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October 2001
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SERVING SEVEN REGIONAL FEDERATIONS                                     October, 2001


bulletAFMS Club Rockhound of Year
bulletLoud & Clear
bulletA Buzz From the Prez
bulletAFMS Code of Ethics
bulletA Few Ideas
bullet2001 Program Competition Award Announced
bulletEducation - All American Club Award Program
bulletTo All Editors, Wherever You Are!
bulletAFMS Club Rockhound of the Year
bulletComing to a Screen Near You
bulletEditor's Hall of Fame
bulletSafety - Just a Little Dust


from Bonnie Glismann, Chair

The AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year is proud to recognize its outstanding rockhounds. The following are the rules for submitting a nomination for your club for this program.

1. Each year each club affiliated with a federation can nominate one of its club members for recognition as an outstanding rockhound. Married couples count as one.

2. The names of the outstanding rockhound should be submitted to your regional representative who passes it on to the AFMS chair. Each club submits only one name a year. The nomination will then be published in the AFMS Newsletter,

3. Provide the following information with your nomination:

a. The name of your outstanding rockhound.

b. The name of your club and where it is located, including city and state.

c. The name of the federation with which you are affiliated (Eastern, South Central, etc.)

d. The name of the person or persons making the nomination. Any club member can nominate another club member, but the earliest received gets that years recognition.

e. A brief statement to publish with the name as to why this club member is so special. Statements should be 50 words or less. This is a change from the 25 words requested previously since it is difficult to explain just how special these people are in just 25 words.

During the 2000 - 2001 calendar year many nominations were received and published. How did your federation do?

California Federation - 19 nominations
Eastern Federation - 15 nominations
Midwest Federation - 3 nominations
Northwest Federation - 8 nominations
Rocky Mountain Federation - 3 nominations
South Central Federation - 22 nominations (Because of a bookkeeping error, the number of nominations are recorded for several years: 1998 - 1; 1999 - 3; 2000 - 14; 2001 - 4)
Southeast Federation - 0 nominations

There are still a couple of months left in this year for your club to nomination someone for this recognition. Why not do it today? Then, beginning November 1, your club can nominate another person or couple for next years recognition. Surely there are many outstanding people in your club that you would like to publicly thank and tell the rest of us about.


by George Loud, Conservation & Legislation Chair

The Roadless Battle Continues

Access to 59 million acres of public land (in National Forests), i.e., the so-called "Inventoried Roadless Areas", remains a political football. We laymen can only wonder at the use of the word "roadless" by bureaucrats to describe land areas which are the subject of so much debate as to how to manage roads therein. The controversy continues on two fronts.

On the judicial front, on May 10, 2001 the Idaho District Court granted a Preliminary Injunction which prohibits the U.S. Forest Service from implementing "all aspects of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule" as well as the section of the November 2000 Forest Planning Rule that addresses the inventory and evaluation of roadless areas during the Forest Plan Revision Process. The "green" groups who are interveners in the suit have appealed that Preliminary Injunction to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. The Bush administration declined to participate in the appeal. Oral argument on the appeal is set for the middle of October 2001. I believe that the trial on the merits of the case is on hold pending resolution of the appeal.

On the regulatory front, the chief of the Forest Service has issued Interim Directives Nos. 2400-2001-3 and 7710-2001-2 on July 27, 2001. Comments on these directives must be submitted in writing by October 22, 2001 and should be sent to:

Content Analysis Team
Forest Service, USDA
Attn: Roadless Interim Directives
P.O. Box 221150
Salt Lake City, UT 84122
via e-mail to: roadless_id@fs.fed.us
or via facsimile to: 801 296 4088

By Interim Directive No. 7710-2001-2, the chief of the Forest Service has reserved himself "The authority to approve or disapprove road construction or reconstruction in inventoried roadless areas, except..." My understanding is that this reservation of authority to the chief of the Forest Service would extend to any act decommissioning a road in the so-called "roadless areas", although I do not find decommissioning to be explicitly mentioned in the directive. If true, if the decommissioning of a road must now be approved by the chief of the Forest Service, this might ameliorate the problem encountered all too often in recent years by field collectors who find access to a site blocked by closure of a road for no apparent reason.

