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March 2001
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A Plea for How-to Articles
A Buzz From The Prez
Now Might Be a Good Time
Safety - Help! And How to Say It
National Bulletin Editor's Hall of Fame
AFMS Juniors Program
History of Future Rockhounds of America
Future Rockhounds of America Application
Endowment Fund Raffle
AFMS Rockhound of the Year
How Your Bulletins Get from Here to There
Free Stuff
Recreation Access Groups Win Legal Fight
Remember Dan
AFMS Historian's Wish List
Dues Time

SERVING SEVEN REGIONAL FEDERATIONS                                     March, 2001


Marty Hart, the AFMS Webmaster, and I have been planning. One of the additions we'd like to make to the AFMS/EFMLS websites is a "How To" collection of articles for people to turn to.

We're looking for articles on how to clean minerals, prepare fossils or operate a tumbler, vibratory flat lap, do intarsia or wire wrapping, make a jewelry box, etc. The list could go on and on.

If you've written a "How-To" or know someone who has and will grant permission to use the article for non-profit purposes, I'd love to see your article. Here's your chance to see something you've spent the time and effort to write published for thousands to see and use. I'd like to make this information available for non-commercial republication so our many newsletter editors in both our own federation and the rest of the federations can print the articles in their club newsletters.

Please e-mail or mail your contribution to me. My e-mail is efmls-webmaster@amfed.org and my home address is 41 Little Briggins Circle, Fairport, NY 14450-9725.


The Holidays have passed and I need a message for the March Newsletter. March Winds blow in April Showers which bring May Flowers, and some enthusiastic club members are working to bring us June Shows.

Shows have always been a very significant part of Mineral Societies' activities. They were first started so that members could display rocks and minerals that they had found. Soon exhibiting their finds was not enough and Regional Federations were formed. I have been told that at first exhibits were placed on a table with owners close by to brag. When a desire grew to know who had the best minerals, fossils, or lapidary materials, the AFMS Uniform Rules were developed. Refinement of these has been done through out the years. Any member, society, or junior may now compete as a novice, advanced, or master.

At a show the host society choose their friendliest, most skilled, helpful members to demonstrate phases of our hobby. What a great way to learn more about cleaning minerals & fossils and doing lapidary work. Informative programs are presented at shows by excellent speakers. Vendors have beautiful material, tools, books, and many other hobby related things for sale.

Plan now to attend your Federation Show this year - Rocky Mountain June 8 - 10 in Roswell, N.M.; AFMS/South Central June 11 - 17, Arlington, Texas (You are welcome to attend any of the AFMS Meetings, Cracker Barrel, Banquet or other events) California, June 22 - 24, Paso Robles, CA; and Eastern July 13 - 15 in Syracuse, N.Y. Other Federations will host their event in the fall. Just come to these and have fun. Every Show Committee is busy working on layouts, seeking special exhibits and outstanding speakers, signing good vendors, preparing decorations, and advertising the events. When the opening day arrives, they will be too busy welcoming people, answering questions, and taking care of details to enjoy the beauty of their show; so take a moment from your precious day to express your appreciation to them.

Plan now to attend a show! You will like it!


...before the weather warms up for club members to get together in order to share some common areas of interest. Smaller groups usually lend themselves to better camaraderie and learning situations, and when there is a focus for the group, you have the benefit of all three.

Lapidary workshop groups can work on specific stones, specialized cuts, polishing techniques and more.

Mineral study groups can learn about specific minerals or groups, species found at certain locations and new field trip possibilities. Micromounters often meet to discuss new mounting methods and photmicrography.

Jewelry designers can share ideas on fabrication, casting, finishing techniques and new methods and products.

Fossil enthusiasts work on cleaning, display, and identification problems.

Field trips were mentioned above, but their appeal stretches to all aspects of the hobby. Expand the concept of just mines and quarries - museums, universities and shows put on by other clubs lend themselves to learning situations in all types of weather. Why not arrange for several members to attend together - it's always more enjoyable. If you have a group limited in size it may be much easier to arrange a private tour wherever you go.


