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The Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc. (VGMS)
Rockhound Rambling
January 2001.

Table of Contents.


I'd first like to thank all of you for your support and confidence in me. I feel I have only one qualification for this job - I like to shine rocks. You do have my promise though, that I'll do the very best I can.

Our Christmas Dinner at Millie's was a huge success and went smoothly. It was made more memorable by Red & Nancy's efforts with commemorative plaques for distinguished members Dorr Thayer, Opal Benson, Ray Meisenheimer and Florence Meisenheimer. The new Board Members were installed and will get our full support. We also thank out going members for a job well done.

I'd like to welcome everyone to the New Year and to start we'll hit the ground running with a January Field Trip to Topanga Canyon, Quartzsite starting up and preparations in full swing for our annual show, "Artistry in Nature" set for March 3rd & 4th. Let's make this a memorable year with our goal of education being foremost, our efforts with Tri-Club meetings being a step in the right direction and the significant interest shown by members in Docent training for our Museum.

Welcome everyone to the Year 2001.

Greg Davis, President.

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Never put off 'til tomorrow what you should have done yesterday.

A penny saved is nothing in the real world of today.

Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry, and someone yells, "Shut up!".

Difficult things take a long time-impossible things a little longer.

Contributed by Wayne Ehlers.

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If you haven't taken care of your 2001 dues, please send to Emma Mayer, 947 Sandpiper Ct., Ventura, CA 93001. See the inside front cover of the bulletin for amounts. Anyone needing a badge please see or contact Emma.

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Helmut Ehrenspeck will be returning to present "The Black Smoker in our midst: Geology of the Figuero Mountain area". There is also the possibility of a field trip to this area. Come and find out about it.

Kathryn Davis, Program Chairperson.

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This will be the traditional Final/Full Club show meeting. There will also be reports from those who have gone to Quartzsite and Tucson - please bring your "finds" for show and tell.

By popular request there will also be "BINGO". Please bring a prize.

Kathryn Davis, Program Chairperson.

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We were all very saddened to hear of the death of Bill Vient. Bill passed away on December 31, 2000 at the age of 87. The memorial service was held on January 6 at the Forest Lawn Mortuary, Little Church of the Flowers in Glendale.

Bill and Marian were hard workers in VGMS and rarely missed a meeting until they were unable to attend. They were tireless workers at our shows. Bill was there early putting together the show cases and there late at the end taking them down! They also helped me assemble the bulletin when I first started doing it several years ago. I don't know how many years they have been members of VGMS, but I know when we first joined, they always made us feel welcome and we miss them.

Please keep Marian in your thoughts and prayers and send her a card at 2585 Washington Blvd., #232, Pasadena, CA 90027.

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25 OCTOBER 2000 - Helmut Ehrenspeck "The Conejo Volcanics of the Western Santa Monica Mountains.

The Santa Monica Mountains and the Channel Islands go east to west and have a different geological history from any other mountains in North America. Mr. Ehrenspeck described a complicated series of events which created the geography of our area. He has been working with Tom Dibblee (now 89 years old but going strong) of the Dibblee Geological Foundation in Santa Barbara to make geological maps.

The presentation was packed with information. A tidbit I found especially interesting came from an examination of some of the petrified wood, which has been found in the area. The petrified wood is of trees that would have grown at an elevation of four to five thousand feet above sea level. Because of where it was found, it appears that that area dropped ten thousand feet (because of layers above it) and was raised again. Fascinating planet we live on!

Kathryn Davis, Program Chairperson.

8 NOVEMBER 2000 - Stu Chalfant - Gem Corundum.

Corundum is found worldwide. It is widely used as an industrial corrosive and for many other uses. For example, a sapphire crystal is used in the scanners in the grocery stores. It also provides lovely gemstones. It has a hardness of nine, second only to diamond. It is a form of aluminum oxide, with the presence of trace minerals creating a wide range of colors (colorless to black and all the colors of the rainbow). All intensely red corundum crystals are called "ruby". All other colors are called "sapphire".

There is frequently a lot of argument as to where to draw the line between a dark pink sapphire and a ruby. If you shine a strong light on the stone and the color gets more intense it is a ruby. If it does not get more intense it is a sapphire.

