Table of Contents
President's Message
From the Editor
Important Tax Information
Juniors Activities Report
All American Report
Earth Sciences Studies
Show Information Tables
Program Aids
CFMS Rules Committee
Inter-Regional Field Trips

CFMS Insurance
Inter-Regional Field Trips
Letter Regarding Margaret Norton
Warning Regarding BLM Land Closures
Federation Show Exhibiting
CFMS Slide and Video Program
Public Lands Advisory South
Silent Auction
Field Trips - North Seminar

President's Message

By Bural LaRue, CFMS President

Bural LaRue - CFMS President -  2007

Spring is just around the corner and I hope everyone is ready for it. Let•  s spring into action and get ready for our June show in Ventura. Our committee chairs are working hard to assure we have a great show and everyone attending will have fun.

Zzyzx will be history by the time you read this. I•  m looking forward to seeing a new case or two from what you learned at Zzyzx. Look for the application for Camp Paradise in this issue of the CFMS newsletter. The camps will be held during the first two weeks in September. Plans are underway to make this the best camp ever. Thirty percent of those who attended last year were first timers. If you really had a good time, bring a friend when you return this year!

Every day of our lives we face new challenges. My challenge to you is to make every day a fun day! Do something every day that makes you happy. Remember to HAVE FUN! Have a great day and a better tomorrow.

From the Editor

By Fred Ott

Fred Ott

All too often, some individuals comment that they don't perceive a lot of value by having their club be a member of the CFMS. From their perspective, they wonder if they're getting their "money's worth" from the current $7.50-per-member in annual dues (only $1 of which is retained by the CFMS; 50 cents is forwarded to the AFMS and $6.00 pays for general liability insurance coverage). Individual societies and their respective members, either directly or indirectly, enjoy the following benefits as members of the CFMS:

  1. Insurance:
    1. Each member of a Federation Society is covered with $1 million of liability insurance protection for all of their club sponsored activities, such as: field trips, classes, picnics and potlucks, meetings, etc.
    2. Certificates of Insurance are provided at no additional cost to clubs for events with less than 300 participants.
    3. Each society can purchase Optional Additional Insurance protection for:
      1. Their premises
      2. Their equipment and supplies
      3. Their buildings
    4. Each society can obtain Directors and Officers Liability protection for a VERY affordable cost: $250.00 per year.
    5. Special event insurance is available at an additional premium for events of 300-or-more participants.
  2. Earth Sciences: Members of clubs within the CFMS may attend the annual Earth Science Seminars at Camp Paradise and Zzyzx. For equivalent instruction, non-members would have to pay hundreds of dollars more for similar instruction and accommodations.
  3. Monthly CFMS Newsletters.
  4. CFMS Web site that provides Federation information, CFMS Newsletter, forms, manuals and much more .
  5. Federation Field Trips.
  6. Field Trip and other seminars.
  7. Tax advice provided by Mike Kokinos, CFMS Tax Advisor
  8. Legal advice provided by Jean Klotz, CFMS Legal Advisor
  9. Support for Junior Activities
  10. Participation in CFMS Scholarships (selection of awardees).
  11. Participation in AFMS Scholarships (selection of awardees).
  12. Demonstrator Committee provides resources for demonstrators at club functions/shows
  13. Cab Cases - contribute to individual club's shows
  14. Program Aids - provides speakers via Podium People for club meetings
  15. Public Lands Advisory - securing rockhounding rights
  16. Promotes and advertises club shows
  17. Provides Slide and Video programs for use by member clubs.
  18. Numerous other services, functions and activities provided by one paid individual, Pat LaRue, (Executive Secretary/Treasurer/Printer) and dozens of un-paid (i.e. volunteer) officers, directors, and committee chairpersons and committee persons.

These and more are provided to the clubs and the members of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, all for only $7.50 per member per year.

Important Tax Information

By Mike Kokinos, CFMS Tax Advisor

Mike Kokinos

For societies that are not required to file Form 990 or 990EZ (usually gross receipts averaging $25,000 or less), you must file Form 990N.

For calendar year organizations, an organization must file by May 15. For fiscal year organizations, file within 4 months and 15 days of your organization's year end. The IRS has warned not to file until after the organization's year ends.

Information you should have available before going to the website:

- EIN (federal identification number).
- Tax year.
- Legal name of the organization and mailing address.
- Name and Address of a principal officer.
- Web address if there is one.