Many different methods of transmitting, message can be utilized by a survivor. One of the simplest and most effective signals is the use of a mirror to reflect the sun's rays or just reflect sky-11 ght on a cloudy day toward an aircraft. Search pilots have seen a mirror flash over 20 miles away.

Ground to air signals can be constructed from contrasting color fabric panels, stomped snow or gouged out dirt. The important aspect in signaling of any kind is to make the signal appear to contrast or look out of the ordinary to searchers. Once an aircraft or ground team sees you, the hand or body signals can be utilized to convey specific messages. Strobe lights, incendiary flares, and signal fires can be used. However, as with any fire, use extreme caution so as not to further complicate your survival situation.

One request to hunters ... If you see an aircraft searching the terrain, please don't look at the aircraft with the telescopic sight on your rifle. It causes mild panic in the cockpit to see a rifle aimed at you. If you see an aircraft and you aren't in trouble just raise one hand and wave ... it's a lot more acceptable.


These signals should be done as large as possible, 2-3 feet wide and 6-12 feet long, using colors that contrast to the background if possible. Some of these signals arc for use by survivors and ground teams to communicate with the aircraft.
1. Lay out symbols by using strips of fabric, pieces of weed, stones, etc.
2. Provide as much color contrast as possible between the material used, and background.
3. Symbols should be at least 10 feet high or larger.
4. Use additional signals such as flares, radio, etc. to attract attention.
5. When ground is covered with snow, signals may be made by dragging, shoveling, or tramping the snow. The depressed area appears darker from the air.
6. The pilot should acknowledge the message by rocking wings side to side.

Symbols are:
1. Requires assistance Vs
2. Requires Medical Assistance X
3. No or Negative N
4. Yes or Affirmative Y
S. Proceeding in This Direction... Make an arrow



We have been asked, how does an editor get into the Editors HALL OF FAME? Nominations come only from other editors and past or present Club Publications, or Regional Bulletin Aid Chairmen. Nominations will NOT be considered if made by editors for themselves, or by clubs for their own editors.

This is a NATIONAL recognition, so bulletins should have distribution outside their own state or region - exchanges, courtesy copies to Officers, etc.

The Regional And AFMS annual bulletin contests give immediate and early rewards to editors (and authors). Winning awards or trophies does NOT automatically qualify an editors for the Editors HALL OF FAME.

Length of service as editor and awards ARE considerations, of course. Personal commitment, effort, involvement, dedication, and consistent quality are even more important. These intangibles are evident in the bulletin. It is this combination of qualities that is recognized and honored by the AFMS National Bulletin Editors HALL OF FAME.

If you know of an editor that should be considered - past or present, in any region or federation - submit your nomination to your regional

Carolyn Weinberger, Eastern
Leo Morris and Margie Dickson, Southeast
Jean Wallace and Paul Good, South Central
Kitty Starbuck and Walt Vogtmann, Midwest
Pauline Price, Rocky Mountain
Esther Davis and Bill and Betty Luke Northwest Shirley Leeson, California.
Roving representative is Diane Dare.

The nominees will be contacted and will have the choice of receiving their award at their regional or the national show in 2001.


Junior Members
Join the Future Rockhounds of America

There are 13 clubs and 218 members of the FRA active in the United States. If any junior members in your club wish to become members of the FRA just fill out the application form that is found in this issue of the AFMS Newsletter and send it directly to your Regional Junior Chairman to start the process. By becoming members you will have the opportunity to correspond with young people across the United States. You will be able to establish a camaraderie of sharing ideas, e-mails, websites, possible combined field trips, swaps, furthering earth science knowledge, and much more. If your club has only a few juniors or several dozen it will not make a difference.

This year the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies is able to offer each member of the Future Rockhounds of America a beautiful Cloisonne FRA pin to be worn with pride at all rockhound functions and meetings. This pin will distinguish you as a member of a national earth science organization and, it is free to all FRA members!

We encourage, we invite, we welcome juniors to become involved, you are our/your hobby's future.


