Table of Contents
The President's Corner
Federation Box Swap
Junior Activities
Frequently Asked Insurance Questions
From the Editor
Safety Reminder

Permits for Recreation on Public Lands
Knowing Where You Are
Program Library
Tax Advisor
CFMS Endowment Fund

The President's Corner

By Dick Pankey, CFMS President

Dick Pankey - CFMS President -  2007

Since becoming a card-carrying rockhound in 1990 I have parked my trailer in a cow pasture the first weekend in May, rain or shine. Why? To attend one of the greatest Rockhound events in California (and possibly in the West) - the Snyder's' Pow Wow in Valley Springs, CA.

The first Snyder's' Pow Wow was held in 1975. Once just a group of rockhound looking for agate, moss opal, serpentine and jasper on the back of the ranch has grown into a grand gathering of people who specialize in every aspect of rocks, gems and minerals, and a diverse community event. Over 200 dealers and tailgaters from all over set up in the huge meadow to sell and display. Walk down the aisles and you will find countless non-profit and community groups who participate in the Pow Wow. Over the years other attractions were added: field trips on the ranch, Chuggers Lane (antique engines) and Model A trucks and cars, Native American dancers, mountain men camp, radio controlled airplanes, Blue Grass musicians and a variety of great food. In May the Pow Wow is the place to be. Area Gem and Mineral Clubs make a long weekend of it and camp together in the pasture.

What makes the Snyder's Pow Wow so special is Betty and John Snyder. For 33 years Betty and John have hosted this wonderful weekend. And as true hosts they have made everyone that attends, both dealers and guests, feel welcome and that they are having a good time. You are treated like family. Betty and John not only run the Pow Wow they work at it, also. Betty is at the front tent signing in dealers and campers: making sure that everything is running smoothly. John is out and about taking care of details, servicing the outhouses, emptying garbage, shooing a stray calf back to the other side of the fence. They operate a working cattle ranch but it is obvious that the Pow Wow is their work of love. Through their years of dedication and efforts with the Pow Wow, the Snyders are a great supporter of rock hounding and our hobby, and are a promoter of good stewardship of the earth and of nature.

Through the years many future rockhounds have been introduced to our hobby at the Pow Wow. On Friday morning a caravan of yellow school busses from area schools deliver their students for this very special field trip. People return year after year - bringing their children and eventually their grandchildren. There is a lot of good history and good memories at the Pow Wow. Ellen Schultz (Past President of CFMS) and her husband Carl would do an evening "Rock Concert" and Ellen led the worship service in the Old Red Barn on Sunday and played hymns on her Triple Octave Shaker Chimes.

The Pow Wow has always been special for me. For the last several years my wife, Betty, and I have been the wagon masters for the combined Ye Old Timers Mineral Club and the North Bay Field Trips camp. Our groups have volunteered to help direct traffic at the Pow Wow. "Working" at the Pow Wow has given all of us a sense of belonging to this event.

I hope that all of you will have a chance to attend and enjoy this great rockhound event. This year the Snyder's Pow Wow is on May 4th - 6th in Valley Springs, CA.

Federation Box Swap

By Michael Kessler, EFMLS

The Federation Box Swap has continued to grow to the advantage of its many participants. For the past two years, the Federation Box Swap has been issuing guidelines for swapping specimens through the United States Postal Service. Clubs in 21 states have traded ten pounds of material at a time. Now normally this would be a serious expense was it not for the discovery of the Flat-Rate Box that the post office hands out for free to encourage the use of its services.

This is just a reminder that we still have clubs in several states ready to do some trading from their local sites. You can find some wonderful material coming from across the country.

The guidelines are simple. Choose a category for your trades. Make it mineral crystals, mineral lapidary, fossils or work within several categories. Follow the packing rules of providing appropriate labels of ID and location for each specimen. Put each specimen in its own wrap to cushion it and then cushion between specimens. Let me know when you're packed. I will find you possible trades for your category. It's that simple. Trade once a year, or as often as you can accommodate the activity.

We are ready for you to rejuvenate your meetings. I only say to you, send the kind of specimens that you would want to receive. Discuss this with your club members. I am sure folks are ready to do something with the duplicate specimens they've got sitting around.

When you are ready to suggest trading to your club, send for the introductory letter from the Federation Box Swap coordinator. That's me.

Michael Kessler
4 Longfellow Road
East Stroudsburg , PA 18301
(570) 421-3113    re: Box Swap

(editor's note: Michael also serves as an Eastern Federation Regional Vice President and as their Supplies Chairperson.) AFMS October 2006 newsletter.

