe took me back to the AFMS Articles of Incorporation, which state...

"Article II - Objects and Purposes
Section I. GENERAL PURPOSES: To promote popular interest and education in the various Earth Sciences, and in particular the subjects of Geology, Mineralogy, Paleontology, Lapidary and other related subjects, and to sponsor and provide means of coordinating the work and efforts of all persons and groups interested therein; to sponsor and encourage the formation and international development of Societies and Regional Federations and by and through such means to strive toward greater international good will and fellowship."

That statement was written almost sixty (60) years ago, and we're still holding true to it. The number of regional federation members has grown to seven and through their efforts as well as our own, we're educating the public through local clubs, shows, field trips, newsletters, websites, etc. We're also helping the field grow through our scholarship foundation with two dozen students receiving financial assistance each year.

I've had the statement added to the newsletter (page 3) and it will appear there from now on so you can refer to it easily. I've also asked Marty Hart, the AFMS webmaster, to place it on the website ( so that visitors can learn more about why we're around.

Juniors Activities: Screening Fun

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

 Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

I recently spent a fun day with friends screening for tourmaline and kunzite from tailings at an operating gemstone mine. It's a real thrill to scoop up a bucketful of gray dirt, dump it into a screen, then treasure-hunt until that elusive gemstone pops out with a colorful glint! Sifting for minerals or fossils like this makes for a terrific kids activity, whether at a club meeting or as a fund-raising event at your annual show.

You can mail-order mine tailings from commercial sources advertising online or in the classified section of magazines like Rock & Gem or Lapidary Journal. For example, I've run across listings for bags of river gravel from sapphire mines in Montana and tourmaline mine tailings from San Diego County. The Buena Vista Museum of Natural History in Bakersfield sells "Sharktooth Hill Fossil Finder's Kits" with fossil-bearing sediment and an identification booklet, and scientific supply houses like Edmund Scientific's sell "Find-a- Rock" and "Find-a-Mineral" lab activity kits. In addition to surfing the web or checking hobby magazine ads, watch for dealers selling bagged rough at big shows, like our annual CFMS show, Quartzite, or Tucson.

Alternatively, get together with other club members to make your own mine tailings or fossil concentrate. Use river or beach sand and pea-sized gravel, and mix in mineral chips from club rock piles or from extras in your members' personal rock piles or fossil collections. "Sand-sifting" has long been a favored kids' activity at annual shows like those put on by the Carmel Valley Gem & Mineral Society or the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society where large plastic bins hold salted sand for kids to sift through with kitchen sieves and colanders.

You can make this an educational activity for mineral identification, perhaps turning it into a contest for pebble pups•  either as individuals or in teams•  to see who can find and identify the most different kinds of minerals in a specified time period of 10, 15, or 20 minutes. Include specimens that are shiny, colorful, and fairly easy to identify, such as amethyst or rose quartz, blue turquoise chips, red or yellow jasper, rhombohedral calcite chips, golden iron pyrite, jet-black obsidian Apache tears, green jade or adventurine chips, etc. In addition to mineral identification, you can create a fossil-identification program by creating a similar mix but with fossil shark teeth, coral fragments, crinoid stems, brachiopods, bryozoan stalks, etc.

At the end, help your kids identify their treasures and let them keep what they find. This will help in building their personal collections and learning some basic mineral or fossil identification skills while•  as always•  having fun!

California's Official Emblems

Excerpts from CFMS Poster (no longer available)

Gold•  the state mineral. Gold was chosen for the state mineral because the discovery of gold in 1849 and the Gold Rush that followed, played such an important role in the history of California.


The "Golden Bear Nugget" was found about 1857 at the Georgia Hill Mine in Yankee Jim, CA. It weighs 1 oz 19.2g troy. It is on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History.

Serpentine•  state rock. Serpentine was chosen as the state rock because it is the dominant rock in the coast Ranges of California. There is also a great deal of serpentine in the Sierra Nevada Range, especially in the Mother Lode. Some serpentine is very compact and makes a good decorative stone.

Benitoite - CA State Gem

Benitoite•  state gemstone. Benitoite was adopted as the state gemstone in 1985. It was chosen because it was first discovered in San Benito County in 1905. It has only been found in California in gem quality. The CFMS emblem contains both the shapes of the benitoite crystal and natural Golden Bear nugget as it was found.