Rockhound clubs throughout the Federations have been supporting youth groups for many years. At times there were youth which belonged to a club, but the club didn't know just what to do with them or what direction they should go. Consequently a lot of youth fell through the cracks. We are sure no one could argue the fact that we need to insure the future of our hobby by encouraging our youth.

Knowing the above, in 1984, under the direction of Bill Cox, AFMS President, a committee was added to the AFMS Called "Junior Clubs". The Chairman was Ruth Hammett from South Central. During the first year very little was accomplished other than the adoption of a very useful manual designed by the Midwest Federation. At the end of 1984 and during the first part of 1985 Bill coined the name "Future Rockhounds of America" and designed a certificate to be given to junior clubs who became members of FRA. It gives the clubs the distinction of belonging to something worthwhile.

The only requirement for obtaining membership into FRA is to be organized and sponsored by a federation club. (Exceptions to this can be made.) There are no dues to pay to the federation for being a member as dues will be paid through the adult club.

How To Become A Member of the Future Rockhounds of America AFMS Youth Program

1. Your group must be a member of your local federation. This can be either through a sponsoring club or through an independent application into your local federation.

2. Dues only HAVE TO BE PAID to the local federation and thus into AFMS. There are no special dues for FRA.

3. The number of youth is not important... you can have as few as 2 and as many as you can handle.

4. Age: In most clubs the age at which one becomes an adult is 18.

We said it was simple, there is no mystery to joining. Just fill out an application which can be obtained from your local federation Youth Coordinator or from us. We are here to help you.


Please fill out the following questionnaire.

NAME OF YOUTH GROUP:__________________________________________

SPONSORING ADULT CLUB:_______________________________________

FEDERATION: California____ Eastern____ Midwest____ South Central____

                            Southeast____ Rocky Mountain____ Northwest____

CONTACT PERSON:______________________________________________




On back please include a brief description, i.e. participation at general meetings, club shows, field trips, and other activities, which may be of help to us to write articles regarding your club for the AFMS Newsletter.

Upon receipt of this questionnaire we will process your certificate into the FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA.

After completion of this questionnaire forward it to the coordinator for your Federation.


Each year the AFMS Endowment Fund holds a fund raiser at the annual Convention. This fund raiser has become a two tiered endeavor in recent years with the addition of a special raffle item with tickets being sold by each of the seven Regional Federations in advance of the show and convention. This year is no exception.

We'll have more on the special raffle item in a future issue of the AFMS Newsletter, but we do need to let you know that tickets for it are now available from your Regional Federation AFMS Endowment Chairperson. I'm sure you'll see something in your own Federation Newsletter in the coming month.

In addition to the raffle, we intend to also conduct our popular "bag raffle" at the show. Each Federation has been asked to donate at least one item for this and tickets will be available in Arlington for this second phase of our fund raiser.

Monies collected by the Endowment Fund are invested and only the interest may be used by the Federation. Let's make 2001 a very profitable year.


Northwest Federation

Lorrie Heavy has been a member of the West Seattle Rock Club for only six years but has put up a high bar of enthusiastic participation by: Serving as Editor of the Petroglyphs and earning many honors for our Newsletter, serving as Vice President and providing monthly programs, serving as Show Chairman, and contributing to the silent auctions, door prizes and raffles. She is involved in the Seattle Regional Show, shares her expertise in wire-wrapping by having small workshops in her home. She works full time but has completed her course to receive her GIA certification. Hats off to Lorrie Heavy who is our incoming President.

Submitted by the West Seattle Rock Club

North Seattle Lapidary and Mineral Club have chosen Rick Olson as their Rockhound of the Year for 2000. Rick has been a member since 1960 and has earned a Club Life Membership. Rick has served as President of the faceting Forum, displayed and competed at many show as far away as Washington D.C. In 1971 he won the National Masters Trophy for metal craft and jewelry. In July, Rick married Susan Gardner, our 1999 Rockhound of the Year. Rick and Susan opened their home workshop to all club members and conduct classes on lapidary arts, working especially with new members.

