Table of Contents
President's Message
2009 CFMS Show Overview
All American Report
Buletin Aids
Earth Science Studies
Member Recognition
Field-Trips Nortn
Field-Trips South
Waiver of Liability
AFMS Field Trip
Golden Bear Award

CFMS History
Isurance Question of the Month
Internet Committee
AFMS Webmasters Contest
Junior Activities
Notes from John
Show Dates
Slide & Video Library
Uniform Rules
CFMS Show Update
Offcers &: Committee Reorts

President's Message

By C. J. Quitoriano, CFMS President

C. J. Quitoriano - CFMS President -  2007

Hello again! I hope everyone was able to make Quartzsite this year! Ray and I had planned to go, but we were sidelined due to a false animal abuse allegation! Long story short, the animal control officer found nothing wrong with the animals, thank goodness!

Well, it•  s show season again! I hope we'll see a lot of you at the upcoming CFMS show? We try to go to as many shows as we can; it•  s a great way to get to meet others who are involved in our hobby, and to get ideas for our club•  s show!

I would also like to talk to you all about a great resource for recruiting new members, and better yet, young members!

As a lot of you know, I am involved with the foster care system in our state. I meet with a lot of care providers via Foster Family Agencies and Group Homes. When I attend meetings with these providers, I always mention the local shows and encourage them to bring their children.

I was thinking as a way to give these young people an opportunity to get involved in our hobby, those of you involved in youth programs for your clubs could contact Group Home Administrators or Foster Family Agencies in your area and give them info about your club and your shows. Believe me, they're always looking for activities for these kids, especially the group homes.

This year there is talk about canceling summer school due to the budget problems, and a lot of these kids will need something to take up their time. This would be a win-win situation because your club can tap into this huge resource of possible members, and the kids would learn from the endless wisdom in our clubs!

For contact info for group homes and FFA•  s in your local area, you can go to the CCL web site
and search your zip code and those around you for the type of facility that you want to find. The Yellow Pages also list the FFAs in your area.

Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you all at the big show!

- CJ

Spotlighting a Show to Remember!

By June Harris, SCVGMS

June Harris

Mark your calendars for the greatest CFMS show ever. On April 17-19, the Santa Clara Valley Gem and Mineral Society will be hosting the 2009 CFMS show in San Jose at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds on Tully Road. This show will have something for everyone.

We have a special attraction called the Kids Area. Bring your children and grandchildren to the Kids Area to introduce them to the fun and wacky world of rocks. Designed in a question-and-answer setting with lots of hands-on activities, children of all ages will learn interesting facts, experiment with geology, and have a great time. Each child will receive a rock bag with a beginning rock collection and a show patch (while supplies last).

We have special programs for Scouts of all ages and Future Rockhounds of America. These programs are listed on our club web site,, and you are encouraged to sign up early to assure that your child or grandchild will have the packet needed to complete their •  badge/s.•  

We are working hard to make sure that every child who attends our show leaves happy and looking forward to coming back next year. Our Kids Area is just one of the many interesting things that children of all ages will be able to experience while having a great time.

Adults and children alike will love our special exhibits and display cases. They are sure to be eye-catching and jaw-dropping attractions. You•  ll want to stop by and see all our demonstrators. Throughout each and every day, there will be a wide variety of demonstrators of lapidary arts.

Please visit our club website to learn more about our special exhibits and demonstrators. Try your hand at gold panning. Also, don•  t pass up our Treasure Hunt for the kids. Of course, you won•  t want to miss any of our 60+ dealers who will have the widest selection of minerals, fossils, jewelry, and lapidary-related items and equipment for sale.

Interesting guest speakers will titillate their audience with facts, specimens, pictures, stories, and personal anecdotes. We will even have a special speaker for the kids. Dinosaur expert, Richard Wade, will be presenting a special program about dinosaurs twice a day. While the program is especially for children, everyone is encouraged to attend one of the shows. Mr. Wade•  s program will be in the Pavilion building; all other speakers will be in the Town Hall.

Our Scholarship Booth will offer everyone the opportunity to make some jewelry, paint a •  fossil,•   spin the prize-wheel, or pick up that special one-of-a-kind rock. Make sure you visit the booth and bring home a special trinket to remind you of the best CFMS show you ever attended. All profits from the scholarship booth support our annual yearly scholarships to earth science students at San Jose State University, University of California at Santa Cruz, and California State University at East Bay.