If you encounter any problems, please let me know. This is my tax season so allow some time for a response. My email address is

Junior Activities Report

By Jim Brace-Thompson

Jim Brace-Thompson

Clearing Up Misperceptions about the FRA Program

The Number One goal of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Future Rockhounds of America program is to reach out to as many kids as possible, to fan whatever budding interest they may have in rocks, fossils, and lapidary arts. In messages I•  ve received via email, in talking with folks at gem shows and annual CFMS meetings, and via the grapevine, I•  ve become aware of a number of misperceptions about the AFMS/FRA program, and some of these are standing in the way of our goal. I•  d like to clear up several of the more common misperceptions I•  ve heard and encourage you to actively enroll each and every child in each and every club into FRA.

Misperception 1: To sign your juniors and pebble pups into FRA, you must have a whole group of kids, a youth leader, and a formal, structured youth program within your society. Not so! I constantly hear from folks that their society doesn•  t have enough kids to start the FRA program, or that their board of directors resists starting a youth group (that one always turns my head!). We want the program to be as inclusive as possible, and you don•  t need a big, formal group. If your society has just one child, sign that child up! We•  ll send an FRA membership badge, and they•  ll have a stronger sense of belonging to the community of your club. You don•  t need to wait until you have a whole roomful of kids and a youth leader. Start the ball rolling with a single child!

Misperception 2: To be in FRA, you actively need to implement the Badge Program. Not so! The badge program was set up to provide just one source of structured activities, but you don•  t need to use it at all to enroll your kids into FRA. In working with kids in your society, you can use your own activities or commercial sets of activities (like the great packets developed by Diamond Dan or activities sold by Ward•  s or Edmund Scientifics), or simply have your club•  s kids participate in the regular workshops, shows, and field trips your club undertakes in its normal course of business. The Badge Program is simply meant to serve as one option among many to utilize with your kids.

Misperception 3: To use the FRA Badge Program, you need to set up a formal schedule and arrange group activities with all the kids in your club. Not so! A lot of folks tell me they•  d like to use the badge program, but it•  s just too hard to schedule times when all the kids can get together, especially between after-school soccer, band, baseball, etc. I encourage you to be as flexible as possible with the Badge Program. A number of the activities are a lot more fun if done within a group, but don•  t let the inability to schedule a time get in the way. Allow for individual •  independent study•   and •  home-schooling•   for motivated juniors. The back-up pages in the Badge Manual were developed to give folks with minimal background what they need to guide kids through the activities, and these back-up pages can be shared with parents to work with their kids on their own at home. So give parents a copy of the manual and encourage them to sit down with their kids to pick out activities they•  d like to do. All we need in order to send a child a badge is a responsible adult•  a parent or designated club member•  to sign off to indicate successful completion, and a badge will be on the way to mark that child•  s accomplishments with a colorful, tangible reward.

Misperception 4: To use the FRA Badge Program and award badges to your kids, you must follow the manual to the letter. Not so! When they•  ve received the manual, some folks have said its size looks daunting, that the badge program seems designed for the •  Eagle Scouts•   among their junior members, and that some of the activities may be too involved for younger members. But as I note in the Introduction to the manual, you•  re encouraged to adjust the level of each activity to best match ages and abilities of your club•  s kids. You don•  t need to follow each activity exactly as laid out. Modify; where necessary simplify; but above all utilize the program! The goal is to help kids have fun while learning, so if you see a different spin on a particular activity that•  ll work better with your kids, by all means, take that spin, and then let•  s reward the kids with badges.

Misperception 5: If a society doesn•  t have any kids, the society can•  t do anything with the FRA program. Actually, this seems pretty self-evident, and I myself held this misperception•  until a couple of local societies showed me the way. One society in Texas lacks junior members, so they went to where the kids are! They•  re using the FRA Fossils activities and badges with local Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, hoping it might serve to attract kids to the club. Another society sponsors a geology club in one of their local schools that now uses the Badge Program. I personally have found such examples of resourcefulness inspiring!