Submitted by Jack Weller, Federation Director,
 North Seattle Lapidary and Mineral Club

California Federation

The Needles Gem and Mineral Club of Needles, California has selected Myrna Givens as our Rockhound of the Year for 2000. Myrna has been treasurer for 18 years, Editor of the Blue Agate News for 8 years, and served as chairperson of many committees. She has saved the club money by using her home as our post office, and secured a checking account without service charge. Meetings were held at her home for several years. Through her efforts we meet at a local church with each member bring two cans of food for the Needy Basket each meeting as rent. Myrna truly is our Rockhound of the Decade.

Submitted by, Corinne More
Secretary Needles Gem and Mineral Club

I'd love to see a nominee from every club this year!!! This is an easy and painless way to recognize an individual or couple who has done something special for your group. Tell the world how much you appreciate this person (couple) by sending a brief description of what they have done for your club to your regional federation chairperson. Let's fill up these pages with your honorees!


Entries in the 2001 Bulletin Editors Contest have been submitted to your Regional BEAC chair and by the time you read this, some will have been forwarded to the AFMS for further judging before results are announced at the annual Bulletin Editor's Breakfast in Arlington, Texas this June.

Have you ever wondered what happens and where your bulletin goes once you have sent it in to your regional federation competition? Actually, it travels many different routes.

The first step is entering the contest. Listed below are all the Regional Bulletin Aids Chairpersons. These are the people who start the process. I suggest that you clip these names out and put them where you can find them...so if you do not receive the information regarding the bulletin contest for next year you will know who to contact to get the needed forms to enter. The 2001 BEAC's are:


Margie Dickson
2412 Dug Hill Rd
Brownsboro, AL 35741-9255
Rocky Mountain:

Carolyn Tunnicliff
PO Box 242
El Dorado Springs, CO 80025
South Central:

Phyllis George
22407 Park Point Dr
Katy, TX 77540-5852

Judy Budnik
2938 Rontina Dr
Goshen, OH 45122-9300

Dee Clason
10100 Laurie Av
Bakersfield, CA 93312-2330

Darlene Denton
1153 Nevada
Bellingham, WA 98226-5722

Barbara Fenstermacher
3424 Meadow Dr
Aiken, SC 29801-0959

At the proper time, probably around November of this year, each of these BEAC's will send you the information you need to enter your bulletin in the Regional Federation Bulletin Contest. There are rules and instructions telling you what you need to know to enter. Once you have mailed your entry to your Regional BEAC, she will send it on to the judges in your region who are responsible for judging the category in which you entered. Once this is done and the entries returned, your BEAC person will then send the top three entries on to the AFMS judges who in turn evaluate the work and then forward them to me for final tabulation. Once I have received them there is still a lot of work to be done in order to have everything in place in time for the Editor's Breakfast at the AFMS Show and Convention.

When the time comes for the contest this year, I hope that you will consider entering your bulletin and/or the articles which your club members have worked so hard to write.

Here are a few suggestions which I hope will make your task of selecting what to enter in the contest a little easier. The material to be entered is taken from bulletins printed during the whole year. The next contest will cover bulletins and articles printed this year, 2001, As you go along during the year, earmark those articles which you feel are worthy of entering the contest (or remove them from your bulletin and place them in a folder so that when the time comes to enter, you have all the items selected for the contest. That way, you won't be hurrying around at the last minute to 'round' them up.

The hardest working people in the contest are our Judges. The judges for the 2001 AFMS Bulletin/Article contest are as follows:

Mini Bulletins:
Ruby Lingelbach
Stillwater, OK
Small Bulletins:
Mary Hanning
Huntsville, IL
Large Bulletins:
Joyce Hanschu
Canton, Michigan
New Editors:
Shirley Leeson
LaMesa, CA
Adult Articles:
Joy Bourne
Towanda, PA
Adult Articles
Diane Dare
Holiday, FL
Junior Articles
Under 12
12 - 17:
Dolores Rose
Grand Island, NE
Art Reed
Crystal Lake, IL
Special Publications:
June Zeitner
Rapid City, SC

I look forward to presenting the trophies and awards for all those newsletters and articles entered in the 2000 contest in Arlington, Texas this June. I encourage as many of you as possible to join us at the Editor's Breakfast whether you are scheduled to receive an award or not.