Come to the 2009 CFMS Show in San Jose on April 17-19 You don•  t want to miss this incredible show. Support the CFMS. Come for all three days of fun. You won•  t want to miss a single minute. Get to know your CFMS officers at the Cracker Barrel event on Friday night at 7 PM in the Town Hall. Reserve your meal and seat for the Awards Banquet on Saturday night, and don•  t forget to reserve your spot to attend the Editor•  s Breakfast on Sunday morning. Make sure that if you are planning to camp at the fairgrounds, to reserve your three-day show pass and camping pass early. All reservation forms are on the CFMS web site,, under the Forms section and the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral society web site,, under Annual Show section. Don•  t miss this great event, and don•  t miss this opportunity to support the CFMS!

- June


By Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler

Despite our efforts to have more clubs enter the All American Program this year, only two clubs responded. And they are the same two clubs that entered last year! These clubs are:

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

Because there were several other activities around the due date, I extended the time, hoping more clubs would enter. No such luck!

Now is the time for all clubs to consider entering for 2010. Talk to your club members, then outline and begin implementing your plan for next year•  s entry.

- Dot


By Doug Arnold

Doug Arnold

I just returned from Quartzsite, after attending the annual meeting of SCRIBE. And just what is SCRIBE? It is the Special Congress Representing Involved Bulletin Editors, an international organization of bulletin editors and writers of amateur gem, mineral, and earth science societies. SCRIBE is here to:

  • Improve communication and public relations among gem and mineral societies, their federations, and other related organizations through involved bulletin editors; and
  • Advise and assist new editors with old ideas and old editors with new ideas while giving all editors a share in all ideas for publishing better bulletins.

They hold an annual meeting in Quartzsite, and it•  s an opportunity for members from around the US and Canada to get together and discuss issues that affect them all.

SCRIBE provides many valuable benefits to members:

  • The bulletin SCRIBE 4 times a year. Read a sample issue!
  • An annual Membership/Contact List of names, addresses, affiliations, and email addresses of bulletin editors worldwide.
  • Occasional regional meetings plus a half-day Annual Editors•   Get-Together in Quartzsite.
  • A yearly CD compilation of articles, newsletters, clip art, and computer programs to assist old and new editors alike. This CD, along with the yearly Membership Roster, will be mailed FREE to all paid Members by the end of February or early March. NEW members also receive a FREE copy of the CD compilation as a SCRIBE Treasurer, Bob Hughes, P.O. Box 1633, East Ellijay, GA 30539-0028. Copies of the older, 2002-2006, single-disk CDs are available for $2.00 each, postpaid. Alternatively, a DVD compilation of all CDs, 2002-2008, can be purchased for $3.00, postpaid. Your computer must be equipped with a DVD drive in order to read the DVD compilation. If you have questions regarding the CDs or DVD, contact Bob, phone (706) 635-8249, email
  • SCRIBE also provides a Bulletin Evaluation Service to members. This non-competitive judging, a test run, provides valuable advice to help editors improve the quality of bulletins before they enter Regional Federation competition. Take a look at the web site,

Don•  t forget the annual Editor•  s Breakfast will be at the CFMS show next month. Make your reservations now!

- Doug

Camp Paradise & Zzyzx

By Marion F. Roberts

Marion Roberts

A hearty and hardy hello to everyone on a great day! Vivien and I just got back from Quartzite after spending the month of January on the desert, and it was beautiful this year.

As you know if you read the February CFMS Newsletter, we're starting the sign-up for Zzyz camp a bit early this year due to two things to contend with. No. 1 is the change from March to November. No. 2, many clubs do not meet or send out newsletters in July and August, so it gives us only September and October for applications. Thus, we are making applications available early this year.

Now to correct an error on the application. For some reason, I forgot to change the camp fee from $300 to $350. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience I have caused anyone. Also the notice of the March 2 acceptance date for applications was on our master copy but apparently when it was sent e-mail, it did not read it, being it was on the bottom. This will be corrected and redone for next year and a corrected application is in this issue of the newsletter and has been corrected on the CFMS web site.

Camp Paradise is filling nicely, with only about 25 spaces available, so send in your application as soon as possible. See you in Paradise!

- Marion


By Loretta Ogden

Loretta Ogden

On behalf of the Yucaipa Valley Gem & Mineral Society, Vice President Janice Torres unhesitatingly, and with great pleasure, nominates Frank Fitch for CFMS recognition via the Education Through Sharing Award.

Frank was elected president in his third year and has been re-elected for 2009. He led YVGMS into a period of major growth by creating a very friendly, helping atmosphere at meetings and at the shop. This positive atmosphere further encouraged other members into greater participation. Under his leadership, membership has grown 50%. Frank has been an active field collector and volunteered to be the field trip chairman for the last two years. He also shared his experiences in the field by presenting two programs on collecting sites at our regular meetings.