Smilodon - CA State Fossil

Smilodon•  state fossil. Smilodon was a very large cat of the middle to late Pleistocene Era from 1,800,000 to 11,000 years ago. The fossil was found at the La Brea Tar Pits in Los Angeles.

California Federation of Mineralogical Societies
Annual Thanksgiving Rockhounding Field Trip
to Wiley Well Area

By Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Chairman South, 2006

 Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Chair

This trip is open to all rockhounds that agree to abide by the AFMS Code of Ethics, the directions of the field trip leader, and practice safe rockhounding. A Consent and Assumption of Risk Waiver of Liability form must be signed upon arriving at the campsite.

TRIP LOCATION - The Wiley Well District is 10 miles southwest of Blythe, CA and is one of the most popular collecting areas on the Colorado Desert.

WHEN - Thanksgiving Weekend, November 22-26, 2006.

SPONSOR - CFMS Field Trip, South.


MATERIAL TO COLLECT - All types and colors of Agate & Jasper, Crystal filled Geodes, Botryoidal Psilomelane, Fire Agate, Chalcedony Roses, Zeolite Crystal filled Amygdules, Calcite Rhombs, Petrified Wood and much more.

LEADER: Bob Fitzpatrick.
Please notify me by 11/15/06, if you plan on attending. Feel free to call or email me if you have any questions or need more information:
     Phone: 951) 845-3051      Email:

PROPOSED SCHEUDLE: Please, I need some Rockhound to step forward and give me a hand at leading folks to collecting areas. Call me if you are planning on helping out. All trips will leave at 8:00 a.m. SHARP from the campgrounds. Assemble at 7:45 for details and instructions for each day's trip. Each day we will break up into smaller groups where each group will be going to different collecting areas; this way everyone will be able to collect at all collecting sites.

Be sure to carry your lunch and water when we go to the collecting sites. We will not come back to camp during the day.
Thanksgiving Day we will have a potluck dinner early in the afternoon. See General Information for more details.

DIRECTIONS TO CAMPSITE - Exit Interstate 10 at Wiley Well Road approximately 10 miles west of Blythe and 31 miles east of Desert Center. Follow Wiley Well Road south for 12.5 miles to the campsite on the West side of road at the Riverside/Imperial County line. Watch for Club and CFMS signs to camp site.

VEHICLES: Roads to campgrounds and camping sites are typical desert roads and should be okay for most cars, trailers and motor homes to the campsite and to the collecting areas, 4wheel drive vehicles and pick-ups are recommended.

CAMPGROUNDS & FACILITIES - This is a dry camping area, no water, no services, no hookups, no toilets. There is a dump station at the Rest Stop at the Wiley Well exit off I-10; however, there is no potable water. Blythe has a free dump station and good water 2 blocks south of I-10 at the Lovkin Ave. exit. Blythe is also good place to get food, supplies, ice and gasoline. It is approximately 25 miles from Blythe to the campsite. There are numerous good motels in Blythe with a wide range of rates. The closest town to the campsite is Palo Verde, approximately 16 miles through Coon Hollow and over the Mule Mtns. There is a convenience store (food, etc.), gasoline, a couple of restaurants and rock shop in Palo Verde. Road OK for 4 wheel drive vehicles but not 2wheel drive vehicle.

TOOLS - Collecting bags and boxes, digging tools, rock hammer, eye gear, spray water bottle, etc. Be sure to bring your camp chair to sit in at night around the fire at night.

SAFETY CONCERNS - Do not lick the rocks, use sun screen, stay away from rattle snakes, use bug spray, be aware of flash floods, be extra careful team up with a buddy and don't get lost.

CLIMATE & WEATHER - We are planning on nice weather-sunny days; cool, clear, star filled nights. But remember it can rain this time of year so be prepared and plan ahead.

CLOTHING - Appropriate for this time of year.

GENERAL INFORMATION - Come and join us for the day or camp out with us. Bring food, lots of water, cell-phone, walkie-talkies, GPS, first aide kit, camera, flashlight, camp chair, and lots of firewood for the campfires at night.

Don't forget, we are having a potluck on Thanksgiving Day, so bring 2 dishes to share, and your own place setting. We also need a few people to bring turkeys please. We were a little short on turkey last year. If you are planning on bringing turkey, please call me.