Enhance your club show this year with "free stuff" for kids and other ideas.

Are you looking for something new to add to the success of your show this year? How about a whole table full of free educational handouts to educate children - and some adults - about our hobby. It has become a very popular thing to do and was very successful at the show at Moab. Your club can do this very easily. You can find the addresses of companies and organizations and what they'll provide at the AFMS web site, located at www.amfed.org. Webmaster, Marty Hart, keeps this resource list updated. Look under http://amfed.org/fra/material.htm for these items - posters, pamphlets, games, books and more- to enhance your show and club meetings. By the way, the fra stands for Future Rockhounds of America and we welcome all junior clubs to join us. Monthly information about it can be found in your American Federation Newsletter.

I attend many shows around the Eastern Federation last year and paid special attention to ways clubs enhanced their show to make it more educational and fun for children. Free literature listed on the before mentioned source has a hit. Treasure hunts or Earth science related quizzes are very popular. At the Mid-Hudson show in Rhinebeck, NY, I was astonished at the variation and the "toughness" of some of the questions on the quizzes. It turned out that local science teachers prepared the quizzes for their students. Club members and dealers gladly helped answer questions, however, the best thing about the whole task was the club library table with reference guides and a helpful adult to show how and where to look for the answer to those questions. Other clubs offered free soapstone carving lesson. These were very popular with the parents as well. Some parents joined the fun while others took the opportunity to do some shopping.

One other activity is commonly liked by all kids attending shows - free rocks for youngsters. Egg cartons, cut in half, make ideal containers for the 6 free mineral samples the kids could choose. Getting these rocks ready for the show is as much fun as seeing the happy faces of the youngster when they carry their mineral samples away. Making little rocks out of big ones is always a good program for junior clubs. This activity can provide an excellent opportunity to practice for future field trips. Safety comes first! Make sure there is enough distance between each child. Goggles and eye protection are a must. If this is done indoors, old rugs, rubber mats, wood or layers of card board should protect the floor. Provide the right kind of crack hammers, chisels, and gloves. Hard hats add a nice touch. Bicycle safety equipment works well. I found it very helpful to wrap an old towel, blanket, or burlap sack around the big rocks to avoid pieces of rock material hitting anyone or making it hard to clean up after the task. This is an excellent opportunity to practice some mineral identification, learn about the Mohs' hardness scale and the cleavage of minerals. A large piece of calcite, reduced to some real small rhombs, will amaze even the youngest pebble pup. You can suggest hitting pieces of mica or gypsum straight on or standing them on their ends to see which yields better results. At the end of the meeting, you'll have happy kids and boxes of small mineral sample for your show or grab bags. Labels to go with the minerals are easily done and duplicated on any computer. Perhaps a motto for the new millennium: If you always do what you always do, you'll get what you always get. If you do different, you'll have different. Try something new at your show or meetings this year and please share your successes and ideas with us.


SALT LAKE CITY -- On December 22 a federal judge gave pro-access recreation advocates a stunning victory when he ruled against a national preservationist group's legal effort to ban off-highway vehicle (OHV) use on millions of acres in Utah. After listening to six days of evidence and arguments, U.S. District Judge Dale A. Kimball denied a motion for preliminary injunction filed by the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA) which sought to ban OHV use in nine popular recreation areas managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Beyond denying SUWA's request for an injunction, Judge Kimball granted a motion to dismiss filed by the Blue Ribbon Coalition (BRC) and the Utah Shared Access Alliance (USA-ALL) and ruled that the Court had no jurisdiction to consider SUWA's claims regarding the disputed areas. While BLM had opposed SUWA's request for an injunction, it failed to join in the recreational groups' motion to dismiss.