So, my basic message? Let•  s not make things complicated nor let misperceptions get in the way. Rather than looking for reasons not to enroll kids into FRA, let•  s follow the example of those clubs that went to where the kids are and get creative with a program that•  s been set up for every club, even those with just a single child member, or no children at all! Don•  t have •  enough•   kids? Don•  t want to start until you hold endless debates at board meetings about starting a juniors group? Don•  t know if you want to use the Badge Program? Don•  t know how to get started? Well, •  don•  t•   isn•  t exactly an inspiring word; in fact, it•  s a word often used to beat down the inner child within us all. Don•  t let •  don•  t•   get in the way of that key first step toward inspiring our children. I urge one and all to call me today to sign up each and every child. It•  s the first step toward bringing along the next generation of rockhounds while, as always, having fun!

All American Report

By Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler

In spite of our urging, only two CFMS clubs entered books into the All American judging this year.

These clubs are:

  • Mother Lode Mineral Society
  • Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Society

Again, these books will be judged for the California region and then sent on to the AFMS to be judged for national recognition. The California judging results will be announced in June at the Ventura show.

Last month a request was made to the Federation Directors to send a report regarding the All American Program. So far, that •  blank sheet of paper•   is still blank! We need your input so it can be sent on to the AFMS.

Earth Science Studies

By Marion Roberts

Marion Roberts

As I write this, we are very close to the Zzyzx program and I am glad to say we have a full program. When you read this report, Zzyzx will be over for another year but, this is also the beginning of the Camp Paradise program which is two one-week sessions. The first week starts on August 31, 2008 and the second week begins on September 7, 2008. Please remember that Camp Paradise is •  on•   and f you have any questions, contact Marion Roberts or Cal Clason. Nothing will change unless it comes from one of us.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank C.J. Quitoriano for getting our flyers put together as this project has been in the works for about two years. An application for Camp Paradise is available in this issue and will be accepted by Anna Christiansen as of April 1, 2008.

Federation Show Information Tables

By Dick Pankey

Dick Pankey

We have a big building to fill at our Federation Show in Ventura this June. This building will hold all of our non-competitive, competitive and club display cases, plus demonstrators, demo-dealers, kid•  s activities and displays, and silent auction and sale. And it still won•  t be full.

I think a good use of this space would be •  Information Tables.•   The Ye Old Timers Mineral Club is already signed up. We will also have an Earth Science Studies table about Camp Paradise and Zzyzx. I hope to get representatives from BLM and the Forest Service.

I am looking for ideas and suggestions from others to fill some •  Info Tables.•   I am sure there are universities, colleges and junior colleges with earth science programs, museums, area park districts, etc. that would be appropriate and interesting or our show. Please e-mail me ideas and suggestion. Better yet, send me specific contact information and some details about the organization.

Working together we can make this a great show; a show to remember!

Program Aids

By Cheri George

Cheri George

I want to thank Bill Gissler for his Program Report for his club for the last year. It is wonderful to have such a conscientious person working with me.

I have been asked to remove three people from the Podium People list:

  1. Betty Egger has asked that she be removed from the brochure due to her declining eyesight. She says she is really sorry because she loves to do those programs, but she can•  t see well enough to drive at night. I am sure we will all miss her and her programs.
  2. Jim Sumstine is also being removed for unstated personal reasons. We will miss his entertaining programs as Mr. Comet.
  3. Robert Paschall passed away on December 8th, 2007.

The Program Reports are still being accepted even if it is March. I have only received one report thus far. The form for this report is located in the back of the Podium People brochure. I would be happy to accept it in the form of an email at .

CFMS Rules Committee

By Dee Holland

Dee Holland

I know it•  s early, but Tom Burchard is fretting because as of February 28th, he only has one application for competitive exhibiting. I have just returned from Eastern Federation Show and Convention and we are currently tied with them for competitive exhibits. It•  s sad, but they only had ONE COMPETITIVE EXHIBIT.

Don•  t let us down, start now and get your competitive exhibit ready and send Tom your application.

We•  ll see you in June, it•  s just around the corner•  .

Inter-Regional Field Trips

By Dick Pankey

Dick Pankey

Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip

When you read this in April, it will be just a few short weeks until our Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip. We are looking forward to many of you joining us for this fun event. The weather should be just right •   springtime, the hills are still green and the wild flowers are in bloom. We are relying on the bulletin editors and field trip chairmen to help get the word out about this unique adventure. The two-page Field Trip flier is available on the AFMS, CFMS, NFMS and RMFMS web page. This flier has all the details about the trip, directions to our campsite and other useful information.

