Table of Contents
President's Message
Fron the Editor
All American Report
Junior Activities report
Earth Science Studies
Long Range Planning
Field Trips North
Program Aids
CFMS Program Library

Got Demonstrators
CFMS Insurance
CFMS Rules Committee
Bulletin Aids
Cool Website
Nominating Committee
Public Lands Advisory
You may be a rockhound if

President's Message

By Bural LaRue, CFMS President

Bural LaRue - CFMS President -  2007

Greetings-I hope everyone had a fun and prosperous January. I know many of you are just home from Quartzsite and it's time to plan for your next show.

If you were at our November meeting in Visalia, you learned that the American Federation (AFMS) was planning to call for a dues increase beginning in 2009. AFMS and CFMS have been working with deficit budgets for several years. Our officers and many chairmen have not requested reimbursement budgeted for the many expenses they incur while performing their duties on your behalf. This has helped, but as we all know, costs for everything have increased and the bills must be paid.

AFMS is proposing an increase of $.25 bringing the current dues we pay to AFMS to $.75 per member. Currently dues for CFMS are $1.50-$1 stays with CFMS, $.50 is passed along to AFMS. An additional $6 fee pays for the basic liability insurance policy for a total of $7.50 per member.

AFMS will vote to raise their dues at the AFMS Directors meeting in September. In order for CFMS to keep up and try to decrease our own budget deficit, we need to increase our dues $.50 per member for a dues amount of $2 beginning in 2009. $.75 would be passed along to AFMS, with $1.25 staying with CFMS. All clubs need to be aware of this situation. The by-laws committee will prepare the wording for the by-

laws change to be published in future newsletters so the matter can be brought before your memberships. The change will be voted on at the Fall Business Meeting in Visalia and if approved would go into effect January 1, 2009. If this were not approved, the amount from dues available to CFMS would decrease to $.75. As an organization, we can't continue to survive on what would be an even greater deficit budget and offer the services you've come to expect. We need your support.

Are you ready for Zzyzx? March is a great month for learning. Some of the best instructors in our hobby give their all to teach skills in a desert atmosphere where you're guaranteed to have fun. If you weren't able to get into Zzyzx this year, you can still make it to Camp Paradise in September. Come on out and let's have some fun.

Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

fom the Editor

By Fred Ott, Editor 2008

Fred Ott

Thanks to everyone who submitted an article for this month's newsletter.

The Federation's newsletter is an excellent vehicle for sharing the successes of your club, particularly as regards to membership development. If you're proud of something that your club does which should be shared with other clubs, please send me an email.

All American Report

By Dot Beechler

Dot Beechler

To all Federation Directors, I have a request.

At the CFMS cracker barrel meeting in Lancaster last June, Dick Pankey reported on the ad-hoc committee's review of some of the AFMS programs. One of these programs was the All American Club Program.

The next day at the Federation Directors meeting, this item was again reported and a request was made.

This request was for the Federation Directors at the meeting to go to their individual clubs and prepare a report on that club's feeling about the All American Program.

This report might include:

  1. Whether or not to continue the present program.
  2. Not interested in the program and why.
  3. Suggest desired changes to the present program.
  4. Does the club enter a book? If not, why not?

At the CFMS meeting in Ventura in June, a report is to be made regarding this request. To date, I have a blank sheet of paper. So•  •  . Federation Directors - get to work and send those reports to me.

Junior Activities Report

By Jim Brace-Thompson

Jim Brace-Thompson

A Kids Activities Forum at our 2008 CFMS Show?

Given everything else I'm planning to do at our upcoming June CFMS Show in Ventura, I may be getting overly-ambitious and spreading myself a bit thin for the amount of time we'll have available at the show, but I wanted to put forth a suggestion. Who among us might be interested in holding a "Kids Activities Forum" or a "Juniors Roundtable"? Such a forum would involve gathering together people who are active with kids for an open-mike discussion to exchange ideas on getting kids involved in our hobby, on show activities for kids and on resources for kids (e.g. the AFMS FRA program, Diamond Dan materials, Boy Scout and Girl Scout geology badge activities, etc).