Titanium rutile creates asterism, the "stars" found in some cabochons of sapphire and ruby. Stu showed us some examples of star ruby that he has cut and polished, including a few he has set in jewelry of his own design. He does beautiful work. Stu also showed us a raw crystal (actually, two) from North Carolina which were very impressive.

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Richard Bromser and Red Jioras have reviewed the by-laws to bring them current. There will be copies of the recommended up-date at the January meeting. Please be sure to get a copy to review as the changes will be voted on at the February meeting. Those not in attendance in January will be mailed a copy to review before the February meeting. If you have any questions or in-put please contact Richard or Red as soon as possible. They are also working on the Operating Regulations, however these will be up-dated at the board meeting. Once they are completed a copy will be available at the meetings.

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Dave Mautz is putting together a Trilobite Case to be on display at the Wright Library at Telegraph and Day Roads in Ventura. This will begin on February 3rd. If you have a chance to go by and see it please do.

Wayne Ehlers is putting together a case to be on display at Sycamore Nature Center Display. He is going to write up a bit about it for the next bulletin

Steve Mulqueen has been continually putting on a display at the California Oil Museum in Santa Paula featuring different minerals and fossils. These change about every three to four months. The museum currently is featuring the Gold Days and taken over the space we normally have. Steve does have a display of mining lamps and artifacts that he has collected. The middle of February he will be changing the case to feature Ventifact.

Emma Mayer has volunteered to set up some Club scrapbooks. If you have any pictures from past club events that you would like to have included, bring them to the meeting or you can mail them to Emma. Be sure to include dates and descriptions on the backs. These will be on display at our meetings.

Membership Rosters are in the process of being updated with the membership renewals. We will be including a page of pebble pups. Since they do not have to pay dues, we don't have a record of them. Be sure to include their information with your renewal payment. If you have already renewed (Good for you!) you can just give the information to Emma as soon as possible.

Plants are needed for the plant booth at our show. Start those cuttings now and keep the booth in mind any time you are thinning out! You can bring them to the fair grounds on Friday during set-up or Saturday morning.

Country Store items are needed. Clean your closets, garages, etc., now and take all those items cluttering up the area to the Country Store! We appreciate them and so will their new homes! You can bring them to the museum on workshop days, to the board meetings , regular meetings or call Shirley Layton at (805) 642-2683 for pick up. We will be having another pricing session (to be announced at the meeting) soon. THANK YOU.

Sharon Cunningham has agreed to coordinate the hostesses for our meetings. She will be looking for volunteers to fill the different meeting slots. Be sure to let her know which month you want to help with before someone else beats you to it!!

Exhibitors' Workshop and showmanship workshop to be held on March 17, 2001 by the Reno Gem & Mineral Society at the Society Clubhouse, 480 South Rock Blvd., Sparks, NV. Registration is 8 to 8:45, meeting begins at 9:00. $3.50 Registration fee per person, which covers Coffee, Doughnuts and Lunch at the Clubhouse. For Reservations, mail to Norvie Enns, 1485 W. 4th St., #10, Reno, NV 89503. Mail by March 1, 2001. Call Florence Meisenheimer (805) 642-3155 or Shirley Layton (805) 642-2683 for registration forms.

ZZYZX - March 25 to April 1,2001. Don't forget to register for this educational and fun filled week. The registration form was in our December bulletin. You can also call Ray & Florence Meisenheimer at (805) 642-3155 for further information and a registration form.

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December 9, 2000.

The Pebble Pup Open House was a GREAT success! There were 28 people in attendance, 9 pebble pups, 14 members and 5 guests. Red & Nancy Jioras furnished the refreshments and each pebble pup went home with a special gift of a rock, fossil, gem or mineral nature. I'm not sure who had more fun, the pebble pups or the members! A tour of the Museum, Petting Zoo and workshop was given.

The Pebble Pups in attendance were in order of sign-in: Chloe Baer, Duke Ferguson, Matthew Beinar, Anthony Beinar, Bailey Marshall, Hannah Marshall, Zachary Campbell, Joey Martin & Jordon Modic. It was a great pleasure to have them visit.

In conjunction with the open house a Docent Training Class was given by Ray Meisenheimer, which had a good attendance.