"Hopefully this decision will help stop the management through litigation' model that seems popular with some activists," said Paul Turcke, lead attorney for the BRC and USA-ALL. "The court recognized that administrative agencies, not federal courts, are the proper place to create effective solutions to recreation management challenges." ,

"Access groups have repeatedly rallied to assist the BLM in striking a balance between use and protection of public lands," said Brian Hawthorne, USA-ALL executive director. "The OHV community is often unfairly vilified by the media and wilderness advocacy groups. This decision provides an important step in the right direction away from that unfair stereotype."

Don Amador, the western representative for the BRC, added, 'We have long argued that effective solutions to recreation management are best reached when the agency involves all users and local interests in its decision making process. Perhaps this decision will have an impact on similar lawsuits filed by green groups against the BLM and Forest Service in other states and will convince the agencies to do what is right instead of doing what they think will avoid a lawsuit."

"The BRC decided four years ago to start a legal action team to empower our member organizations to protect legitimate multiple-use access to public lands. I believe this legal victory in Utah shows just how important that commitment is as OHV recreation and government land agencies face a blizzard of 'ban-it-all' lawsuits filed by anti-access groups throughout the country," Amador concludes.

The areas SUWA unsuccessfully sought to close to motorized vehicles include the San Rafael Swell, Behind the Rocks near Moab, Indian Creek in San Juan County, Wildhorse Mesa near Captial Reef National Monument, and the Coral Pink Sand Dunes.

The Blue Ribbon Coalition is a national non-profit recreation access group that champions responsible use of public lands. It represents over 1,000 organizations and businesses.


Most clubs have elected officers for the new year by now. Have you notified the AFMS of these changes? Have you sent in the name and address of each of the three people who should be receiving this newsletter each month?

Every month I receive quite a stack of issues from the post office which could not be delivered because the addressee has moved. Bulk mail, which is how your AFMS Newsletter is delivered is normally not forwarded. We pay to have these non-deliverable newsletters returned to us so we can delete the addresses of these undeliverable recipients and avoid future "dead letters" in the future.

Our only way of being 100% certain that the newsletter gets delivered to the correct individual at the correct address is for you to keep us informed. Please take just a moment and notify us of your new officers.


With the weather so bad in many places throughout the country maybe you might consider a little treasure trip to your basement, attic, or extra bedroom where you have stored your "stuff."

If you were involved in any regional or national show and you'd like to see your "stuff" included in the AFMS History, please bundle it up and send it to me. In turn, I'll put your name on it and include it in the pictorial history of the AFMS. Regarding regional shows, I'm looking for show material from them in the form of award banquet programs, bulletin editors breakfast programs, and the table decorations and/or the individual theme items given to each participant.

I'm also looking for pictures. Those taken at the AFMS National shows. I need the name of the people, the award and the show date and location on each picture. YOU can help fill in the blanks.

If you have questions, please contact me.

Thanks in advance,

Shirley Leeson, AFMS Historian
6155 Haas St.
La Mesa, CA 91942-4312


This is the time of year when each of the Regional Federations ask clubs to pay their dues for the year and provide them with an update listing of club officers. Have you done this for your club?

Why is this important? First, each of the Federations distributes a Directory listing all the clubs in their Federation. If you travel, it's nice to take along the Directory to find out about clubs in the areas you will visit. It's nice to be able to visit a new club during their meeting or attend their club show. Your Regional Federation Directory can give you that information at a glance along with contacts should you wish to find out more or perhaps get some field trip information from a "local".

Your Regional Federation also probably provides low cost liability and perhaps accident insurance for your club as well. Payment of Regional Federation dues insures that your club will remain eligible for this important insurance coverage. In some cases the liability policies are enough to open quarries for collecting or cover the liability requirements for your local shows. This is too important an item for you to miss.

And then there are the other items...Federation Workshops like ZyxZyx or Wildacres, slide and video programs to borrow, and much, much more.

When that form arrives from your Regional Federation Treasurer, fill it out and send it back pdq. so you won't miss out!


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