I participated in a forum like this at our 1997 show and it proved to be very fruitful. However, I'll do this only if it looks like there's significant interest. If I can get calls by the end of the month from at least 5 local youth leaders saying that they would attend and participate in such a roundtable, I'll look into getting a facility for this and scheduling a time. So, if you're interested or know that you have a local youth leader in your club who would be interested, don't delay - call me today at (805) 659-3577, or email me at: Based on my experience in 1997, I know that we could all find this quite interesting and informative while, as always, having fun!

Earth Science Studies

By Marion Roberts

Marion Roberts

The Earth Science Studies program is in an outstanding condition, primarily due to two of the most efficient and hard working ladies in the country. Thank you, Audrey Harvey and Anna Christensen. Zzyzx is off at a great pace with a full compliment of participants and to my delight Audrey tells me there are a lot of new names.

On a sour note, I received an anonymous letter from Roseville with a lot of misinformation that I started to address, but decided that if I don't know who I am talking to, it is a waste of time. My phone number is still the same. If you want correct information, talk to me, not gossipers.

Applications for Camp Paradise will be available in the April newsletter and on the web site by March 30, 2008.

Long Range Planning

By Dickpankey

Dick Pankey

"I Want to Hear From You"

Well, the responses are trickling in; but with close to 120 clubs in the Federation, I had hoped and expected more responses by now. Don't worry; I have plenty of space in my e-mail in-box so you all won't fill it up.

Surely, every club in the CFMS has participated in some CFMS program. Surely, every club is the CFMS has received some benefit from being a member of the Federation. The Federation has about 38 committees/programs/services listed in the back of each CFMS Newsletter. I am sure every club has used or benefited from one of these.

My objective in asking these questions is to find out how the clubs and their members perceive the federation and the benefits of membership in the CFMS. So, my request to each club is to answer the following two questions:

  1. How has your club benefited by being a member of the Federation?
  2. What federation services, programs, activities, etc., has your club received /participated in this year or in recent years?

To jog your memory, check out the committee roster in the CFMS Newsletter. E-mail your responses to me at or mail them to me. Thanks!

field Trips North

By Dave Muster

Dave Muster

I'm beginning to see more of the state of Nevada with the aid of a loop. I'll bring in a mineral specimen from the field and find three or four other minerals in it.

Whenever I take an explorational hike, I always take a pack with food and water. I bring a solar match, compass and loop. Together they only weigh a few ounces. Although they are light, at times they are quite useful.

In hills with trees, I read a topographic map and read compass to check the direction periodically. In the hilly desert, trees won't block your view but hills will. You can lose sight of your vehicle while chasing minerals.

You may find an outcrop and dig while the sun moves across the sky. You may have slowly walked half way around a hill. These two things in combination could throw you off. It is always best to have studied a map of the area to become aware of geologic formations and reading a compass is always useful.

Also, test yourself to find a section corner and a range line. I know GPS's are up and coming, so use them too. Above all, be safe and aware or your surroundings. They are often times awesome and beautiful.

Our next Fieldtrips North Seminar will be Saturday, April 12th, in Pittsburg, CA at the Community Presbyterian Church, 200 East Leland Road.

BLM land is our land. Let's use it for educational purposes and take great care of it for future generations.

Program Aids

Cheri George

By Cheri George

We are adding a new speaker to our list! MIKE BEAUMONT will be filling out our form and submitting it to us for the new Podium People. Until the Brochure is published, he can be reached at:

Mike Beaumont
PO Box 395
La Habra, Ca 90633-0395
Cell: 714-510-6037

Mike has a Bachelor of Science degree in Geology and is currently self-employed in the computer field. He is an active member of North Orange County Gem and Mineral Society and has already done two presentations for that club.

He has two presentations ready to go:

  1. "History of the Horse: A Paleo-ecological Approach"
  2. The "Geology of the San Diego Formation".

We are always happy to add new speakers! Thanks to Nancy Bird and Isabella Burns of the North Orange County Gem & Mineral Society for referring Mike to me!