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December 13, 2000.

More than 40 members and guests attended the Christmas party at Millie's. Sharon Cunningham made all of the arrangements. Sharon also decorated the tables in Holiday decor, including dozens of the cutest little gum drop trees which she made herself. We all owe Sharon a heartfelt THANK YOU.

After the meal some of us "Old Timers" were surprised (dumbfounded?) to learn we were honored guests. Opal Benson, who has been continuously active along with Bruno since she joined the club in 1952; Dorr Thayer, the only surviving Charter Member of the club, who has recently had to slow down a little, and who was only 15 when he helped the club get started in 1946; and Ray and I who joined the club in 1968. Each was given a nice plaque and a nice speech by Red Jioras - It was nice to have Florine, Dorr's wife there also. We have not seen her for a while.

We all want to thank Red and Nancy Jioras and Richard Bromser and any one else who planned the surprise.

After the presentation the outgoing officers were presented their bars and pins by Steve Mulqueen, Ray Meisenheimer installed the new officers. It was truly a very nice evening.

Florence Meisenheimer.

EDITOR'S NOTE: For those of you that weren't able to attend, at the end of this bulletin are the Resolutions that we were honored to present.

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March 3-4, 2001.

Everyone needs to be thinking about what they would like to do to help. Please don't be afraid to ask if you are not sure what the jobs entail. It is a lot of fun and a great time to get to know other members. We start hauling items over to the fair grounds on Thursday morning, get the tables set up and skirted, Friday finish up any of the above, exhibitors' cases are set up as well as our booths. Exhibitors come and set up their cases. Friday evening we provide a dinner for all exhibitors, dealers and members. Bonnie Demaniw always has great food that she can use help in preparing and serving. Sat. & Sun. is the show for which we need security people, greeters etc., and then Sunday evening we take everything down and sweep out the building! Everyday is in need of helpers.

We don't have a show chairman per se this year. The various committee chairs are coordinating their needs. The chairs are as follows:
     Show Chairperson - vacant,
     Dealer/ Demo-Dealer Chairperson - Kathryn Davis,
     Fairground Contact - Richard Bromser,
     Publicity - Inez Shakman,
     Security - Wayne Ehlers,
     Show Treasurer - Richard Bromser,
     Exhibitor Chairperson - Susan & Steve Mulqueen,
     Printed Progams - Greg Davis,
     Food - Bonnie Demianiw,
     Country Store - Shirley Layton,
     Plant Sale - Marie Haake, Marie Ehlers and Susan Mulqueen,
     Game Booth - The Brace-Thompsons,
     Video Presentations - Steve Mulqueen,
     Truck Rental - Richard Bromser,
     Hospitality - vacant,
     Donation Awards - vacant,
     Silent Auction - vacant.

The show meeting of January 10th was cancelled due to the weather!!! Another date will be announced at the meeting. Please don't be bashful about volunteering, it is a lot of fun. There is an exhibitors' form included in this bulletin for those members that haven't entered yet!

Webmaster's Note: Since the form is now outdated I have taken the liberty of removing it. This page will download slightly faster without it.

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The regular board meeting of the VGMS was called to order by President Steve Mulqueen at 7:30 p.m., on Thursday, December 7, 2000, at the VGMS museum, 5019 Crooked Palm Road, Ventura, CA.

It was m/s/c to approve the expenditure of not more than $50 to donate poinsettia plants and books on tape to the Lexington as a Christmas thank you. Steve Mulqueen has generated a letter to the Lexington reserving the Bijou Room for monthly meetings for the next six months.

Ray Meisenheimer will recognize out-going officers and install in-coming officers for the year 2001 at the holiday party to be held on December 13 at Millie's Restaurant in Ventura.

Docent training will be held at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 9, at the workshop. Following the docent training the club will host an open house for pebble pups beginning at 9:30 a.m. Steve Mulqueen announced that he had also invited Morley Chase of Chase Bros. Dairy to view the museum in hopes that he will help the club to find a new location.

Red Jioras said that he received the fairgrounds contract four days ago and that he, Richard Bromser and Jim Brace-Thompson will go to the fairgrounds together to negotiate the contract. They will hold the cost to at least that of last year, perhaps less.