Each night after dark we will have a campfire where we can all join together and have a good time roasting marshmallows, telling jokes or just talking about the good ole times.

I should be arriving at the campsite around 11:00 a.m. on Wed., the 22nd.

Who Are Our Customers?

By Stephen Blocksage, Public Relations and Publicity Committee

The term customer rightly implies a business relationship somewhere in the bargain. Who are the customers of the typical rock club? The club members, attendees at the club show, people whose land we cross and rockhound on, people who are paid to provide programs for our meetings, people who sell at our shows, people who provide donations, and people who allow us to display on their sites, and the list goes on.

Why am I associating business with rock clubs and making our associations customer based? Business is usually the bottom line the shortest distance to a result the most profitable way, the most efficient way to get something done. Without taking care of our customers we will soon be out of business. My club has a policy that if you fail to bring your badge to a club meeting it will cost you .25 cents. The purpose of the policy is to make every person identifiable to those who don't know us, the newbie's at club meetings. Somewhere in this policy is the idea that the newbie is a customer and needs to know who we are in order to get acquainted and become a larger potential customer of the club.

"Got Rocks?" The recently proposed plan by the CFMS membership committee is a more businesslike way to treat each person who comes in contact with the club like a great customer. These are people who have responded to ads placed about the community with the title "got rocks". In our club when a new individual attends our meetings we of course recognize the person along with all the other visitors with polite applause. In business the customer is #1 so instead of just recognizing the individual it might be an idea to have and read a small biography of the person their hobbies and interests, knowledge of rocks so that other members can have basis for conversation with the newbie/visitor. They should be given a name tag, and each member of the club should make it their business to greet the person by name.

Before that person gets away a packet of information from the club secretary should be in their hands. This implies that the club secretary either carry a lot of form of have them available on a laptop with a printer attached to print out by the end of the meeting. This information should contain the history of the club, the list of upcoming events such field trips, displays, meetings and club socials, a club bulletin, a list of officers and contact information for phone and internet, a personal data sheet, a request to join sheet and any other piece of information the clubs feels that person should have to feel good about the club and make an informed choice to join. Contrast this with the .25 cent badge fine, and the list introduction which individual would feel better treated at the end of their first association with a club at their meeting.

Successful companies spend a lot of time planning as to how better to serve the customer. Unsuccessful companies wonder why they don't have any customers. Successful clubs are customer based, vibrant and growing boasting a juniors program, field trips, shows and dynamic interaction. Unsuccessful clubs are internally based, those who are literally waiting to die as their membership dies off, whose only concern is how this club will serve me and my needs, no field trips, no juniors programs, no future etc.

Using the business model how are you and your club going to deal with your next customer, perhaps one of the dealers at your next show. What could you do to make their association pleasant and at the same time profitable for both of you. Look at the limited list at the front of this article for more customers. Do you have reputation for being cold, difficult, and discourteous and for making every relationship for your benefit only? Or do your many customers enjoy their association with you. Do you seek to know what people think of you and find that information valuable as a base for change and improvement? I occasionally ask those I supervise how an I doing and take great stock in the answers to improve how I supervise.

Perhaps our next ad should be to our customers advertising the business view we will taking in our relationships and our change of attitude if needed. Oh by the way treating people, our customers well works in small communities as well as large metropolitan locals.

Earth Sciences

By Cal Clason, Chairman

Cal Clason

Another year of successful (whoopee) Earth Science Seminars at Zyzxx and Camp Paradise, not without some trials tribulations is over. All things considered, they seem to have been enjoyed by everyone who participated. Unfortunately due to a lack of response from the Camp Management a lot of rumors were circulating about the feasability of having the Fall Seminar. We were finally able to reach an agreement with them to continue as originally planned; but due to the confusion as to the status, our attendance for the second week was down about thirty percent. I as yet don't have all the final figures, but preliminary estimates indicate that we were able to cover all the costs. Unfortunately, upon arrival we found that maintenance and housekeeping had been severely lacking. That, coupled with some reconstruction, a lack of cleaning equipment and supplies, and a generally rundown condition contributed to some participants being disgruntled.