CFMS Slide and Video Program Library

Bill Gissler

By Bill Gissler

Recent Additions to Program Library

The following four new programs were recently given by AFMS to the CFMS slide and video library:

  • AGATES CLOSE-UP. In this program, by Doug Moore and narrated by John Heusinkveld of the Heart of Wisconsin Gem & Mineral Society, specimens from around the world are used to examine common and unusual structures in agates. By enlarging areas smaller than a postage stamp, you can see how the various agate patterns were formed and notice the differences between structures in agates that formed in sedimentary and igneous environments. The program, which is approximately 40 minutes is available in VHS (order number V-142) and DVD (order number DVD-28) format.

  • KENTUCKY AGATE. This 30 minute program is in DVD (order number DVD-29) format. In this video, you can see a selection of Kentucky Agates, which are prized for their rich and vibrant colors. See how these agates are collected in the streams of eastern Kentucky and how the author Roland McIntosh cuts and finishes cabochons, along with a demonstra- tion of crafting gem stones from the agates.

  • GEOLOGY - WHY BOTHER? This 28 minute program, produced in 2006, is an excellent non-technical exploration of geology in our daily lives. Geology is geologic disaster - the earthquakes, volcanoes, floods and landslides that are way beyond the power of humans to control. Geology is geologic resources - the minerals, fossil fuels, water, and environment that are the foundation of our civilization. Prominent geologists and distinguished earth science educators explain geology and "Why Geology is Cool". It can be viewed as a power point program, order number CD-9.

  • THE STORY OF OPAL. This 19 minute program, produced in 2004, is in PAL DVD format (European viewers), but it can be viewed as a power point program (order number CD-10). It is a thrilling tale which sweeps from the forested slopes of Hungary's Carpathian Mountains, to the elegant villas of ancient Rome, to the rugged grandeur of Australia's interior. It tells the whole story, from opal's luminous birth deep in the earth millions of years ago, to the hand-mining techniques of the early days. It details modern mining methods using blowers and tunneling machines, and shows that the fiercely independent spirit of the old timers is still alive and well in Coober Pedy today.

Got Demonstrators?

By Dana Paradis, Demonstrator Director

As the director for the Demonstrators Directory, I would like to thank all of you crafty artisans that have signed on to be demonstrators (as listed in the CFMS Demonstrators Directory, available at the CFMS web site.) Anyone with a rock-related skill to share can be a demonstrator, but not everyone feels that they are qualified enough to sign up. What does it take to be a demonstrator, you ask? Just about anyone with a desire to share and teach a skill can be a demonstrator. A demonstrator does not need to travel far to make an impact on a fellow, or future, rockhound. A demonstrator does not need to be a polished professional at their skill. What a demonstrator does need is the desire to impart knowledge to others, and to carry camaraderie and goodwill throughout the CFMS.

he directory is off to a good start with various skilled craftspeople listed, but more demonstrators, in more varied skills, are needed. One demonstrator who has stepped up to be listed in the Directory is Barrie Bieler. Barrie is a master faceter with over 30 years of experience. He carries a BS and MS in geology and a Phd in mineralogy. Barrie is willing to give faceting classes, demonstrations at clubs, and demonstrations at shows. Need a faceting demonstra- tion? Call Barrie! Now, the questions I am asking are•  . Does your club have potential demonstrators lurking in the shadows? Does your club have a need for new, or old, rock skills to be demonstrated at a meeting or show? Got Demonstrators? For more information contact me at (707)447-5271.

CFMS Insurance

Bud McMillin

By Bud McMillin

We have been having a lot of questions lately about our CFMS Liability Insurance Policy and so we have decided to run a series of articles with answers to YOUR questions. If you have a question for Patt McDaniel, give me a call or send me an email and I will get it answered for you. Our first series of questions is on the Coverages and Responsibilities form. This form is mailed out to all the member clubs by the McDaniel Insurance Services in August every year and they ask that it be filled out and returned to them. This year we had 39 clubs that did not mail the C&R form back! My questions to Patt McDaniel on this form are: What is the purpose of the Coverages and Responsibilities form that makes it so important? What are the ramifications if a club does not return the C&R form back to you? Patt's answer is as follows:

Any good broker client relationship depends on communication. We always invite our clients to discuss their individual needs with us. We give each account our personal attention. Through dialogue we can identify insurable risks, recommend solutions and evaluate priorities.