Sharon Cunningham volunteered to coordinate hostesses for the monthly meetings. Richard Bromser asked that the 11/2 minutes reflect that the membership for Helmut Erenspeck is not an "honorary membership", but a regular membership funded by VGMS. The minutes were approved as amended. Checks #733-741 were approved for payment.

The by-laws committee will meet in late December or early January. Since the location for the Holiday party will not be conducive to Bingo, the program for the February meeting will be Bingo. Each member should bring a wrapped gift worth approximately $5 to be used as a prize.

Jim Brace-Thompson has a slide show ready for presentation at one of the meetings.

David Mautz volunteered to be the paleo curator for the museum. He also showed some of the new raffle prizes he purchased at the Pasadena show.

Ron Wise reported that the Conejo and Oxnard clubs will be having a field trip to Topanga Canyon on January 13. Those wishing to participate should meet at the Von's parking lot on Valley Circle at 9 a.m.

Kathryn Davis reported that she has some dealer checks and some verbal confirmations for dealers for the March show.

Helmut Erenspeck has volunteered to lead a field trip to Figueroa Mountain to the site of some old black smokers that were once on the ocean floor. Marcasite can be found. He has Forest Service passes. The date was set for December 30.

Sharon Cunningham reminded members that dues are due. Some members have already paid.

Red Jioras has been working with California Parks to straighten out confusion about collection of whale bone from the local beaches. An article will be sent to each of the local clubs for publication in their bulletins after it has been approved by Cal Parks. Because of his efforts Red has been asked by Jim Strain of CFMS to serve on the CFMS Public Lands Advisory Committee. It was m/s/c to recommend Red to CFMS as the Central Coast Representative for that committee.

Red Jioras has volunteered to take over VGMS scholarships. To that end he has contacted Ventura College regarding their scholarship program. They have a program in place whereby they give out our applications and pass the completed applications to VGMS for our decision. They will do the monitoring for us. The scholarships are presented at a dinner in May where a representative of VGMS would attend to present our scholarship. Red then presented a draft application for the Board's discussion. It was agreed that the scholarships would be offered to students of Ventura College and Santa Barbara City College.

Red went on to say that the Museum Committee will convene after the first of the year. Topics to be discussed will be curators, inventories, ways to broaden the education aspects of the museum and a new location.

Florence Meisenheimer reported that Bob Stultz will be the CFMS President for 2001. There will be a field trip for obsidian the second weekend in July to Lassen Peak and Glass Mountain. There will also be another Stone Canyon field trip. CFMS urges clubs to use the waivers for each field trip and asks each club to use the same form.

Shirley Layton will look into liability insurance for the club.

Finally, Richard Bromser reported that the Museum Fund has $380.

There being no further business the meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Jioras, Secretary.

The VGMS regular monthly meeting was held at Millie's Restaurant, on Victoria Avenue, in Ventura, on Wednesday, December 13, 2000, at 6:30 p.m. The regular meeting was replaced by the annual Holiday Dinner and installation of officers.

After dinner Ray Meisenheimer gave service pins to the outgoing officers and installed the officers for the year 2001. They are as follows:
     President - Greg Davis,
     First Vice President (Program Chair) - Kathryn Davis,
     Second Vice President (Field Trip Chair) - Ron Wise,
     Third Vice President (Show Chair) - Jim Brace-Thompson,
     Treasurer - Richard Bromser,
     Secretary - Nancy Brace-Thompson,
     Membership - Emma Mayer,
     Federation Director - Florence Meisenheimer,
     Bulletin Editor - Shirley Layton,
     Parliamentarian - Steve Mulqueen.

After the installation Red Jioras presented certificates of appreciation to Dorr Thayer, Opal Benson, and Ray and Florence Meisenheimer.

Respectfully submitted,
Nancy Jioras, Secretary.

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DATE: February 24 - 25.

We will be looking for Onyx. Camp will be about 10 miles east of Barstow, off Interstate 15 and about 165 miles from Thousand Oaks. Look for the highway sign says: Ghost Town Road and Yermo Exit 1 mile. Take the Yermo exit, turn right, go north about 1.2 mile. Look for the colored stakes, colored orange and blue, camp will be just off the Calico road.