Yucaipa Icon

In addition to all of his duties as President, Frank volunteered to be a silver fabrication instructor to help relieve the load on another shop instructor. He has conducted 8 classes in 2008 and many more planned for 2009.

- Loretta

Seminar: What Rockhounds Need to Know About Claims

By Dick Pankey

Dick Pankey

A Claims Seminar presented by Dr. Gregg Wilkerson (Bakersfield BLM District Office), will be hosted by the Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society on Saturday, March 21 at the Community Presbyterian Church in Pittsburg, CA. An announcement flyer with details and directions is available on the CFMS web site ( The seminar is for field trip leaders, all rockhounds and anyone using our public lands. All CFMS society members and guests are welcome! The seminar will cover:

  • General overview and history of claims and claiming. What it means when a piece of land is •  claimed. •  
  • Current status of claim procedures. What is •  claimable•  ?
  • What are the rights and obligations of a Claim Holder?
  • What are the rights and obligations of the public in respect to a claim?
  • Use of claims to have and maintain access to rockhounding areas.
  • How to stake and file a claim.
  • Where and how to get information about claims and claimed land?

An excellent article on claims and the Mining Law of 1872 is in August 2008 Rock & Gem magazine This is MUST reading for anyone who rockhounds on public land and •  required•   reading for anyone planning to attend the seminar. Written by Steve Voynick and entitled •  Minerals, Mining, & Public Lands,•   it starts on page 64. This outstanding article covers the history, purpose, updates and changes over the years and current status of the Mining Law. Get it. Read it. Great information. You•  ll be better prepared for the seminar.

Cost of the seminar is $5.00, which includes coffee, a lunch of hot dogs with all of the trimmings, chips and a beverage. Please reserve your place at this seminar by notifying Dick Pankey at or 925-439-7509 no later than March 16th. Be sure to reserve your spot for this seminar. Call or send me your reservation, TODAY!!

- Dick

Upcoming Trips

Shep Koss Adam Dean

By Shep Koss & Adam Dean

As a reminder, there will be a field trip to Ant Hill near Bakersfield for fossil shark teeth and marine mammal remains on Saturday, March 21, starting 10:00 AM. Please see last month•  s newsletter or the CFMS web site for full details or contact

Shep,; 661-248-0411;
or Rob Sankovich,; 805-494-7734.

Other trips planned for the spring include:

  • April 25 to the Lavic Siding area for jasper and agates.
  • May 23 to the North Edwards area for •  The Great Onyx Hunt.•  
  • June (date TBD) for the •  Double-Your-Pleasure Tourmaline Trip. •   For this trip, we need feedback as to how many would commit to a two-day trip to the San Diego area for adventures at two tourmaline mines. A reduced cost to each mine is dependent upon the number of attendees. So contact either Shep or Adam with intentions so they can determine, along with the mine owner, the ultimate cost per attendee. We•  re hoping to make this a •  two-for-the-price-of-one•   trip!
- Shep & Adam

Waiver of Liability Form

By Richard Pankey

Dick Paney

For the last several years, there has been much discussion about the use of Waiver of Liability forms for field trips and other activities. Several years ago a form that was in use by some societies in the Federation was posted on the CFMS web page as a suggested form. Although our insurance company recommends use of Informed Consent/Assumption of Risk/Waiver of Liability forms, it is not required. The position of CFMS has been that we recommend use of a form but leave it to the discretion of the hosting society and the field trip leader. The basic form and procedure was presented at the June 2008 Directors•   Meeting for posting on the CFMS web site after final review with our Legal Advisor. That has now been completed.

The old suggested form on the CFMS web site was an adequate form but required a separate piece of paper for every attendee/signer. You never know how many forms to bring because you can never be sure of attendance, so you run short or have a lot left over. I found this procedure cumbersome and difficult to administer. For many years I avoided using the Waiver Form. After consulting with many field trip leaders from around the Federation and consultation with our Legal Advisor, a revised statement of risk and responsibility was written and a new procedure for signing was developed. The new signing procedure will eliminate the logistic problems, especially with a large group. The form and procedure has been shared with and reviewed by other field trip leaders. I have now used it at several small, medium and large trips and it worked conveniently and smoothly.

The revised form has two parts:

  • A statement of potential risks with recognition of responsibility.
  • A sign-in sheet accepting the risks and responsibility.

This allows for the statement of potential risks with assumption recognition of responsibility to be posted on a bulletin board or passed around; then the attendees may sign the group sign-in sheet. In fact, for large groups several statements of potential risks and group sign-in sheets may be used.