Please write and give your input. My understanding is that comments received today run heavily in favor of locking-up these lands by shutting off access to everyone, including rockhounds and others who use public lands for benign purposes. Again, the deadline for comment is October 22, 2001.


from Isabella Burns, AFMS President

At the beginning of my term, I chose Motivation and Education as my theme and set some goals. It is evaluation time. I should give each of you a form to fill out, but I will let you make your own.

1) Gain respect of the public -
Throughout my years in the hobby, I have been asked many times to describe what a rockhound does. I think we've earned a rating of 4 on this one. About 5,000 flyers, published by Public Relations Chair Bev Moreau and myself are available at shows, fairs, and museum. We have also started to do a project for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Celebration.

2) Educate our members about our programs and motivate them to participate was a goal not reached.
There were not as many Exhibit, Editor, or All American entries this year as in the past; however the ones entered were good. One possible cause for the lower number of entries was the short time between shows for the time and attention needed.

We had a great example of motivation by the Arlington Club. With the uniqueness of rockhounds, I feel certain that we will continue to be a great organization.

I have to take my hat off to the advances in information distributed by those astounding Federation Webmasters. Doing some research on the AFMS website, I discovered our Faceters List and learned that it helps many faceters. Perhaps if our AFMS Uniform Rules were on the website, questions like what are the mineral sizes for mineral competition classes would be answered. Watch this area to be of much help to us in the future.

3) Educate us - 
After visiting the various conventions, meeting new collectors, and reading many newsletters, I have an even greater conviction that rockhounds are the greatest teachers about rocks, minerals, lapidary arts, and fossils. They teach with friendship and love of the hobby. My file drawer is running over with clippings from newsletters. How about our most quoted chairman, Mel Albright? He reports what members need to know and is often copied.

While our AFMS Website <www.amfed.org> is "distant" to some, it does allow us to reach people in all parts of the U.S. (and the entire globe) ; therefore communication is of utmost importance. I wish that the few member representatives that we have would pay closer attention to what our website offers, how it can help Regional Federations and individual clubs, and express their ideas. Are some of our programs outdated? This is your organization - speak up.

I want to wish Steve Weinberger a wonderful year. Its been my pleasure to discuss projects, problems and pleasures with him this year and you too will enjoy working with him. I know that the AFMS will be in good hands.

As my term comes to an end, let me express my appreciation for the honor and opportunity you have given me. I will treasure every smile, every hug, every gesture of friendship, every meal shared, every email or letter, every service rendered, every gift, every memory and even every challenge.

Izzie B


from Dan McLennan, Secretary

Copies of the AFMS Code of Ethics are available for your members on printed cards.

If you would like copies for your members, please contact me at the Central Office address (page 2). Let me know how many copies of the cards you will need.

Many clubs give these to members, especially new ones, as a reminder of good ethical conduct while on club related activities, especially field trips on public or private lands.

A Few Ideas

from Steve Weinberger, AFMS President-elect

This being my last column as President-Elect, I wanted to express a few ideas potpourri style.

First, I wanted to say that it has been a pleasure to serve in office this past year. Thanks to President Burns for keeping me informed about her duties throughout the year, so that there can be a smooth transition in November. I will keep our new President-Elect, Ron Carman, informed also. It is amazing what comes across the President's desk; the expected is always there, but the unexpected can sometimes be good fodder for a book. The problem with the latter is that it would be difficult convincing the publisher that it is non-fiction.

Secondly, I have noticed that some federations are having difficulties in receiving bids for their annual conventions and shows. True, it is impressive to attend a convention where the local club has gone all out in their preparations. The two which we attended this summer (the Arlington, Texas AFMS show and the Syracuse EFMLS show) are prime examples of this. Every detail was thought out and every effort was made to insure that delegates and the public were made to feel welcome.