We well leave camp at 9:30 AM Saturday and Sunday mornings. This is a dry camp, so bring water and warm clothes. Saturday night we'll have a pot luck dinner and a camp fire.

Don Asher.
Call for information:
(805) 482-2510,
Ron Wise, Field Trip Chairman.

A map of the Calico Area

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Here is the planned itinerary for our 2001 trip to Wyoming's blue forest petrified wood. You can caravan with Red and Nancy or, if you can't make the entire trip, it will be possible to meet up with the group at planned or pre-arranged sites along the way.

June 21 thru 25-Assisting at Paso Robles C.F.M.S. Show.

June 25 thru 28-Traveling to Wyoming - Route and rock sites to be determined at a later date.

June 28 July 1-Camp at free BLM campground below Fontanel Reservoir - Campground is 4 miles from the Blue Forest diggings. We will spend approximately 3 days in the Blue Forest digging petrified wood. There are plenty of broken pieces on the surface of the ground, but to get full rounds of any size, you must dig. Digging in the soil is not hard, but breaking the wood out of the matrix requires some effort. We have seen many rockhounds in their 70's who have unearthed REALLY nice pieces, so don't be discouraged by the harder matrix. Once you see the wood, you tend to develop superhuman strength.

July 1 thru July 8-After leaving the Blue Forest area, we will travel approximately 40 miles to the Big Sandy Reservoir. This is the site of the Farson Rock Swap, hosted by Wind River Gems of Rock Springs, Wyoming. The Big Sandy area includes a large area of petrified wood, petrified palm and petrified cane. Joe and Russ Simms of Wind River Gems have lived in the area all their lives and will be on hand most of the week to help us find material. In addition to the petrified wood area there are many different kinds of material within a 60 mile radius of the Big Sandy that we can find on day trips. The list includes dendritic agate, apple green jade, moss agate (similar to small Montana agate), and black jade to name a few. Joe and Russ are a great resource for all this material.

July 4 thru July 8-Still at the Big Sandy, we will be on hand for the rock swap. People from all over the nation from Washington state to Texas; from Georgia to Oregon come to the Big Sandy with rocks and minerals from their area. Not only is there material you may not have seen before, but it is a great chance to meet people from everywhere and hear stories like you have never heard before. During the rock swap, we will still be going out into the field for more material, If you don't hit your quota for petrified wood on this trip, it will be because you're so entranced with the beauty of the countryside.

July 8 thru ?????-From the Big Sandy, Nancy and I will be traveling east to South Dakota in hopes of visiting with Dr. Agenbroad at the Mammoth digs. Dr. Agenbroad is director of the one of the largest fossil digs of the Columbian Mammoth and is extremely knowledgeable and very approachable. We hope to spend about a week here with side trips to tourist sites in the area. Anyone wishing to continue with us to South Dakota is most welcome.

We will be holding a meeting in May, 2001 to talk about the trip. We will discuss the necessary tools for locating and digging the wood. Also, I have been told that there are some big fish in the Big Sandy Reservoir and I intend to try my luck. The cost of a Wyoming fishing license in 2000 was $6.00 per day or $65.00 per year for non-residents. If you have any questions, please call Red or Nancy Jioras at 646-7184.

Richard (Red) Jioras.

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The annual Fall Business meeting was held in Visalia November 11, 2000. There was a quorum.

Actions by the Executive Committee - That Cal Clason and Ray Meisenheimer shall co-chair the Earth Science Studies, and that the Executive Committee be notified of any change in cost to attendees. That Pat LaRue be accepted as Executive Secretary-Treasurer in place of retiring Renata Bever.

Treasurer's report - CFMS is staying within the budget--there is over $5000.00 revenue over expenses.

CFMS Shows - The 2000 show in Riverside was well attended, had many award winning cases, and was very successful financially.

The 2001 show in Paso Robles is progressing well. The theme is western, so plan on wearing jeans and straw hat. The dates: June 22, 23, and 24.

Shows for 2002, 2003, and 2004 are being considered by several clubs.