Junior Activities
Make Kids Your Show Theme

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

To keep our clubs vital and to sew seeds for the future, we're all seeking those elusive younger members, particularly kids whose initial spark of interest in a shiny pebble might become a lifelong passion and hobby, or even career. But how to get the word out to parents and the community and get those kids and their parents to attend their first club meeting?

In the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, this year we decided to make kids our show theme. We've always provided the usual assortment of kids activities: the eternally popular grab bags, a free tumble-polished stone on entering the show, the spinning wheel for rock prizes, sand-sifting, and so forth.

But this year we decided to go even further. There will be a station where kids can make fossils with plaster. Scouting groups have been invited, and I'll be helping one troop earn their Boy Scouts Geology badge.

Our Kids Booth co-chair, Lowell Foster, has put together four wonderful collections of California rocks, minerals, and fossils with information on where the specimens came from and how kids can find their own, and these collections will be given away in special kids-only raffles.

Lowell and the entire club will be sponsoring two "Walk Abouts" each day of the show, leading kids on tours of the exhibits to point out highlights and answer questions. On entering the show, each child will also be given a packet with coloring pages, word games, information about their state rock, mineral, fossil, and gem stone, and a quiz with 10 questions that can only be answered by visiting the exhibits. Kids bring their completed quizzes to the Kids Booth, where they can exchange them for a free spin on the spinning wheel.

We'll also have club president Ed Clark on hand at a mineral identification table. Finally, our club has been involved with the Oxnard and Conejo clubs in creating rock box collections for distribution to public schools throughout Ventura County, and Donna Knapton of the Oxnard club has alerted teachers to come see one of the collections at the show, to spread word about the show to their students, and to pick up a couple of free rocks of their own for their classrooms.

In our show publicity, we've highlighted this year's focus on kids, and the local newspaper has done a terrific write-up about it in this morning's edition. Does it work? Have we attracted new family members with kids? Well, the show starts in about 24 hours (I'm typing fast because I have to run to the fairgrounds for set-up!), so I'll have to let you know in a future column, but I can say that the effort so far has been both rewarding and-as always-a lot of fun!

Frequently Asked Insurance Questions

By Patt McDaniel

Is there coverage when our volunteers drive their own cars while volunteering for our club?

(Non-owned Auto Coverage)

If volunteers are using their own autos in the business of the club (such as going to the bank or moving a display) and are involved in an at-fault accident, they are not only personally liable, but the club may also be held liable. Non-owned auto coverage is designed to protect the club in that event. This insurance covers only damages over and above coverage provided under other policies in force at the time of such an occurrence accident. Drivers are responsible for their own liability and should carry insurance. We recommend that you ask your automobile insurance agent for at least $500,000 CSL (Combined Single Limits) or greater. The clubs should not allow an individual to drive on behalf of the organization unless it has been determined that the individual has at least minimum legal limits of coverage. Only responsible parties with auto insurance should be asked to drive their own vehicles on behalf of the organization (for example: moving displays or trips to banks or printers).

Never arrange carpools for others or assign rides, this might expose you and your organization to greater risk. This is something people may be free to do on their own, of course.

What about renting a truck for club use?

(Hired Auto Coverage)

The coverage provided when a truck is rented is very similar to the non-owned auto coverage. It would be important to remember that the drivers liability coverage would be primary (it would apply first in the event of a claim) and that the policy would not provide physical damage coverage for the truck.

What if we hire a bus with a driver for a trip?

If you hire buses for a trip, obtain a certificate of insurance and endorsement naming CFMSI and your member group and the officers and volunteers of both as additional insured. The bus company has the primary insurance responsibility in this case.

Do we need special event insurance if the venue has insurance and doesn't ask us for a certificate?

We find that, although some venues will tell you that they have insurance and that you do not need to get insurance, they generally do not have coverage that will protect your club or its officers and volunteers. Their insurance will almost always cover only them, not you. If you can obtain something in writing that proves that you are covered on their policy, then we would be glad to review such documents to provide feedback from an insurance perspective. Otherwise, if your event has 300 or more in attendance, "special event' coverage must be added to the General Liability policy in order to protect your club and its officers and volunteers.

Are directors and officers covered by general liability for meetings, field trips and scheduled special events or do we need to purchase Directors and Officers coverage for that?

Directors, officers and all other volunteers are insured persons on the "general liability" policy. The "Directors and Officers" policy covers directors and officers and volunteers for entirely different exposures. The "general liability" provides for protection in the case that the club and its volunteers are legally responsible for bodily injury or property damage to others. The "Directors and Officers" policy provides protection for wrongful acts and alleged wrongful acts. Please see additional information on the CFMS website.