Although this is the ideal, it is not necessary to involve great numbers of people and huge sums of money to sponsor a federation show. If you have a successful show which the public has supported over the years, you do not want to change the date or location. This could be the core around which your club builds the federation show by adding just a few amenities. One person could be in charge of securing a hotel with reserved rooms, a meeting hall with room for about 150 people, arranging for the awards dinner and editors' breakfast. There does not have to be any outlay of funds for these because all expenses will be paid by the attendees. Some clubs choose to prepare table favors and other sundry additions, but it is their choice.

Don't be afraid to offer the bid for a convention. There are many people and guides to help you both in the initial phases and throughout the year. Clubs have said that the satisfaction and recognition they received during and after the event was immeasurable.

The final item which I wanted to mention is competitive cases in shows. We all know that the numbers of these displays are down lately, but no one has pinpointed the cause. True, there are fewer people in clubs throughout the country, but the declining numbers do not account for the decrease in competitive cases.

The basic question of why people enter competitively is at the core. Individuals set up cases in order to educate the public, improve their exhibiting skills, or win awards and receive recognition. Sometimes all three motives are present.

Some people complain that the rules for competitive judging are too complex, judges are too critical or not critical enough, or they feel that they don't think their case is good enough for a blue ribbon, so they don't enter.

The competitor should read the first section of the AFMS Uniform Rules to get a general idea of how to set up his or her case. Then turn back to the brief section on the category you will be entering. You will probably be surprised to find that there is really not that much to worry about. You do not have to know the entire book and all of its rules.

The judges I have known have all tried to be fair in their dealing with the exhibitor. Rules are carefully discussed each year at the meeting of the Uniform Rules Committee, and you can certainly submit your concerns, additions, or modifications of the rules to your regional federation's rules chairman. These, in turn, will be brought to the committee to be discussed and voted on.

If you are one of the many people who really enjoy winning, just think of how much you can learn and improve to be on your way toward that blue ribbon.

2001 Program Competition Award Announced

from Marge Collins, AFMS Chair

The early date (June 16, 2001) of the AFMS Convention made it impossible for the Program Competition Regional Judges to complete their work by that time. Since the winner is a member of Midwest Federation, the announcement and presentation of the Award was made this year at the (September 8th) MWF Awards Banquet at Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

"Rockhounding in Upper Peninsula, Michigan and Ontario", by Jody Fronk, Central Illinois Gem & Mineral Club, earned points to receive a First Place "Four Star Award" and a cash prize of $100.00.

This slide program recounts the events of a trip to the historic copper mining area in upper Michigan and then on to Bancroft and Cobalt, Ontario. Numerous locations and specimens found at each are shown, with some historical background and collecting tips included. This is a good overview of each area and a great preparation for anyone planning to visit these areas.

Although this was the only slide program submitted, it did not win by default. It scored enough points to earn First Place* and as a result, each Regional Library will receive a copy for use by members.

In addition, Dennis Batt, Vista Gem & Mineral Society (CFMS), submitted "American Masters of Stone" a Power Point presentation on CD-ROM with 999 images of intarsias and the artists who created these 'stone to stone' masterpieces. It is a high quality presentation deserving of the highest commendation. However, since very few Clubs currently have the equipment to properly present such a presentation, we will not be making duplicates of the CD-ROM at this time. However, copies are available from the producer. We are investigating the possibility of transferring the images to video so they will be available to Club members who are interested in this specialized art form. Dennis is already working on a shorter presentation about intarsia, which will be in a format that Clubs can use more readily.

To contact Dennis regarding availability of the CD-ROM or with information about an intarsia artist (Dennis continues to gather information) call (760)434-6377.

* Rules for the 2002 Program Competition will be published next month in this newsletter and most Regional Newsletters. Slide or video programs earning the highest score over 95 points (in each of the 4 categories) are given "First Place with Highest Honors" and a $200 cash prize. Programs earning 90 - 94 points are "First Place Winners" and receive $100 if funding allows.

If you have questions, contact:

Marge Collins
Program Competition Coordinator
3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd.
Buchanan, MI 49107
phone: (616)695-4313
e-mail: margaret@qtm.net


from Colleen and Lyle Kugler, AFMS Co-Chairs

Established in 1967 by the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies and the seven regional federations, the All-American Club Award is meant to:

- encourage local club members to share their expertise and enthusiasm for the hobby within their respective regions.