There were two activities mentioned in the flier that I would like to explain in more detail. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, we will conduct our Tailgate Displays. We will have rockhounds from all over the western United States that I am sure have collected some unique and interesting material from their home area. Bring along some specimens to show and share at the tailgate display. This will also be a good time to conduct the •  map exchange•  . Map exchanges are easy •   to get a map you have to give a map. Before you leave home prepare a good, detailed map of a good, unique or little- known collecting area that you are familiar with. The map should be a detailed hand or computer drawn map with accurate mileages (GPS coordinates are very desirable) and be sure to note collecting site details and campsites where appropriate. Bring along as many maps as you would like to receive. I plan to bring 100 copies of my map. I am sure there will be a lot of informal exchanges of collecting sites, GPS info, and sharing of great places to go and see.

This trip is open to members and guests of the Northwest, Rocky Mountain and California Federations of Mineralogical Societies, and all of the Federations of the AFMS. Everyone who agrees to adhere to the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies Code of Ethics, abide by the direction of the field trip leaders, and practice safe rockhounding is welcome to attend.

Please notify your respective Federation leader early, but no later than May 16, if you plan to attend; e-mail (or call) if you have questions or need more information. Don•  t wait •   do it now! This will be a great opportunity for rockhounds from all over the west, and all of the Federations of the AFMS, to meet one another, to share stories, and information about collecting in their home areas. Be sure to bring material from your favorite collecting sites to show and share.

Come join us for a great Tri-Federation Rendezvous of collecting, fun and fellowship.

For additional information, contact:

Dick Parks, Northwest Federation

Yonis Lone Eagle, Rocky Mt. Federation

Richard Pankey, California Federation

CFMS Insurance

By Bud McMillin and Patt McDaniel

Patt McDaniel Bud McMillin

Why can I purchase "premises liability and/or property coverage" insurance cheaper here in my hometown than I can through the Federation? Can I still be a member of the Federation if I choose to obtain my premises liability and property coverage insurance from another company?

Let me say, first, that you can purchase the premises and property elsewhere, but it is required that a certificate of insurance evidencing this coverage be provided to us. This certificate is needed to protect the Federation, because it could be held responsible for uninsured claims of the member clubs. Some clubs have had coverage for years through some other arrangement. Some have coverage for their workshops through government agencies or local arts councils that costs them little or nothing. We have received proof of this and we are glad to see this type of coverage. A couple of clubs have their own long-standing policies that they are happy with. The combining of policies can be tricky so it is important for your club to work closely with us to arrange for coverages. We must put your interest first in order to properly serve your needs and the needs of the Federation.

I must say that I have not received evidence of coverage from a single club showing that a new policy providing the same coverages was purchased for less. Unfortunately, I have seen more than one instance where clubs have purchased insurance that, as it turned out, did not provide the needed coverage. I have also seen policies that provided comparable coverage for a higher premium.

Clubs are always looking to minimize costs (as they should) and we are always trying to provide the coverage that is needed at the best possible rates, because we know that you need both excellent coverage and economical options.

Most clubs could never find a comparable policy for less, because insurance policies of this type are not written for less than a minimum premium. Most companies have minimum yearly premiums of $1200 to $1500; occasionally a small club may be able to get a policy for $900 to $1100. At any rate, it is only the larger clubs, usually ones with a high membership and a workshop, that might, conceivably, be able to find something for less, although we are not seeing this. It must be recognized, as well, that all the clubs help support the coverage for the parent organization (CFMSI) and any regional activities. In state-wide nonprofit organizations, it is usually the larger clubs that provide the most support for the larger organization. Often it is the larger clubs that are the founders of a statewide organization. The parent organization typically promotes communication and supports statewide projects, as well as providing such things as insurance that makes it possible for the smaller clubs to exist and bring programs of interest to both adults and young people to the states served.

Although we are always looking for better solutions, this approach has led us to the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies and their Federal Insurance Company, because they have consistently shown competitive pricing, policy language that provides some of the broadest coverage that we have seen from any company, and the very best of reputations when it comes to claims response . . . and that is, after all, what this is all about! I suggest that those of you who are •  watch dogs•   for the Federation search Google for •  good faith•   •  bad faith•   •  insurance companies•  . You may be surprised to find who is on the list of the 100 best and worst companies in claims handling. Chubb has consistently rated #1 in good faith claims handling for many years.