The use of this form is highly recommended, but not required. To use this form, copy it from the website and complete the sections for •  trip information.•   Add the host society•  s or sponsor•  s name on top of form. Be sure that the trip information on the sign-in sheet matches the information on the statement of risk sheet so that there is no question that the two are associated.

If there are any questions or comments please contact me.

- Dick

Inter-Regional Rockhound Rendezvous

By Richard Pankey

Dick Paney

The Davis Creek/Lassen Creek area of the Modoc National Forest in northeastern California is truly a unique and beautiful place. And for rockhounds its most unique feature is OBSIDIAN! It is abundant and great quality. It is easy to find and collect. It comes in a wide variety of colors, sheens and shapes. And best of all, our rendezvous will be held there in late May. If you like obsidian, if you like rock collecting, if you like meeting other interesting rockhounds, join us for this Inter-regional Rockhound Rendezvous, May 20 to 25.

Now is the time to get your name on the sign- up list. Sign up early and bring friends. We are relying on local bulletin editors and field trip chairs to help get word out about this unique adventure. A 2-page Field Trip Flyer is available on the AFMS and CFMS web sites. This flyer has all the details about the trip, directions to our campsite, and other useful information.

There were two activities mentioned in the flyer that I would like to explain in more detail. On Friday and Saturday afternoons we will conduct 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 areas. 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. A detailed hand- or computer-drawn map should have 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. Other rockhounding opportunities abound within 100 miles of our Rendezvous site: sunstones, opal, petrified wood, other obsidian sites, geodes, and more. The Rendezvous is a good way to start your summer collecting tour.

We have arranged for several knappers to demonstrate and teach various knapping techniques. If you are already a knapper, beginner or experienced, bring along your tools and join the •  Knapp-In.•  

Although we are camping in a National Forest it is best that we bring in our own wood for our campfire. If everyone would bring some firewood we should have enough for a campfire each night. And don•  t forget about the happy hours and two potluck dinners.

This trip is open to members and guests of all of the Federations of the AFMS, but I expect most of the attendees will be from the Northwest and California Federations. Everyone who agrees to adhere to the AFMS 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.

People to contact:

Dick Parks, Northwest Federation,, (360) 892-3716
Richard Pankey, California Federation,, (925) 439-7509

Join us for a great Inter-Regional Rendezvous of collecting, fun and fellowship.

- Dick

Send Your Nominations!

By Isabella Burns

Isabella Burns Golden Bear

Attention Executive Committee members, all Federation Directors, and Golden Bear Committee members! Here's a final reminder for you to make a nomination for the Golden Bear Award, to be presented at the CFMS Show Banquet on April 15. This award is presented to a CFMS member who has exhibited long, dedicated and outstanding service to the CFMS. Send your candidate with your recommendation about his or her services to a Golden Bear Committee member (see list in the Roster at the back of the newsletter).

- Izzie

Intarsia: Did You Know?

By Shirley Leeson

Shirley Leeson

Do you know what •  Intarsia•   is? It is thin rock slices cut from various types of hard and soft stones that have color that can be used to create pictures. Europeans have been doing this type of art for centuries and called it •  Pietre Dure•   or •  Pietre Tenere,•   the first being hard stones and the second soft stones. At one time in the CFMS we had a number of artists who created Intarsia and showed it competitively in our shows. There were a number of clubs that offered classes on the subject. Sad to say, there are few who are doing this type of work and it seems unless someone who reads this takes an interest, it just might be a lost art.


One person some of you may know is Conrad Grudke, who is still involved in teaching Lapidary and Intarsia at Saddleback College in the Los Angeles area. Conrad learned the art from his father William. William wrote a number of articles on the subject for Gem and Mineral magazine in the 1970s and 1980s before the magazine went out of business. He also exhibited his art competitively in the CFMS shows, as did his son, Conrad, later. Over the years there were a number of artists who put their art on exhibit at the CFMS shows and also in competition.

The reason I mention this is the Oceanside Museum of Art, located at 704 Pier View Way, about half way between San Diego and Los Angeles, is going to show this art form. This is the first time a museum of art has recognized this form we call Intarsia as •  art•   and we should all be very proud. After all, Rockhounds have usually gotten a bum rap from the art world. If you would like to see this exhibition, it will be on display March 2 •   May 1, 2009. Dennis Batt, artist and guest curator will speak on the subject on April 25th at 2:00 PM. Dennis had obtained pieces from a number of sources, one being the late Johnny Johnson, an intarsia, owned by San Diego Mineral and Gem. And Dennis has asked for a piece that belongs in the California Federation collection by Amy Spencer. If this is accomplished, it will be included.