- provide a model for organizing an annual historical account for the posterity of each club, and offer an opportunity for national recognition of exceptional clubs.

Just as the award is focused on quality effort that enables members to grow and clubs to flourish, it is also focused on quality that the All-American Club Award judges seek in evaluating applications for regional and national honors. Completeness of the report is important, and quality is valued over quantity. The clubs' respective regional chairman must receive entries by the date they specify.

This is not a competition of one club against others. This is an evaluation of quality based on a standard of excellence. Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are granted for achievement of point in the appropriate scoring range. Only the top regional and national awards are determined on a high point basis. To allow more equality, separate top awards will be given for large clubs (100 or more members), small clubs (up to 99 members) and organized junior divisions (5 or more members).

Report Form Instructions

Each entry is to be submitted as a single document limited to a maximum of 100 sheets (one or two sided) including text and graphics. A loose-leaf notebook is a suitable binder.

The document should have six sections divided with numbers 1 through 6, with the entry form in Section 1 and the supporting information for each of the entry sections following the appropriate divider. There is no restriction on the number of pages in any section.

When filling out the entry form, mark all appropriate blanks and entry numbers or other information where requested. Assemble requested supporting materials and lists following the appropriate section divider, and then insert photos or other graphics following the typed information.

You will be completing the year's entry in the early part of 2002. Remember that all requested information is for the year 2001.

You will be hearing more about the contest from your regional federation chairman in the next month or so.

Application forms for YOUR club entry are found on pages 5 & 6 of this issue. Feel free to copy them as needed. We're really looking forward to reading about YOUR club this year.

Download the All-American Application Forms


from Kitty Starbuck, AFMS Club Publications Chair


Open that file folder chuck in those bulletins, articles, poems etc... so you won't have to hurry around at the last minute to 'round up' the material you wish to enter in the bulletin contest. I hope you read this suggestion when it first appeared in the March 2001 issue of the AFMS Newsletter, and have 'picked and sorted' as you have gone along ... it makes the job so much easier.

The 2002 AFMS/NFMS Convention will be held in Port Townsend, Washington, July 18- 21 ... and it's time to start the process all over again. This year you have additional time to get it done.

The deadline for the 2002 AFMS contest is as follows:
    Regional Federation entries to AFMS judges ...April 15, 2002.
    AFMS Judges return all entries to me....June 15, 2002.

Watch for the entry forms for the contest, which will be sent to you by your regional Bulletin Editors Aid Chairman (better known as the BEAC). Each of the seven regional federations has a BEAC, and they are the ones you submit your entries to. They in turn send them to the regional judges, and when the regional BEAC receives the judged entries back from the regional judges, they are then forwarded to the AFMS judges. After they have judged the material, it is then sent to me by June 15.

One of the complaints I have heard is, that some feel that the older editors have an in with the judges. If you feel that some of them win more than once, please check the list of winners, and you will find that many of them have entered the contest in a different category. As for the First Place winners, once they have won first place, they are ineligible to enter the contest in that category for the next two years. Each of the BEAC's receives a list of the people that are ineligible to enter the contest for the next 2 years.

Yes, many of the judges do see entries from the same editors, but they do not judge your bulletin by who you are, but by the content of the bulletin. , or whatever category you have entered. You start with a score of 100, and points are deducted for what you have not included according to the score sheet. On the back of your score sheet, the judges make very helpful suggestions, these are to help you improve your bulletin. If you follow these suggestions, and make the changes, it is very possible you will have a winning bulletin, etc.

I know of an editor that made the changes, and did what the judge suggested, and won first place in the category that was entered.

I am adding a new 'rule' this year .. If you belong to a club that has membership in more than one federation...you can only enter in one Federation contest. Entering your material in more than one federation, gives an unfair advantage, because it will be judged by a different set of judges in each federation.

I encourage all of you editors to enter the 2002 contest. Reminds me of the story our minister told about the lady that complained how she never wins the lottery. After questioning her, his advice to her was. "In order to win, first you have to buy a ticket." My advice to you is...to win, you have to enter the contest."