From the Editor

By CJ Quitoriano

CJ Quitoriano Hello again!

I don't know about the rest of the state, but in my little part it we went from winter to summer in just one weekend! Whew! It was HOT today!

Thank you to everyone who sent an article, you make the newsletter, you know! To the rest of you, COME ON! You know who you are, send something, it's as easy as sending me an email with a few lines!

Ray and I went to the Turlock show this last weekend, it is put on by the Mother Lode Mineral Society, and it ROCKS! Literally! It is the best show I have ever been to. I demonstrated and sold beads, and Ray demoed the sphere machine, we barely had time to get a drink of water or a bite to eat! It was THAT busy. I think that everyone should give big kudos to the members of that club, especially to Terry and Bud McMillin for creating such a successful show! KUDOS!

Safety Reminder
Cardiac Chain of Survival

By Chuck McKie CFMS Safety Chairman 2007

Chuck McKie CFMS Safety Chairman

Cardiovascular disease is one of the most common causes of death for all ages. Would you know what to do if a loved one or co-worker were to suffer a heart attack? Learning how and being prepared to use CPR is an excellent beginning. However, CPR is only one of the links in what is known as the Cardiac Chain of Survival. The links in the cardiac chain of survival include:

Early Recognition and Early Access.
    The sooner 9-1-1 or your local emergency number is called, the sooner early advanced life support arrives.

Early CPR.
    Early CPR helps circulate blood that contains oxygen to the vital organs until an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) is ready for use or advanced medical personnel arrive.

Early Defibrillation.
    Most victims of sudden cardiac arrest need an electric shock called defibrillation to restore the heart to a regular rhythm. Each minute that defibrillation is delayed reduces the victim's chance of survival by about 10 percent.

Early Advanced Life Support.
    This is given by trained medical personnel who provide further care and transport to hospital facilities. Almost a third of the deaths from sudden cardiac arrest could have been prevented if an AED had been available for immediate use at the time of the emergency. By following the links in the Cardiac Chain of Survival you can increase the victim's chances of survival. To learn more about Adult CPR/AED Training, American Red Cross CPR and first aid programs, or our health and safety services programs, contact your local Red Cross chapter. or American College of Emergency Physicians Chain of Survival Home Page via the Red Cross on the internet.

Cardiac Arrest
    Sign up for an American Red Cross CPR course. Consider these sobering facts: Seventy-five percent of all out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in the home. About 1.25 million people experience a heart attack in the U.S. each year; 500,000 of these attacks result in death. About 250,000 deaths (that's 20%!) occur within the first hour of the onset of symptoms. More than 160,000 deaths occur before the age of 65. An emergency with an infant or child (aged 0-8) is more likely to involve a breathing problem. To learn more about American Red Cross CPR, please contact your local Red Cross chapter.

    Did you know that more than 2,800 people die each year as a result of choking? This is the time of the year when many families and friends get together for large meals and good times. Would you be able to recognize if a family member or friend started to choke? Do you know what activities might lead to choking? Here are some common causes of choking:

  • Trying to swallow large pieces of poorly chewed food.
  • Drinking alcohol before or during meals.
  • Alcohol dulls the nerves that aid in swallowing.
  • Wearing dentures. Dentures make it difficult to sense whether food is fully chewed before it is swallowed.
  • Eating while talking excitedly or laughing.
  • Eating too fast.
  • Walking, playing, or running with food or objects in the mouth.

These are just some of the causes of choking. If you want to learn more about the signals of choking or the care needed to give to a person who is choking, sign up for a CPR course. Contact your local Red Cross chapter for a schedule of courses in your area.

Alzheimer's Risk Factors
    Here is yet another reason (besides protecting your heart) to control your blood pressure and cholesterol. A study of more than 1,400 people published in the June 16, 2001 issue of the British Medical Journal concluded that those with high cholesterol or blood pressure in middle age had greater than double the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease when compared to people with normal blood pressure and cholesterol. Your physician can help you lower your blood pressure and cholesterol.

Permits for Recreation on Public Lands

By John Martin PLAC South

John Martin PLAC South


Summary of the final ruling for collecting fees for recreational use of Federal Land managed by the BLM. The attachment is too lengthy to include in its entirety in the CFMS Newsletter so a hyperlink is included to allow those who want to know more can read the entire ruling.

Permits for Recreation on Public Lands Final Rule

SUMMARY: This final rule updates the regulations of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) that explain how to obtain recreation permits for commercial recreational operations, competitive events and activities, organized group activities and events, and individual recreational use of special areas.