To see those people who have created this art form, go to: Please check the list of people, and if there is someone you know who is not on the list, please contact me. I•  ll need the name, and pictures if possible, and if deceased, a contact person who might have the piece/s.

- Shirley

Insurance Question of the Month

By Bud McMillin

Bud McMillin

Question: To belong to the CFMS, must a society participate in the CFMS liability policy? Am I correct that they do not have to take the premises liability and/or property coverage or Directors and Officers liability offered by McDaniel Insurance Services for the CFMS? Let us say that a society would like to find their own premises liability, what do they have to do to satisfy the CFMS?

Answer: Patt McDaniel, McDaniel Insurance Services, replies: We have been informed by CFMS that all member clubs are automatically on the liability insurance policy. CFMS also recognizes that clubs that have a premises liability exposure must obtain premises liability coverage in order to protect the Federation; therefore, this coverage is a requirement of the Federation. Property coverage and Directors and Officers coverage is totally optional.

Premises liability coverage is available on the Federation policy and we have found it to be not only superior coverage but competitively priced as well. Some clubs have obtained premises liability elsewhere. We recognize that this is their decision to make but it is required that a certificate of insurance evidencing this coverage be provided. This certificate is needed to protect the Federation, because it could be held responsible for uninsured claims of the member clubs. We have asked that these be sent to McDaniel Insurance Services because we track this for the Federation.

Some clubs 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 pleased to see this type of coverage and community support.

A couple of clubs have their own long-standing policies that they are happy with. The combining of policies can be tricky, however, so it is important for your club to work closely with us to arrange for coverages. Coverage obtained elsewhere should be for premises only because clubs already have operations coverage through the Federation. In the event of a claim, duplicate coverage could be a legal problem. Even separate coverage for premises and operations can be a problem because it is not always easy to determine which coverage should apply. It is much better to have both coverages with the same carrier to avoid any dispute between companies.

A copy of the policy should be reviewed by someone familiar enough with insurance to determine that the policy covers the necessary exposures. 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. 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, yet, it seems that even then our rates remain competitive.

It must be recognized, as well, that all the clubs help support the coverage for the parent organization (CFMS) and any regional activities. In state-wide nonprofit organizations, it is usually the larger clubs that provide the most support for the statewide organizations. Often it is these larger clubs that are the founders of the statewide organization. The parent organization typically promotes communication and supports statewide projects, as well as providing such things as insurance, making 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! Chubb has consistently rated #1 in good faith claims handling for many years.

- Bud & Patt

The Crash of 2009

By Don Ogden

Don Ogden

The server for the CFMS web site failed on Monday, February 2. It was repaired the very next day. However, the •  repaired•   site came up a mess! In some instances, data had totally disappeared; in other instances, data showed up from 2007. That was because the host provider did not have proper backup. (Let this be a warning and wake-up call to all clubs that host web sites!)

Because I had the site on my computer and backed up on an external hard drive, I was able to reinstall the site. It has taken over 12 hours a day for 3 days to reinstall, and there are still changes to be made.

Also, it•  s two months into the new year, and I noticed on review of the site that the Internet Committee has not received info on/from new committees as follows: (1) Slide & Video and (2) Demonstrators Directory. Clubs depend on these to provide programs for their members.

I ask everyone•  s help in ensuring that the newly repaired web site has correct information. Please go to the site (, and look over any information relevant to your office or committee and/or to your local society. When you find material that needs to be changed, please e-mail the changes to my attention:

Editor's Note from Jim Brace-Thompson: I would like to reiterate the need for each and every club's Federation Director to go to the web site and confirm that info about your local society in the club directory is accurate and up-to-date. In January, before the web site crash, I went to the site to get addresses of about 50 clubs in southern California. I do this at the beginning of each year to get addresses to mail notice of my own Ventura club's March show, asking if clubs within easy driving distance of Ventura might post a notice of our show in their newsletters or announce it at meetings. Each year, a bunch of those letters come back stamped •  return-to-sender/address unknown.•   This year, 10% of the letters came back like this. So again, please go to the CFMS web site and confirm that info about your club is current so we can all communicate effectively with one another and so any potential new members seeking to find clubs located near them can get in touch with you.

- Don & Jim

Off and Running!

By Phyllis George

Phyllis George

The AFMS Webmaster Contest exists to help webmasters enhance club web sites in an effort to increase interest of the general public in the gem and mineral hobby, to gain new members, and to serve as a source of current club info for members. Through this contest, judges assigned to the 7 regional federations (Mike Baldwin, Stephen Douglas, Dan Imel, Wes Lingerfeldt, Al Pennington, Win Robertson, Don Shurtz) are serving as mentors for clubs by giving webmasters encouragement and friendly constructive criticism on what they are doing right and where they might improve.