We were able to sit and confer with one of their Directors, and try to get some of our concerns addressed. Many of the shortcomings, e.e. showers, cleaning supplies, excessive dust, housekeeping, and overall appearance they recognized and are attempting to address. Their dependancy on volunteer labor and lack of dedicated funds raises some doubt as to the time element to accomplish what is almost essential. We entered into a tentative agreement for 2007 and 2008 for the use of all the facilities without a price increase. It is my contention that members of the committee should visit the camp prior to releasing the application for 2007 to ascertain whether or not they are making an effort to address our concerns.

While we were at Camp Paradise several members of the Executive and Earth Science Committee visited a beautiful church camp nearby--Camp Hope, on Forbestown Road. It is a well kept church camp that would serve us well; but would also necessitate a substantial increase in the registration fee to make it economically feasible for the seminar to be held there. A big thank you to Jack Williams for doing the preliminary investigation into the venue.

We are presently in the process of finalizing the seminar to be held at the Desert Studies Center (Zyzxx), off I-15 near Baker. The usual lapidary, soft stone carving, wire wrap, enameling and silver smithing along with fantastic field trips will be offered. A thirty percent increase in our rental fee necessitates an increase to $300 per person for the week. The dates are March 18-25, 2007. An application will be found elsewhere in this newsletter or on the Internet at coinciding with the newsletter publication. I would also caution you not to delay submitting your application. If the past is any indication, it will fill up very quickly.

This note was received

From Brad Smith

Brad Smith

I started the LA-Rocks list back in February 1999. There are now about 830 members on the list including many folks from other parts of the country (or world). We trade 30-100 messages a month back and forth about collecting, clubs, projects, ethics, shows and sales.

As the LA-Rocks list grew I noticed quite a few members from other parts of the state, and the idea came up about setting up a LA-Rocks for other localities as well. I suggested the concept to several people over the years, but only one group has formed, Lew's central valley list called SanJoaquinValleyLapidarySociety.

But now I'm pleased to let you know about a new discussion list being started to focus on the northern California area. Thought it might be worth mentioning it in the CFMS Newsletter. The group is calling themselves NorCal-Rocks, and here's the details:

List Name: NorCal-Rocks
List Address:
Web Site:"
Leader: Bill Schaub

To join the discussions simply go to the web site and sign in with your Yahoo Identity. If you're interested in getting just the emails (but not looking at photos or shared files), you can join the list by simply sending an email to

Like people on LA-Rocks, the NorCal-Rocks folks are rockhounds who enjoy going on field trips and sharing information about gems, minerals and fossils. It's a great way for people who are widely dispersed to keep in touch with others in the same hobby

Press Release

October 3, 2006
For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Walsh, 801-652-4338

Salt Lake City -- H.R. 6298, a bill to protect public access to the public lands which has been strongly endorsed by western public lands counties has been introduced in Congress by New Mexico Congressman Steve Pearce. The legislation will protect public lands access by finally resolving the status of county R.S. 2477 rights-of-way across public lands. Western Counties Alliance (WCA) worked with key congressmen in developing this legislation and strongly endorses the Pearce bill. WCA is an alliance of public lands stakeholders led by western public lands county elected officials.

"This bill will resolve one of the most divisive and widespread problems facing public lands counties," said Mark Walsh, WCA Executive Director. "Those are property rights conveyed directly by Congress to counties, by passing the federal land management agencies entirely. Yet, these agencies have largely refused to recognize these county road rights and have worked to undermine them and to illegally close county roads."

The legislation codifies a landmark 10th U.S. Circuit Court decision handed down last year that requires the federal land management agencies to recognize that Congress did, in fact, intend to bypass these agencies when it made these property grants. The Constitution, Article 4, Section 3 grants exclusive authority over the disposal and management of the public lands and resources to Congress.

"While it is too late in this Congress to even hold hearings on this bill, it is very useful to have it introduced so we can begin to educate the public and policy makers about the need for resolving this problem through legislation," Walsh noted. "Western public lands counties and public land users greatly appreciate Congressman Pearce's strong leadership and dedication to protecting public access rights to these lands."

Note to Editors: More information about this bill, including a summary of its major provisions and the complete text of the bill, as well as more information about RS 2477 road rights is posted on the Western Counties Alliance Web site,

This information was forwarded to me by Dee Holland and Shirley Leeson. It was originally received by Dr. Robert Carlson, President-elect of AFMS.

Source: Western Counties Alliance News press release.