McDaniel Insurance Services
CA DOI #0820481

Bud McMillin
CFMS Insurance Chairperson 2008

Inter-Regional Field Trips

By Dick Pankey

Dick Pankey

The AFMS ad hoc committee for Inter- Regional Field Trips was established to promote and conduct interaction between the members of the Federations of AFMS. And when I say members, I don•  t mean the clubs or the officers; I mean the people: the rockhounds! Prior to establishing this committee, the interaction between Federations typically only happened at an AFMS combined meeting and show. And this basically has been limited to the Federations•   officers and the committees. While the stated purpose of this committee is to hold and promote field trips, I think the scope could be expanded to include rock swaps, seminars, classes, and the like. To start, we will focus on field trips.

A difference between an •  Inter- Regional Field Trip•   and a Federation field trip or a club trip often comes down to who is invited, how the trip is promoted and where it is promoted. The last few years, I have received and diligently read several other Federation newsletters and have become aware of a number of field trips and related events that could easily fit the criteria of an •  inter-regional trip•  . By it•  s nature, an inter-regional field trip is probably bigger than most other field trips and therefore requires more thought and planning. Since the purpose is to attract a broader geographical attendance, the collecting opportunity should be for material that is of good quality and good supply and easily obtainable by both experienced and inexperienced rockhounds. This event can and should offer those attending more than just collecting. It should provide opportunities for socializing and interaction: potluck dinners, happy hour get-togethers and evening campfires. There can be other attractions and activities such as speakers from BLM/Forest Service/local experts, map exchanges and home material swap, special sight seeing attractions like a National Park, and other collecting sights in the area or on the way.

Over the next few months, I will be talking more about the considerations and planning for an •  Inter-Regional Field Trip•  . If anyone has any thoughts or ideas about what we should consider when holding a trip, please send me an e-mail.

Letter to Pat LaRue regarding Past-President, Margaret Norton:

Margaret Norton

Hi, Pat:

We (SCVG&MS) just received a letter from William X Norton III, Margaret and Bill's son. He wrote that she was having further problems and last week was diagnosed with pneumonia on top of everything else. She has been transferred to Lincoln Glenn Manor at 2671 Plummer Avenue, San Jose, CA 95125.

They said that she cannot talk on the telephone but would enjoy visits from friends. In fact, I just had an email from our club Sunshine Chair and she and another friend visited yesterday and said that Margaret was up and in good spirits. I will try to visit in the next few days.

Bill is still at home as the Dr feels that he will do best in his familiar surroundings. His Alzheimer's continues to progress and he is not able to take walks any more because of increased frailty.

They asked that we let the CFMS know of her condition.

Thanks, Ruth Bailey

NOTE: Margaret, pictured above, was the 42nd CFMS President in 1988.

Warning Regarding BLM Land Closure in Las Vegas Basin

By Jean Klotz, CFMS Legal Advisor

Jean Klotz

We have recently learned that a rockhound was cited for "off-roading" on a gravel road leading from the pavement and going up towards a mine dump. BLM law enforcement officers stopped him and issued a citation for "off-roading", bearing a $125 fine.

Since the area was not posted as being closed, he was quite upset and reported the action to a member of the local rock club. They, in turn, contacted me and I then called the Chief Ranger for BLM in that area, Erica Schumacher (my apologies if I spelled her name incorrectly!).

She explained that the closure has been in effect since the late 1990's but that she cannot keep the area posted because, as she put it, "I can send out my Rangers to put up 50 signs and they will all be torn down before the end of the day".

The problem exists because the EPA is trying to improve air quality in the basin and has apparently required the BLM to prevent traffic on dirt or gravel roads in the area on the theory that such travel will increase dust particles in the air. She states that the only way to prevent unauthorized entry appears to be that of issuing citations requiring fines.

She does state that there can be permitted instances of administrative entry for such purposes as maintaining a mining claim, grazing permit, or similar entitlement. Since the local club has been conducting field trips to their own claim and perhaps elsewhere within the basin, I have recommended that they contact the Ranger for explicit instructions and permits if needed.

She did state that the boundaries of the Las Vegas Basin and the regulations are on the BLM website and I urge anyone going into the area to at least check that source. If you go to Las Vegas and wish to collect, you should go to the BLM office and make certain that you are not going to be cited in the area that you wish to visit.