The Webmaster Contest also has its own logo! Ron Gibbs, editor / webmaster for the Charlotte Gem & Mineral Club, NC, is also a graphic artist extraordinaire. Ron donated time and expertise to design and develop our logo. Thank you to AFMS webmaster Marty Hart for steering me to Ron and his skill.

Golden Bear

I•  ve received e-mails telling me judging info and guidelines published for the contest have already helped some of the webmasters who want to improve their sites. Dan Alfrey, webmaster of Lake George Gem & Mineral Club, CO, wrote: •  We've had a lot of fun with our site. This contest truly has motivated our club to update our site and make sure everything is fully functional! We sincerely appreciate the guidelines and scoring references in order to help make the site more informative and complete!•  

Bob Loeffler, webmaster of North Jeffco Gem & Mineral Club, CO, wrote: •  I think this contest is a great idea because it might help push clubs to create a web site (if they haven't already done so) or keep existing web sites updated with fun and relevant info to help educate the public.•  

All entries submitted to this brand new contest from regional federations are now in the hands of their assigned judges. Two judges are assigned to each region, but none of the judges is from the regions they are judging. Each contestant•  s combined scores from the two judges will be averaged to determine his or her final placement in their region.

Please note that no trophies will be awarded at the regional level. The original plan was to award a trophy to the 1st place winner in each regional federation. I•  ve learned the regional federations have not had an opportunity to vote on whether they support the Webmaster Contest, so no regional 1st place plaques can be awarded this year. However, we will be awarding certificates for each of the Top Ten places and for Honorable Mention. I apologize to everyone who is disappointed about this, but the contest will be running for at least 2 more years, so maybe the policy can be changed.

So there will not be a plaque awarded to the 1st place regional federation winners, but I think they will receive something far better than a plaque. The 1st place winners will each have their entries forwarded to Bob Keller, the man who is judging at the AFMS level.

Bob is the first rockhound webmaster to have a presence on the World Wide Web. Bob put the first rock shop up on the Internet in March 1995, calling it
Bob•  s Rock Shop. It began as a home page with eight or so images of rocks from his own collection. Still called Bob•  s Rock Shop and still at, it is now far more than that.

Bob will give the regional 1st place winners the benefit of his wisdom, his extensive web experience, and his knowledge of what works and what doesn•  t. He will analyze each of the sites forwarded to him, and he will give useful feedback on what is being done well and how each site can be improved. Thank you, Bob, for agreeing to participate in our contest, for giving our 1st place regional winners the benefit of your hard-won wisdom as the world•  s premier rockhound webmaster, and for helping us achieve our goal of having rock and gem club web sites that are as good as they can be.

All contestants at the AFMS level will receive a certificate signifying their rank, and the 1st place winner will also receive an AFMS plaque.

The results of the regional Webmaster Contests will be announced at the annual meetings of the regional federations during their Bulletin Editors•   Breakfast. The results of the AFMS Webmaster Contest will be announced at the NFMS/AFMS joint Show & Convention in Billings, Montana on August 1 during the Bulletin Editors•   Breakfast.

- Phyllis

JUNIOR ACTIVITIES Encourage Kids to Enter Displays in CFMS Show

By Jim Brace-Thompson

Jim Brace-Thompson

Exhibiting is fun! It lets us share what we•  ve found, bought, or made. When displaying at a gem show, we not only get to •  show off•   our own collections and handiwork but also to learn from others, getting advice, sharing tips, and forging bonds of friendship through mutual interests. icon

You should encourage the kids in your club•  either individually or as a group•  to gather together the best of their rock, mineral, or fossil collections or their lapidary artwork and enter them into our upcoming statewide show in San Jose, as well as in your own local club shows. In addition to the adventure that participating in the CFMS Show will provide kids, if they enter competitive displays, they may win prizes! And whether entering within competitive or noncompetitive categories, they•  ll be able to receive a •  Showmanship Badge•   from the AFMS Future Rockhounds of America Badge Program. (Call me for details on that: 805-659-3577.)