With an organization such as the CFMS, there are hundreds of individuals that we need to communicate with. At the same time, we have been working closely with the CFMS for 10 years and have an appreciation and understanding of the possible activities and operations of the various clubs and societies. Because our time is your money, we know we need to be very efficient in informing you of what you need to know, finding out what we need to know, and tailoring the coverages to meet the needs of each club and society, and the Federation as a whole.

The insurance needs of the CFMS are fairly complex. On this form, we have made every effort to concisely describe what your club insurance officer needs to know and what he or she needs to discuss with us further. Because we have a personal commitment to giving you the very best service and guidance, we require that your club insurance volunteer read this information and sign the form to document his or her awareness of insurance coverage issues and club members' responsibilities. We always welcome your calls to discuss any insurance matter and, as many of you know, I particularly enjoy discussing the in's and out's of insurance with CFMS representatives.

In addition, this form helps us to maintain an accurate contact list for CFMS clubs. This information is confidential and used only for CFMS insurance necessities. Sometimes, that information can save us, and your federation officers, a lot of time!

You ask: "What are the ramifications of not returning the form?" Most importantly, you run the risk of not having the knowledge you need to be risk conscious for your club and the Federation and run the risk of having a claim that would not have coverage. This could be a severe impact not only for your club and its officers and volunteers but for the Federation, its officers and volunteers, and the pricing of the insurance program. We do not cancel your insurance for not returning the form, but if you do not read it, you may be wearing an untailored 'insurance suit' that does not adequately cover your assets. We hope you can all see that we can only do our job properly if you help us to help you!

Patt McDaniel
McDaniel Insurance Services
CA DOI #0820481
Bud McMillin
CFMS Insurance Chairperson 2008

CFMS Rules Committee

Dee Holland

By Dee Holland

I hope you read the article by Shirley Leeson, AFMS President, regarding Competitive Exhibiting in the AFMS March Newsletter. I want to address the clubs throughout the California Federation.

In 2010, the California Federation will be hosting the AFMS Convention and Show, in Riverside, CA. This year, 2008, you have an opportunity to qualify ahead of time for the AFMS level competition. By entering this year at Ventura, in June, you have a chance to get the judges to help you improve your exhibit in order to score 90 points or above at the MASTER level.

For those of you who want to enter as a NOVICE or ADVANCED at Ventura, you will also have the help of the judges to improve your competition level to perhaps the next group or even to the ultimate MASTER group.

At one time many exhibitors had problems with judges. This has been effectively eliminated by working on an AFMS level to have many judges throughout the U.S. take a course at Eastern Federation's Wildacres Judges Training Workshop. Several CFMS judges have taken the AFMS Judges Training Course at Wildacres, among them: Ruth Bailey, Pat LaRue, Bural LaRue, Colleen McGann, Norvie Enns, Marion Roberts and Dick Freisen , and this year Tom Burchard will have attended by the CFMS show in Ventura. Dee Holland, who's idea it was for judges from all the 7 regional federations to attend, has actually attended 6 of the last 7 years and assisted instructor Jay Bowman.

In the CFMS, the Rules Committee is a rotational committee with a commitment of three years, culminating in being the Rules Chair. In 2008, Dee Holland is chair; in 2009 Tom Burchard; 2010, Marion Roberts will be chair. Each year, a new person is added at the bottom and works their way to the top. One more thing: I will be AFMS Uniform Rules Chair at the show in Riverside in 2010.