CFMS Officers for 2001 include Bob Stultz, president, Jo Anna Ritchey first VP, president elect, Jack Williams second VP, Bill Gissler treasurer and Lois Allman secretary.

Field Trip North - Richard Pankey plans a field trip for obsidian at Lassen Creek the second week end in July. All those attending must have a permit, and must sign a waver. There is no charge for the permit. The following week-end will be to Glass Butte for more obsidian. After this trip the Lassen Creek area will be leased out to commercial persons for the purpose of establishing a claim. Each private person is limited to 500 pounds of obsidian. Commercial dealers are allowed more.

Field Trip South by Steve Ivie will be a return to Stone Canyon, and perhaps another trip. There will be much more information on these trips later.

PLAC - There is a full report from Jim Strain in this newsletter.

Door Prize Tickets and Non Profit Status - The State is not too concerned with small organizations like ours, who make only a few hundred dollars at best. As long as this profit is spent on education or charity, there will be no problem.

Insurance Contact - Fred Ott gave a very good report. Insurance is strictly a liability policy for $1,000,000 coverage. If any one of our members does something as a member acting on behalf of their rockhounding activities, injures someone or damages their property, there is a $1,000,000 coverage per occasion or a $2,000,000 aggregate, cumulative, type process. This will take care of a lawsuit against you or your club for any of those activities. If a person trips and falls on club property there is a $5000 incidental medical for that person. It takes care of the individual and keeps that person from suing. Again, this is liability only, not member coverage. The only other insurance you might need to add on is if you exclusively rent, lease, own, etc., a location. Clubs are directly responsible for the full amount.

If a group of club members decide to go off on their own, not a club sponsored field trip, they are not covered. Mr. Ott strongly urges that all clubs sponsoring a field trip have the attendees sign a waver. It may not be binding in court, but it does show that the club, or the trip leader warned that individual that there could be danger. Mr Ott and Richard Pankey are working on a standard waver, which all clubs can use. It will be published in CFMS newsletter.

Florence Meisenheimer, Federation Director.

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The recent abuse of federal executive power by President Clinton in declaring more National Monuments (in order to bypass Congress), and the actions by the Secretary of the Interior, have closed access to many more acres of public land. The biggest problem is the President, and his staff, completely ignore input from the areas impacted by the actions he has taken.

The misuse of the federal court system is the most blatant action ever taken by the environmental extremists, apparently with full support by the Secretary of the Interior. The Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, the Sierra Club and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility filed litigation against the BLM for supposedly not properly enforcing the Endangered Species Act in regard to Pierson's Milkvetch (a locoweed).

The suit is based on a lie. I was serving on the California Desert District Advisory Council during that planning and there were U. S. Fish & Wildlife personnel on many of the field trips, and at most of the meetings. The written documents produced during that time referred to decisions made based on biological opinions issued by U. S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

The most recent court action (as of November 3rd) was on the Imperial Sand Dunes in Eastern Imperial County. Some 40% of the sand dune area has been closed for several years. A 40,000 acre portion to the south of Highway 78 was originally listed for review as a Wilderness Study Area. After a complete study of the area, it was decided that the best management was to allow access for educational use, filming movies, recreational sand buggy use, etc. The suit claims that Pierson's Milkvetch (a locoweed), which is found throughout the dune area, is threatened. Actually, studies have been completed that reveal the locoweed grows better when the surface is disturbed than when the area is not used at all.

When the suit was being considered by a Federal Court, the BLM was directed not to fight the false allegations. In fact, BLM staff who know the truth were ordered not to supply information or answer questions. The Washington level of BLM administration then agreed to everything the environmental extremists wanted. As a result, this past week, a Federal Judge signed a court order closing the 40,000 acres without giving the County of Imperial a chance to be involved. A permit was denied to film a movie based on the pending court order. The movie apparently would have resulted in an income of hundreds of thousands of dollars to the residents of Imperial County. This is the county with the highest rate of unemployment in the state (average 25%+) and the lowest per capita income in the state.

We have heard that the litigants are considering several additional areas throughout the State of California which will undoubtedly include important rock collecting areas. Considering the present trend in the current administration in Washington, we can expect more actions of this type before the end of the President's Term in office.