The final rule is needed to remove from the regulations inconsistencies with the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA), which authorizes the Secretaries of the Interior and Agriculture to establish, modify, charge, and collect recreation fees at Federal recreation lands and waters for the next 10 years.

DATES: Effective date: March 23, 2007.

ADDRESSES: You may submit inquiries or suggestions to Director (250), Bureau of Land Management, Room 301-LS, Eastern States Office, 7450 Boston Boulevard , Springfield , Virginia 22153.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Contact Anthony Bobo at (202) 452-0333 as to the substance of the final rule, or Ted Hudson at (202) 452-5042 as to procedural matters. Persons who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may contact either individual by calling the Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) at (800) 877-8339, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The total text of the final ruling is too great to include in this newsletter. The link below is to the final ruling text for those interested in more information:

Link to site.

Federal Register: February 21, 2007 (Volume 72, Number 34)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Page 7832-7837]

Bureau of Land Management
43 CFR Part 2930

RIN 1004-AD68
[WO-250-1220-PA-24 1A]

Reprinted from News.bytes, issue 269 - BLM California

John Martin - PLAC South

Knowing Where You Are

By Dave Muster, CFMS Field Trip North

Just recently I spent the day at the BLM in Sacramento checking the status of some land. Everyone was helpful. I had a question about a witness or bearing tree and was directed out of the Public room to another desk back through a side door.

A man came out and greeted me. We looked at a large yellow tag on the wall and I asked him if he had a picture of a witness or bearing tree. He thought for a minute and said follow me. I followed him back into an aisle called Tin Pan Alley to a rear cubical and met John Carrol. He is a surveyor who checks and re-locates range lines, quarter corners, and witness trees. He gave me a half dozen personal photographs that he had taken of them in another state. He knew a man in the Dept. who is currently in the field and said he would try to get some tags and a Forest Service boundary marker for me. I left. He called me within 48 hours says he had the tags and signs for me which I received now through the mail. I was amazed at how helpful everyone was in the BLM.

At the corners of every section are brass survey monuments. This tells the township section, range, elevation and the direction of the corner. With the help of a measuring device and a range line, one can determine where you are standing.

There is a yellow tag with a section grid nailed to a bearing or witness tree. A nail hole in the section grid will be exactly where the tree is which tells you exactly where you are.

Witness rocks have information star chiseled into them. Range line trees are engraved into the wood once the bark has been blazed.

When in the field, a person should have good maps. Finding these markers will help define an exact position on the map.

I will be having a seminar in the fall. Maps will be read and I will draw off of all the resources I can to help share this knowledge with you. I would like to thank the CA BLM and Bill Gissler for helping find this information.

Slide, Video and CD Program Library

By Bill Gissler, CFMS Audiovisual Program Librarian

Bill Gissler, CFMS Audiovisual Program Librarian

New Library Additions

A new six disc video educational program series entitled "The Nature of Earth - An Introduction to Geology" has been added to the CFMS program library. The program series is on DVD format and consists of six discs. Each disc contains six 30 minute lectures. The DVDs published in 2006 were purchased from The Teaching Company.

The course is taught by Professor John J. Renton of West Virginia University. John Renton received his bachelor's degree in chemistry in 1956 from Waynesburg College in Pennsylvania. In 1959 he received a master's degree in geology from West Virginia University. Upon completion of a tour of military duty he returned to West Virginia University, where he was awarded the PhD in 1963.

The year Dr. Renton graduated, the Department of Geology decided to expand into the area of geochemistry and offered him a faculty position to do just that. He established and taught courses in aqueous geochemistry, instrumental analysis, coal geology, clay mineralogy, and coal geochemistry. Throughout his tenure, however, his favorite course has been introductory geology, which he has taught for 40 years. A more complete introduction of Dr. Renton will be sent with each program loan request.

The CFMS Program Library will loan the six discs, one at a time, upon request. So when you request a disc, you will be getting six lectures each approximately 30 minutes long. Although it would probably be best to start with disc one as a base, the discs can be viewed in any order, similar to the library's "Earth Revealed" series (V-69 through V-94 ).

Following is the CFMS Library loan order number and a description by title of each disc of the lecture series:


"The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology,"
36 lectures by Professor John J. Renton, West Virginia University, produced in 2006 by The Teaching Company.