Federation Show Exibiting

By Dick and Betty Pankey

Dick Pankey  Betty Pankey

It is just over 2 months until the CFMS Show and Convention in Ventura. Will you be there? Now is the time to make your plans and send in your reservation. We are really hoping for big participation in exhibiting at our 2008 Show. We have arranged for ample space and display cases. Now we need you to bring your display and maybe your club display.

Exhibiting at the CFMS Show is open to all members of Federation clubs. Betty and I have set what we think is a very achievable goal of at least 100 non-competitive cases, at least 40 competitive cases and at least 40 club cases. We would just love to exceed these goals and we have the room to accommodate all who would like to participate. But to meet/exceed our goal, we need your case.

This is the Federation Show, hosted and put on by the Federation, and your club and your are the Federation. This is your show and every club should want to participate and be represented in the show. Your club case is a great way to highlight what is special about your club, to promote your club and to show off to the rest of the Federation. Yes, a chance to brag a little bit, just like we get to do with the All American Club books. Your case will say •  look at us; this is who we are and what we do.•   Your club case may be an inspiration and give new ideas to other clubs. Use your case to show off your activities, field trips, classes, community participation, or rocks, minerals and fossils from your area. And the rest of us may get some new ideas and learn more about other clubs around the Federation.

It is easy to sign up to exhibit your display. Just complete the Exhibit Form that is available on the CFMS web site, WWW.CFMSINC.ORG, or from your Federation Director, and mail it to us. The due date for entries is June 13th. But why wait; just do it now. All exhibitors will receive two 3-day Guest Passes.

This is your show; be part of this great event. Enter your non-competitive case and have your club enter a club case.

CFMS Slide and Video Program Library

By Bill Gissler

Bill Gissler

Recent Additions to Program Library

The following two slide programs are new additions to the CFMS library. Both were produced by a lapidary club member and submitted to the AFMS annual program competition. If they can do it, how come a member from a CFMS affiliated club can't also prepare a program to enter in the AFMS Program Competition? I am sure that we have talented members and we certainly have many potential programs of interest in the CFMS region. So, someone please step forward and prepare an entry to the AFMS Program Competition. The entry rules can be found in the 2008 CFMS Program Library or on the AFMS or CFMS web sites.

  • F-155. WONDER-FULL FOSSILS is an AFMS 2007 Award Program entry prepared by Connie Snepp, a member of Central Michigan Lapidary & Mineral Society. The program consists of 20 slides and a script which draws viewers into participation by suggesting questions and possible answers. As it covers a variety of fossils, it is a good general subject introduction program. It promotes interest in fossils by conveying the message: "while most rocks are interesting to a rockhound, those that contain evidence of something that once was alive - now that is a wonder."
  • F-156. JEWEL CAVE is another AFMS 2007 Award Program entry consisting of 53 slides. The program was developed by Judith Washburn of the Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society after a Club trip to Jewel Cave; she uses some of her slides and others purchased at the cave gift shop. Jewel Cave is a fascinating underground world located 13 miles west of Custer, South Dakota, buried beneath the Black Hills. The cave was discovered in 1900 and declared a National Monument in 1908. In 1933, the National Park Service took over the administration of the cave and new improved trails were built. The program shows the new visitor center at Jewel Cave and describes the three types of tours offered. The program is packed with information about the features of Jewel Cave as well as general information about caves.

To borrow these and other great programs from the CFMS program library, ask your Club Federation Director for information about the Slide and Video 2008 Program Catalog or view the library program catalog on the CFMS web site.

(Via City of Phoenix Safety)

By Chuck McKie

Chuck McKie

DO•  s and DON•  T

DO check your property regularly for bee colonies. Honey bees nest in a wide variety of places, especially Africanized honey bees. Check animal burrows, water meter boxes, overturned flower pots, trees and shrubs.

DO keep pets and children indoors when using weed eaters, hedge clippers, tractor power mowers, chain saws, etc. Attacks frequently occur when a person is mowing the lawn or pruning shrubs and inadvertently strikes a bee's nest.

DO avoid excessive motion when near a colony. Bees are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than a stationary one.

DON'T pen, tie or tether animals near bee hives or nests.

DON'T destroy bee colonies or hives, especially with pesticides. Honey bees are a vital link to U.S. agriculture. Each year, pollination by honey bees adds at least $10 billion to the value of more than 90 crops. They also produce about $150 million worth of honey each year.