In the early 1970's I made a statement that unless we could change the apparent planning that we could all end up trying to recreate on the same 40 acres. I really didn't think that it might come true. Unfortunately, it is getting closer all the time.

The NECO plan has been delayed some. It may be released before the end of the year. People who are familiar with the plan have stated that we aren't going to like this as additional restrictions are included.

From all indications, the Hauser Geode Bed Memorandum of Understanding has been reviewed by the environmentalists with limited comment. As we use the area please remember the AFMS Code of Ethics and our agreement with BLM. If we adhere to the Code and honor the agreement, we expect to keep the area open to rockhounds for a long time. Additional copies of the terms of the agreement are available today. Please ask if you haven't seen it yet.

Since this is being written before the election, our future is unknown. Hopefully, we will have some positive information by the time of the CFMS meeting.

Jim Strain, Chairman,
Public Lands Advisory Committee.

P. S. We of P. L. A. C. again ask that you select someone from your club to be active in keeping your collecting areas available. (If you don't already have someone.)

If the person involved isn't too sure how to approach the job, contact the Chairman or one of the Regional Vice-Chairmen. We will be happy to help.

Via Florence Meisenheimer, Federation Director.

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Recently, rockhounds have been relating encounters with State Rangers while collecting rocks and petrified whale bone on the beaches from Gaviota to Ventura. The encounters have ranged from a total prohibition of rock collecting, to excluding the collection of petrified whale bone or fish fossils.

In researching the problem, I contacted the California State Parks District - Channel Coast District in order to get a clear definition of what activities rockhounds can undertake on State beaches and why we could not collect the whale bone. I was told that the exclusion of collecting the petrified whale bone was based on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife - Marine Mammals Protection Act under code 16USC1371 & 1372.

Working with Rondy Robinson, Supervising Ranger at Carpenteria State Beach, I was put in contact with Neil Mendelson of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife office in Long Beach. After I explained that the petrified whale bone was in fact a rock and did not resemble present day marine mammal bones, Mr. Mendelson stated that the petrified whale bone would not be restricted under the Marine Mammal Protection Act and that collecting would be permitted. This opinion was communicated to Rondi Robinson. Still protected are bones of present day marine mammals. If you see them - leave them where they lay.

I also talked with Richard Rojas, Superintendent of the Channel Coast District. Mr. Rojas was very helpful in showing me the California Administrative Code, Title XIV, Div 3, Chapter 1, section 4307 - Geological Features. For the benefit of all, I'll give an exact quote:
          "A) No person shall destroy, disturb, mutilate, or remove earth, sand, gravel, oil, minerals, rocks, paleontological features, or features of caves.
          (B) Rockhounding may be permitted as defined in section 4301(v)".

Section 4301 (v) reads
          "(V) Rockhounding is defined as being the recreational gathering of stones and minerals found occurring naturally on the undisturbed surface of the land, including panning for gold in the natural water-washed gravel of streams."

To put this all in perspective, let me start by saying that the state rangers and administrative staff are charged with protecting state resources for all, not just rockhounds. Also, rockhounding only pertains to material in float or beach tumbled material. Excavating material from beach sand or from the sea cliffs is not permitted. If you have a find that requires excavation, inquire with the Cal Parks District Office for information about the process. As stated in the State Administrative Code, rockhounding MAY be permitted. IT IS NOT A RIGHT. Our ability to continue our hobby and rockhound activities depends on how we conduct ourselves in the field. Take what you need and leave the rest to be enjoyed by others. If we abuse the privilege, we can lose it.

If you have any further questions regarding this matter, please contact Richard (Red) Jioras. Ventura Gem and Mineral Society/C.F.M.S. - Public Lands Advisory Committee. I can be reached at (805) 646-7184.

Richard (Red) Jioras, VGMS P.L.A.C. Committee Member.

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The CFMS web site address is Don Ogden is web master. Our web site has a link to this site.

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By Fred Ott, Insurance Chairperson.

I have received a couple of inquiries from member clubs as to the possibility of "opting-out" of the Federation's insurance policy. While I addressed this matter to those in attendance at the meeting in Visalia, I wanted to provide every member with my findings.