Good luck, get those entries in the mail as soon as you receive the entry form from your regional BEAC. I am looking forward to receiving your entries.


from Bonnie Glismann, ACROY Chair

Eastern Federation

Eileen Jamieson of the Bergen County Mineralogy & Paleontology Society (NJ) has been nominated by Bob and Dot Kuchar as the club's AFMS Rockhound of the Year. Eileen has been Editor of the Bergen Matrix newsletter for years. She puts many hours into making it a very interesting and informative paper. She is always pleasant and helpful. She fills in for others if they are sick or away without being asked. She is a lovely person.

We would like to nominate Harold Spath Sr. from the Gem and Mineral Club of Syracuse as our 2001 honoree. This hard worker has not only held most offices in the club including President, but he has been show chairman, wholesale gate keeper, and cabbing demonstrator. Over the years has presented several interesting programs for both adult members and youth. Harold loves lapidary, sawing and cutting stones. He also self collects, mostly in the East. Octogenarian Harold represents clients as Inspector and "Clerk of the Works" on commercial buildings going up or being renovated. Plus Harold has just been re-elected for another two years as EFMLS Region III Vice President. He is a Past Official in the US Power Squadron and currently teaches navigation and boat handling courses. Atta boy Harold!


from Marge Collins, Program Competition Chair

Three new video presentations have been distributed to your regional federation program librarians in the past month. These new programs are made possible by funds generated from the AFMS Endowment Fund and we thank all of you for your generous donations which have made these funds available to us.

The new video programs are:

1. Yellowstone Imprints of Geologic Time.

This video takes viewers on a spectacular journey through the colorful geologic story of Yellowstone National Park. Filmed over four years, through changing seasons, YELLOWSTONE weaves a tapestry of beautiful images to the accompaniment of natural sounds, clear narration, and pleasing music."

2. Rainbow of Stone- A Journey through Deep Time in The Grand Canyon.

The geologic story of Grand Canyon National Park is a story about time - immense time. It begins long before the existence of human beings, and long before the North American continent took its present shape.. . . explores the geologic story of the Park from the two-billion year old rocks of the Inner Gorge to volcanoes that spilled lava into remote western portions of the Grand Canyon less than a million years ago.

3. The Rock Cycle - Understanding the Processes and Products of an Ever-changing Earth:

This video breathes life into one of the classic concepts of earth science: rocks evolve and transform from one type to another in a never-ending cycle. Through exquisite photography and an innovative approach, THE ROCK CYCLE conveys a sense of wonder and excitement about the earth and helps to bridge the connections between earth processes and products.


from Shirley Leeson, Chair

Many club newsletter editors are the hardest working members of our clubs. They spend countless hours each month preparing a newsletter so that your members know about the upcoming meeting and events of the club and nearby clubs, get news about members and learn something about the hobby. Often members unable to continue coming to meetings because of health of distance continue their membership in the club just to receive the newsletter.

Our way of recognizing these hard working individuals is called the "Bulletin Editor's Hall of Fame". It was started in 1995 during the AFMS Convention in Boise, Idaho and it's grown steadily each year.

We are pleased to announce that the following editors have been inducted into the Hall of Fame for 2001.

California Federation - 

Beverly Moreau - editor of The Rockiter, Northrop Grumman Gem & Mineral Society and additionally, more than one year as CFMS Editor.

Shirley Schleif - Contra Costa Mineral & Gem Society for her wonderful cover designs of "Diablo Dan's Exploits" which went on over many years and gave many editors a good laugh!

South Central Federation - 

Phyllis George, editor of Backbender's Gazette, Houston Gem & Mineral Society, Houston, Texas

Doris Gisler, editor of Slab-Gab, Victoria Gem & Mineral Society, Victoria, Texas 

Bill Holbert, editor of Rock N' Rose, East Texas Gem & Mineral, Tyler, Texas

Paul Good, editor of the South Central Federation Newsletter. Paul is the first member inducted for service in two Federations!