DON'T remove bees yourself. If you want bees removed, look in the yellow pages under "bee removal" or "beekeepers".

What to do if you are attacked:

  1. Run as quickly as you can away from the bees. Do not flail or swing your arms at them, as this may further annoy them.
  2. Because bees target the head and eyes, cover your head as much as you can without slowing your escape.
  3. Get to the shelter or closest house or car as quickly as possible. Don't worry if a few bees become trapped in your home. If several bees follow you into your car, drive about a quarter of a mile and let the bees out of the car.

When to call the Fire Department:
Call the fire department only when emergency medical services are needed. If someone has been stung by many bees at once or has an allergic reaction to a bee sting, call 9-1-1. Call the fire department if someone has become trapped in a building or car with lots of bees. Fire trucks are equipped with a foam that can be sprayed on the bees to drown them. DO NOT call the fire department to remove bee colonies or hives. If you want bees removed, look in the yellow pages under "bee removal" or "beekeepers".

How to treat stings from Africanized bees:
Treating stings from Africanized bees is much the same as treating a common bee sting. If a person is stung:

  1. Keep the affected area below the heart.
  2. If the sting was by a bee and the stinger is still in the skin, remove it by gently scraping against it with your fingernail, a credit card or a knife. Be careful not to squeeze the stinger. The venom sac still will be attached and you will inject additional venom into the area. Be sure to remove the venom sac.
  3. Apply cold compresses to relieve pain and swelling but do not apply ice directly.
  4. f it becomes difficult to breathe, call 9-1-1. Itching should quit within a few hours. If it persists beyond two days, or if signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction occur after an insect bite you should be seen by a doctor.

The signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  1. Burning pain and itching at the bite site.
  2. Itching on the palms of the hands and soles of the feet.
  3. Itching on the neck and the groin.
  4. General body swelling.
  5. A nettlelike rash over the entire body.
  6. Difficulty breathing.
  7. Faintness, weakness
  8. Nausea.
  9. Shock.
  10. Unconsciousness.

Public Lands Advisory Committee - South

By John Martin

John Martin

For those who travel and collect in the White Mountains, here is a chance to submit your ideas and comments on revised land usage. So, do not wait too long•  •  

News Release

For Release: February 1, 2008
Contacts: Steve Razo 951-697-5217
or Hector Villalobos 760-384-5400

BLM to Revise Proposed Plan Amendment
on Furnace Creek

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has withdrawn for revision its pending proposal regarding long-term management of a 3.75 mile-long portion of the Furnace Creek Road leading up to the Inyo National Forest boundary in Mono County.

The road segment has been closed since 2003 to provide interim protection of sensitive resources, according to BLM Ridgecrest Field Manager Hector Villalobos. Since then, both BLM and the Forest Service, which administers the adjoining road segment on National Forest lands, have developed proposals to manage vehicular access in a manner that protects the wetlands, riparian habitat, and water quality of the area.

BLM, which is also required to amend its California Desert Plan as part of the authorization process, issued a proposed plan amendment in May 2007 to allow for vehicular access for casual public use. Some 182 public protests were received, Villalobos said, pointing out weaknesses in regard to the wilderness, cultural resources, and cumulative impact analysis.

•  We agreed the environmental assessment and proposed plan amendment had shortcomings and have withdrawn the proposal to enable us to revise and strengthen that analysis,•   Villalobos said. He said BLM intends to prepare a revised document and publish it for at least a 30-day public comment period sometime this spring.

Join the Silent Auction at the 2008 CFMS Show!
Donate Materials & Bid to Build the Endowment Fund!

By Ron Wise
Ventura & Oxnard Gem & Mineral Societies

Have you ever participated in a silent auction? If the answer is "yes," please read this article and send me any suggestions you think will help. If the answer is "no," here is the way we propose to run the Silent Auction at the 2008 CFMS Show in Ventura. For both old-timers who have attended many a show and newcomers to our hobby, here's your chance to participate.

The three local Ventura County clubs (Conejo, Oxnard, and Ventura clubs) have good local material we'll be donating to the auction. However, these clubs alone don't have the type and quality of material to run a silent auction for the full three days of the show. The Ventura club, in particular, had a lot of its rock pile raided last year, with 30 to 40 crates of rocks stolen, and the Conejo club will be running its own show just weeks prior to the Federation show, so we will need donations.