The deadline for submitting applications for CFMS Show exhibits is March 25, so there•  s still time, but only if you hurry! Go to the CFMS web site and click on •  CFMS Show •   San Jose 2009•   to access and download the entry forms. Then get together with your club•  s kids, fill in the forms, and send them off (addresses are listed right on the forms). I can guarantee the kids will find that it•  s rewarding•  and fun! - Jim


By John Martin, AFMS Conservation & Legislation Committee

John Martin

Omnibus Lands Bill Moving Forward

The 1,200-page Omnibus Federal Land Management Act of 2009 (S22), encompassing over 150 bills in one mammoth package, passed the U.S. Senate on January 15. As of this writing, it is before the U.S. House of Representatives, scheduled for a vote the week of February 9-13. By the time this article appears, it may well be too late, but one way to contact your local representative on this and future issues to let your views be known is via:

Northern California Lands

The Sacramento Bee (1/27/09) reported the following regarding a proposal that includes public lands managed by BLM's Ukiah Field Office: Environmentalists Push for Massive North-State Conservation Area. "[A] Woodland-based environmental nonprofit organization working to establish a National Conservation Area - the third in California - encompassing nearly half a million acres in six counties."

Apply to Serve on RRAC

Finally, here is a chance to make a difference by getting involved in public lands access issues: apply for a position on the Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. The following is a BLM-California news release from 2/4/09. Opportunity to Work in Partnership with Public Land Agencies Still Available. "The deadline for submitting applications for the Pacific Southwest California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee (RRAC) has been extended to March 6, 2009. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) are seeking applications for the following three positions on the 11 member RRAC: winter motorized recreation such as snowmobiling; hunting and fishing; and motorized outfitting and guiding or local environmental groups. The term for these positions will begin July 2009 when the current two year term appointments expire. The RRAC provides recommendations on recreation fees for federal lands within the state of California. This includes implementing or eliminating fees for BLM and Forest Service recreation sites and services, expanding or limiting the recreation fee program, and fee level changes•  If interested in submitting a nomination for Recreation RAC membership, obtain a nomination packet by going online at or contact Frances Enkoji at the Forest Service (707) 562-8846, e-mail; or Mike Ayers, 916-978-4644,"


Show Flyers

By Susan Chaisson-Walblom

Susan Chaisson-Walblom

Show flyers are a valuable form of publicity! Plus, as publicity items go, they•  re cheap and easy to make. Just be sure your flyers are eye-catching and informative, with the show•  s location, dates, hours, and a list your special attractions (displays, demonstrations, kids activities, field trips, speakers, etc.).

Other great places for your show flyers include local libraries, community centers, senior centers, park offices, Girl Scout and Boy Scout meetings (as well as the Scout office and store where they sell their badges, uniforms, and such), private schools, pre-schools and public schools, if they allow it.

Finally, a lot of restaurants and stores will allow you to place larger flyers in their windows a week or two before the event. Just ask, and you will find new avenues for advertising.

Please let me know if you have any advertising ideas, you would like to share.

- Susan

Seeking New Materials

By Kathlyn Duncan

Kathlyn Duncan

Hello, my name is Kathlyn Duncan. I will be handling the CFMS Library for your program requests. I am excited about reviewing all of the programs and adding new ones this year!

I would like to start by challenging all clubs and individuals to consider donating a great DVD to the CFMS Library. When you are out and about exploring new areas of interest and come across an educational DVD on rocks, minerals, fossils, or lapidary arts, it would be fantastic to add to our collection in your name. If funds are a problem, please consider making a PowerPoint presentation or a VHS of one of your rockhounding vacations. Our DVD selection is currently limited, and most clubs are updating to DVD/computer equipment.

I picked up a great DVD that I would like to Donate to the CFMS Library. The DVD is called•  Chasing the Rainbow: Adventures of the Desert Prospectors.•   It•  s based on the last great gold rush in America, using rare old film footage, beautiful color film, and interviews with those who knew the prospectors. This documentary would be a great addition to a gold presentation or a program on the Nevada and California desert. Use DVD-36 to order.

Another great VHS is •  Introduction to Intarsia•   This VHS will help you understand the basic process of using stones/glass in intarsia and how to cut and fit to intricate designs. Please use V-46 to order. (If you•  re unfamiliar with intarsia, see Shirley Leeson•  s article in this issue of the newsletter.)

Please send your request 30 days in advance of your program to insure delivery on time. If I do not reply to your email within a day or so, please telephone, (530) 327-7927. Sometimes my email security setting will not allow certain emails to come through. If I•  m not in, you may leave a message. I check messages throughout the day. If I leave town, my messages are forwarded to my cell phone. I will try to respond within 24 hours to your request.

Please forward any comments or suggestions to:

CFMS Library,
3586 Andover, Magalia, CA 95954,
or phone (530) 327-7927
- Kathlyn

Come See How We Judge an Exhibit!