  1. DVD - 16
    Disc 1 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. Origin of the Universe
    2. Origin of the Solar system
    3. Continental Drift
    4. Plate Tectonics
    5. The Formation of Minerals
    6. Classification of Minerals
  2. DVD - 17
    Disc 2 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. The Identification of Minerals
    2. Kinds of Rocks
    3. Sedimentary Rocks
    4. Metamorphic Rocks
    5. Volcanic Activity
    6. Phases of Volcanic Activity
  3. DVD - 18
    Disc 3 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. The Hawaiian Islands and Yellowstone Park
    2. Mass Wasting - Gravity at Work
    3. Mass Wasting Processes
    4. Weathering
    5. Soils and the Clay Minerals
    6. Climate and the Type of Soils
  4. DVD - 19
    Disc 4 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. Streams - The Major Agent of Erosion
    2. Sculpting of the Landscape
    3. Stream Erosion in Arid Regions
    4. Ice Sculpts the Final Scene
    5. Groundwater
    6. The Production of Groundwater
  5. DVD - 20
    Disc 5 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. Karst Topography
    2. Groundwater Contamination
    3. Rock Deformation
    4. The Geologic Structures
    5. Faults and Joints
    6. Earthquakes.
  6. DVD - 21
    Disc 6 - Six 30-minute lectures on the following subjects:
    1. Damage from Earthquakes
    2. Seismology
    3. The Formations of Mountains
    4. Orogenic Styles
    5. Economic Geology of Coal
    6. Economic Geology of Petroleum.

To order: Use the Library's standard loan ordering format and procedures found on the CFMS website or in the 2006 Library Catalog.

Questions: Contact Bill or Sharon Gissler at 408-241-0477 or

Tax Advisor
Reporting Requirements - 2007

By Michael Kokinos, Tax Advisor

Michael Kokinos, Tax Advisor

Internal Revenue Service

For societies that use a calendar year for financial records, Form 990 or 990EZ needs to be filed by May 15 unless gross revenues for 2006 are less than $25,000. For fiscal year societies, file not later than four months and fifteen days after the end of the fiscal year. If your society is a California corporation, I recommend you obtain Form 990EZ and complete it for possible attachment to the Registry of Charitable Trusts Form RRF-1.

If the Internal Revenue Service sends you a form 990 or 990EZ, you must complete it and mail the original to the Service even if gross revenues are less than $25,000.

Franchise Tax Board

For calendar year California non-profit corporations, Form 199 needs to be filed by May 15 unless gross revenues for 2006 are less than $25,000. As long as your gross revenues are less than $25,000 you needn't file even if Form 199 is sent to you.

Registry of Charitable Trusts

California societies exempt from tax under I.R.C. Section 501(c)(7) are not generally required to report to the Registry of Charitable Trusts. However, unless a society obtains at least 85 percent of its gross receipts from members, exemption under Section 501(c)(7) is not appropriate.

For California societies that use a calendar year for financial records, the Form RRF-1 should be filed by May 15. For societies that use a fiscal year, the Form RRF-1 should be filed not later than four months and fifteen days after the end of the fiscal year. There is a graduated filing fee for gross revenues and assets less than $25,000 no fee is required. Gross revenues or assets between $25,000 and $100,000 pay a $25.00 fee and between $100,000 and $250,000 a $50.00 fee. A Form 990 or 990EZ must be attached to the Form RRF-1.

Some California societies have not been receiving the Form RRF-1 even though it is required. It is recommended that those societies have someone access the Attorney General's website ( to obtain the necessary instructions and form(s) to apply for registration with the Registry of Charitable Trusts. There is a simplified form for registration of organizations with minor gross receipts and assets. Once the Registry acts on the application for registration, a CT number will be assigned to your organization.

Those California Societies that conduct raffles register with the Attorney General on form CT NRP-1. The registration is for the period 9/1 thru 8/31. Reports of raffles must be filed on CT NRP - 2 on or before 9/1.

CFMS Endowment Fund

By Ray Meisenheimer, Chair CFMS Endowment Fund

Ray Meisenheimer

The CFMS Endowment Fund was formed in 1987 to provide a stable source of income to financially assist the programs and services the CFMS provides to its members. All donations remain as principle and only earnings are available for distribution to CFMS.

I am again conducting a fund raising sale at the CFMS show in Lancaster, June 15-17. I need donations of all kinds; rough material, polished material, fossils, minerals, jewelry, etc.

Soon after the Endowment Fund was established, a CFMS pin was designed and 1000 pins were ordered for a fund raising project. There are still pins available and will be available for sale at the show, along with many club pins and CFMS show pins from past years. If anyone has pin collections, or even a few pins they no longer want, I will gladly accept them.

The Endowment Fund has a large plaque honoring those who have made a substantial donation. To add your name to the plaque, make a donation of $100 or more plus one dollar for each member.