These three local clubs have pledged to provide the man-power to run the auction, as well as whatever rocks they can provide, but they'll definitely need your help to provide enough quality items for bidding. Furthermore, they've agreed to donate proceeds from the Silent Auction to the CFMS Endowment Fund in memory of Ray Meisenheimer.

Everyone knew Ray, and Ray knew everyone! He and Florence were at every CFMS function, raising cash for the endowment fund and supporting the Federation in so many other ways. Anyone donating materials for the silent auction (quality rocks, fossils, lapidary materials, petrified wood, geodes, etc.) will receive a receipt for that donation. We ask that you label any items you donate to indicate what it is, where it was found, and a suggested value.

We're proposing the following Silent Auction procedures:

  • Silent auctions will run on a cycle with start- and end-times announced on the loudspeaker (most likely, one auction round every hour).
  • Items will be placed with a bid sheet, stating what the material is and a minimum or starting bid.
  • After selecting a rock you would like to bid on, sign up with the minimum bid or a bid higher than the preceding bid.
  • You may bid on as many items as you wish.
  • You can bid as many times as you wish to win the bid. Note that near the end of the auction, other rockhounds oftentimes swoop in at the last moment to out-bid you, especially on quality materials, so if there's something you really, really want, you'll need to guard your bid!
  • Bid increments will start at the minimum bid or 25 cents over the last bid. After a bid of 10 dollars the next bid is 1 dollar higher.
  • Announcements will be made over the loudspeaker when five minutes are left in a round and the next announcement will end that round of the Silent Auction. All bidding ends at that time, the highest bidder wins the rock.
  • Finally, we will add a "Buy It Now" price tag to items set out for that round of the silent auction. The "Buy It Now" price will be considerably higher than the minimum bid. At any point during the auction, a bidder may opt to go for the "Buy It Now" option to conclude the bidding on that piece.

We welcome suggestions and feedback you may have about these procedures. To provide your thoughts, call me at (805) 647-4393, or email me at When the procedures are finalized, we will be posting them on a poster at the Silent Auction booth so that all participants are fully informed of how the auction is being run.

Silent auctions are a great way for you to evaluate a great variety of materials and to purchase quality items at a good price, often at just a fraction of the item's commercial value. So plan to spend some time at the Silent Auction during the CFMS Show this June in Ventura. Bring some rocks to donate to the cause and bring extra money because who knows what wonderful material you may be able to pick up!

P.S. If you promise not to bid on the items I'm bidding on, I will do the same for you! ?

CFMS Field Trips - North Seminar

By Dick Pankey

Dick Pankey

Knowing Where You Are/Checking Land Status

The Contra Costa Mineral and Gem Society will host this seminar on Saturday, April 12, 2008 at the Community Presbyterian Church, 200 E. Leland, in Pittsburg, CA. Registration, with coffee, begins at 8:30 AM and the seminar starts at 9:00. This seminar is for all people that go on or lead field trips. All club members are encouraged to attend. Cost of the seminar is $5.00, which includes coffee, and a lunch of hot dogs with all of the trimmings, chips and a beverage.

The purpose of knowing where you are is two fold. All field trip leaders and collectors need to know where they are and where they should not be. While we may collect on public land •   BLM and Forest Service land •   we cannot collect on private or claimed land without permission. It is the responsibility of the collector to know the status of the land on which they intend to collect. It is the responsibility of the field trip leader to know the status of the land and determine boundaries before people are led to an area with private land and/or claims.

This seminar addresses what you need to know about determining land status, choosing and reading maps, GPS and other tools. Three presenters are scheduled to speak:

  1. Dave Muster will talk about:
    1. Types of Land
    2. Using Visuals and Compasses
    3. Finding Markers
    4. Finding Townships, Section and Range
  2. Dennis Freiburger will talk about:
    1. Practical GPS and Digital Maps
    2. A user-friendly approach to using the Global Positioning System.
  3. Dick Pankey will talk about Personal Responsibility on Field Trips.

This seminar addresses what you need to know about determining land status, choosing and reading maps, GPS and other tools. This seminar is for field trip leaders, and all rockhounds that enjoy collecting; all members and guests are welcome.

Please reserve your place at this seminar by notifying Dick Pankey at or 925-439-7509, no later than April 7th.