By Dee Holland

Dee Holland

This month I will attend two shows in Southern California. The purpose will be to evaluate club exhibits and to help those club members who wish to upgrade their exhibits to conform to AFMS Rules. I will speak on Sunday afternoon before taking those interested members out on the floor to evaluate their individual cases.

Many of you have said, •  I don•  t understand the AFMS Rules Book.•   •  The Rules Book is too hard.•   •  Can•  t we cut the rules down and make them easier?•   All of these questions are valid, but how do we do it? Do you know why the Rules Book is so large and continues to grow?

Here•  s one answer•  .It grows because we add more categories to be judged. As you may know, we•  ve just added a beading section. This was years in the making. Everyone wanted to have it done, but no one would take the time and sit down to do it. Phyllis George of the Houston Gem & Mineral Society of South Central Federation asked her beaders to come up with workable judging criteria. From there, I asked Cheri George of our own CFMS to take what had been written and add to it. From there, I took her final draft and made it into •  Rules-speak.•   It was reviewed by all and forwarded to the AFMS Uniform Rules Committee. But because of the cancellation of the AFMS meeting in Houston, it wasn•  t able to be put in the Rules Book for 2009. Because I felt we should at least have judging done in 2009, a special request was forwarded to the CFMS Executive Committee and the Directors to allow the beading section to be used by the CFMS in 2009. We wanted to see if there was interest and how the judging went. In that way, at the AFMS Uniform Rules Meeting in Billings, MT, we can finally approve the beading section.

Getting back to why there is a misconception of the Rules Book, I will attempt to answer this at the meeting. When you break down the book and only look at that section in which you are interested, it doesn•  t look so daunting.

We will be at the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society show (Seaside Park, Ventura County Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA) Sunday, March 8, 1:00 PM for a pre-meeting before we go out on the floor to evaluate exhibit cases.

Our second meeting will be at the South Bay Lapidary & Mineral Society show (Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Boulevard, Torrance CA) Sunday, March 29, 1:00 PM for a pre-meeting before we go out on the floor to evaluate exhibit cases.

I would like all clubs to have a copy of the current 2009 AFMS Rules Book. Download sections you wish to review from the AFMS web site, Or purchase a copy from Pat LaRue.

Don•  t forget: the CFMS will host the CFMS/AFMS show in 2010. We want a good showing in COMPETITIVE EXHIBITS. Let•  s make this a priority and show the other regional federations we still know how to compete!

- Dee


By Frank Mullaney, 2009 Show Chair

Frank Mullaney

In last month•  s newsletter, I passed along a form for anyone wishing to sign up for camping at the 2009 CFMS Show. Unfortunately, that form contained incorrect info. Specifically, the camping fee is $25 per night, not $20. We will post a corrected camping application to the web sites of the CFMS ( and the Santa Clara Valley Gem and Mineral Society ( I apologize for the error.

Both web sites hold additional applications, forms, and information about the upcoming 2009 CFMS Show that takes place April 17-19 in San Jose. If, as a Federation Director, you did not pick up a show packet in Visalia to share with members of your local club, I urge you to download and share the forms and info from the web sites. April is just around the corner and the show is coming sooner than you think, so now is the time to start getting your ducks lined up in a row.

Among the forms you should share with members of your local societies are the exhibitor applications. Exhibiting is fun! So join the fun by entering either a competitive or noncompetitive display. To join that fun, though, you need to get applications in by Mar. 25. Dean Welder ( is overseeing non-competitive exhibits, and Marion Roberts ( is overseeing competitive exhibits. If you wish to enter competition but are uncertain about the correct class or group you should enter or need clarification of the rules, contact Dee Holland (

Also, calling all CFMS elected officers and past-presidents! As at our last show in Ventura, we will have an •  Officer•  s Row•   in the exhibit hall. So all officers and any past-presidents who will be coming to the show, please send in a non-competitive exhibitor application form or contact:

Frank Mullaney (
or Dean Welder (
and let us know what you•  ll enter for Officer•  s Row.

See you next month in San Jose!

- Frank

Officer & Committee Reports Due by March 31

By Pat LaRue

As advertised in the Calendar section of the newsletter since our January issue, it•  s now time to prepare your Officer and Committee Reports for the upcoming 2009 CFMS Show and Convention. These reports are important n order to keep all Directors and local clubs informed of the activities of your committee, any special announcements or deadlines, etc. please get them to me:

Pat LaRue,
P.O. Box 1657, Rialto, CA 92377-1657
not later than March 31.

If unable to meet this deadline, please bring 100 copies of your report for distribution at the registration table for the Director•  s Meeting. Registration will start at 8:00 AM, and the meeting will start at 9:00 AM, Saturday, April 18.

- Pat