If you or your club are having difficulties in deciding which group, division or class to enter, please contact one of those people above and we will try to help you. Regarding the DIVISION AND CLASS, the rules committee can change your division and/or class if they believe your material fits into one that would be more advantageous to you. BUT, they cannot change your GROUP once you have made that choice. Your choice is: Novice, Advanced and Master, Junior and Society. Unfortunately many people only see the trophy that the Master group offers, but really should consider if a first time exhibitor to enter Novice. Advanced, over 80 points, receives a plaque if you have the highest score in class. Masters, over 90 points, receives a trophy if you have the highest score in your trophy class. Junior and Society has not been addressed here, but will be in a later article.

My ultimate goal would be to see each club in the CFMS have a special "how to night" to help each new member exhibit at their club show. And from there to compete in the CFMS show. I would also like to offer assistance to the clubs in learning more about what a judge looks for when judging a case. •   more on this later.

REMEMBER: This is also going to be our opportunity in 2010, to show the rest of the regional federations that CFMS has a large group of people who believe competitive competition is a way of improving our skills in quality of material selection, workmanship, labeling and showmanship which in turn benefits our hobby.

Bulletin Aids

Doug Arnold

By Doug Arnold

Is it too soon to think about the 2009 CFMS Bulletin competition? After all, we haven't even completed this year's event!

YES! It really is time to think about the next competition. Why? Most of the time, we never think about the competition until late in the year. Great bulletins are entered but they might even be better if we think about the competition early.

It might make us do more with the work we do, what we create and what we write. Too often, we send in an entry, only to wonder afterwords: "what if?" "What might I have done differently?"

Thinking about such matters early not only will give you a stronger contest entry but will make your club's bulletin even better. And that's what we all want!

If you have any contest, bulletin or writing questions, drop me a note at Thanks!

Cool Website!

By Fred Ott

For some really great photos, go to and click on the New Photos Today, New Photos Yesterday, User's Photo Galleries, and Past Photo of the Day Gallery under the Member Content section (left side of home page). These are fantastic!! You may want to save this as a "Favorite" on your computer. In addition to the "photos" section, this website has a TON of other great stuff to keep you busy (when you're not actually rockhounding•  •  ).

Nominating Committee

Frank Mullaney

By Frank Mullaney

The Nomination Committee is looking for nominations for 2009 officers. We can accept nominations for 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents and for Secretary and Treasurer

The Deadline for submissions of names will be September 1st. Nominations should include: the nominee's name, home address, telephone number and email address. Nominations should be submitted by your Club President or Federation Director. Please contact me if you need help:

5705 Begonia Dr
San Jose, CA 95124
Phone: 408-266-1791
Cell: 408-691-2656

Public Lands Advisory Committee - South

John Martin

By John Martin

The closure of roads and trails in US Forest and BLM Lands are a concern to all users of public lands and specifically to us, the Rock Hounds, who must use roads and trails to get to our collection sites. I've received some information regarding a website and a DVD which was directed to Off-Road Users, but which can be of value to us, as well. The DVD is well produced and tells a good story for your clubs and for your elected officials, too. Below is the information and Web Sites as I received them:

Chris Horgan, the driving force behind Stewards of the Sequoia (, has just completed a video designed to be used by OHV clubs and individuals.

Horgan envisions thousands of OHV enthusiasts across the U.S. playing the video for local elected officials, land managers and especially Congressman, Senators and their staff.

Included with the DVD are detailed instructions on how to find and present the DVD to law makers in your area. Horgan even includes step-by-step instructions and some really good tips and pointers about how to make the most of this exceptional video.

This sort of project is highly effective and highly recommended. The video is only $9.95 and is available on Horgan's new website:

And while you are there placing your order, don't forget to click the "Information for Lawmakers" link toward the top left of the webpage. Said in the voice of Monte Burns, of "The Simpsons".... Eeeeeexelent! Well done Chris!!

Please take a minute and visit the website and order your copy of the video today!

Brian Hawthorne
BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102

You may be a rockhound if......

  • You fall asleep each night to the soothing sounds of a rock tumbler.

  • You trade "perfectly good money" for a "rock".

  • You give directions using phrases such as "turn left at the road cut" or "turn right at the quartz rock outcropping".