Northwest Federation

Carl Unruh - editor of Off the Dop, Intermountain Faceters Guild Newsletter

Rocky Mountain Federation

Linda Jaeger, editor of "T-Town Rockhound", Tulsa Rock and Mineral Society, Tulsa, Oklahoma

Nancy Hicks, editor of Shawnee Slate, Shawnee Gem & Mineral Club, Shawnee, Oklahoma

Midwest Federation

Marie Zigler - editor of Tulip City Rock Club Bulletin, Holland, Michigan

Eastern Federation

Millie Heym - editor of The Coral Geode, Tampa Bay Mineral & Science Club, Tampa, Florida

Barbara Fenstermacher - editor of Hound's Howl, Aiken Gem & Mineral Society, Aiken, South Carolina

Southeast Federation

Ted Robles, editor of the Mountain Gem, Franklin, North Carolina.

Foreign - 

This year there is not an awardee

Canada - 

This year there is not an awardee

Congratulations to all who have been inducted into the Editor's Hall of Fame!

Just A Little Dust

by Mel Albright, Safety Chair

Have you ever told yourself "It's just a little" about the dust from some lapidary project you're working?

Yes, I know. Most of our work is done wet and there is no dust flying around. But, not everything! Carving is often done dry - especially sanding and polishing. Knapping arrowheads is almost always done dry. Finished silver and gold projects are often "touched up" with dry sandpaper. Breaking rocks with a hammer or from matrix out in the field is a dry project. Often cleaning fossils for presentation is a dry project - especially when sand blasting. How about trimming up your mineral samples? I bet you can think of other places where a little rock dust flies around. Well. It IS only a little!

BUT, your lungs do not expel silicates from rock dust. So, a bunch of "littles" is as bad as a "bunch". It might take years to get too much, but eventually you may. What's the problem? A disease called silicosis.

"Silicosis, a scarring and hardening of lung tissue, can result when particles of crystalline silica are inhaled and become embedded in the lung. The disease can be progressively debilitating and fatal. In construction, workers can be easily exposed to silica when using rock containing silica or concrete and masonry products that contain silica sand when performing such tasks as chipping, hammering, drilling, crushing, or hauling rock; performing abrasive blasting; and sawing, hammering, drilling, and sweeping concrete or masonry. Even materials containing small amounts of crystalline silica may be hazardous if they are used in ways that produce high dust concentrations. " says the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

So, how do you protect yourself? Lots of ventilation is always a good way. However, the ventilation should come from the side or a little behind you so that any dust is blown AWAY from your nose. You can check before working on the rocks to be sure that is going on. Eddies around your face and head will not protect you. Masks work also - if they're good enough.

Those of you who run club shops should be very careful that dust is controlled. You might get ten exposed rather than one. An exhaust hood would be an excellent investment. A little sheet metal or plywood, a cheap fan, and stovepipe going through a hole to outside would be easy to make. Some equipment may have filters on it. Be sure that a special filter is used and that it is cleaned often. A proper filter is important even it is more expensive than something from Wal-Mart.

"PRIVATE" NIOSH recommends the following measures to reduce exposures to breathable crystalline silica in our shops: Breathable silica includes almost every rock or fossil that rockhounds may have.

Recognize when silica dust may be generated and plan ahead to eliminate or control the dust at the source. Awareness and planning are keys to prevention of silicosis.

If possible, do not use silica sand or other substances containing more than 1% crystalline silica as abrasive or blasting materials. Substitute less hazardous materials.

Use engineering controls and containment methods such as filtering machines and cabinets, wet drilling, or wet sawing to control the hazard and protect nearby friends from exposure.

Routinely maintain dust control systems to keep them in good working order.

Practice good personal hygiene to avoid unnecessary exposure to other shop contaminants such as lead.

Wear disposable or washable protective clothes at the shop.

Shower (if possible) and change into clean clothes before leaving the shop to prevent contamination of cars, homes, and other work areas.

Post warning signs to mark the boundaries of shop areas that may be contaminated with rock dust.

Provide members with training that includes information about health effects, work practices, and protective equipment for breathable crystalline silica.

If you think I'm exaggerating - more than a few knappers have suffered from this disease.



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