The Federation's insurance policy 1) provides $1 million of liability coverage for each member of a club, regardless of the "status" of the member (e.g., active, junior, honorary, lifetime, etc.)-There is no way to "exclude" anyone who is a member - then 2) charges the Federation each year approximately $3.00 per member for the coverage. The premium charge is calculated by adding up the membership "count" of each club, then multiplying by $3.00. If a club wanted to exclude a specific member, the Federation would nonetheless be charged for the coverage that is being provided (remember, there are no excluded members under the Federation policy).

Clearly, there are situations (as with honorary membership) when a club may not receive any money from the member in dues payments, and other situations (such as family memberships) when clubs receive less in membership dues than the cost of the family membership. Nonetheless, the Federation is charged by the insurance carrier for each member of each club, and the Federation must then charge each club $3.00 for each member.

In January of each year, each member club is supposed to provide the Federation with a list of their members (as of December 31st) and then forwards a payment to the Federation in an amount equal to $4.50 times the number of members. If memory serves me, there is no "double-checking" of the membership list-it is assumed to be an accurate reflection of the club's membership as of December 31. If a check for $450.00 is mailed to the Federation, it would indicate a total membership of 100 members ($450.00 divided by $4.50 = 100 members).

Additional liability coverage should be purchased by any club that has exclusive use of a facility (such as the exclusive use of a workshop area or lapidary room in a building owned by the club or someone else). "Premises liability" is not included in the basic Federation policy; clubs that have exclusive use of any premises can be sued (and not covered unless they have purchased the optional additional "premises liability insurance").

Finally, clubs that want insurance coverage for buildings, office equipment, computer, supplies, lapidary equipment, etc., must purchase separate coverage for these items. Coverage may be obtained through the same carrier as provides the Federation's liability policy at very competitive rates by contacting me directly.

Fred Ott, CLU, ChFC, CPCU,
CFMS Newsletter, January, 2001.

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Warning: If your Society is exempt from California income tax under California Revenue and Taxation Code Section 23701d or 23701f, you are required to file Form RRF-1 annually. Failure to file the form can result in substantial penalties and revocation of exempt status.

Will wonders never cease? I wrote a letter to Attorney General Lockyer recommending they change the filing date of the RRF-1 Form to coincide with the filing of federal form 990 and California form 199. I also recommended they mail the RRF-1 form to all the corporations on their database.

Saturday I received the RRF-1 package for one of our Societies. It has all the pertinent information regarding filing requirements.

If you have any questions, I will be pleased to answer your questions.

Mike Kokinos, Tax Advisor,
CFMS Newsletter, January, 2001.

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A moderately large amount of faceting material has been donated to CFMS Endowment Fund. This includes rutilated quartz, tourmaline crystals, citrine, peridot, sunstone, cab ruby, aquamarine, kyanite chips, garnet, Mexican topaz, amethyst, turquoise chips, turquoise nuggets, and Mexican opal nuggets. It is all for sale. Interested parties please call Ray - (805) 642-3155.

Ray Meisenheimer, Chair CFMS Endowment Fund.

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Many of you have heard other members talk about the good times they have had at the Quartzite Rock, Gem, Mineral, and Swap Meet. This is not just one show but many shows and they start Jan. 5 and go to the end of February. This is a fun place to visit and you may need several days to see it all. There are places for RVs and motels are available in Blythe or Quartzite. Check in advance as they may be fully booked. Just bring your credit cards and money as you are certain to find things you can't do without.

TUCSON is another place not to miss from late January to mid-February. There are some 25 shows being held there at different locations. Many of these shows are wholesale only so that a retail license and number are needed. Highlighted this year are Russian Gems and works of Art. The main show is The Tucson Gem and Mineral Show held at the Convention Center from Feb. 8-11. On display at this show will be over 60 Peter Carl Faberge works of Art. Over 30 of these art objects are on loan from the Forbes Magazine Collection in New York. Many other museums are also represented. Hundreds of the world's top mineral, gem, jewelry and fossil dealers will be present. Many of you have read articles by Bob Jones in "Rock and Gem" where he is Senior Editor. Bob Jones is Show Chairman for the TGMS show. This is a rare opportunity to see these art objects without going to New York, Chicago, Houston, etc. If you can possibly make it don't miss this group of shows. There are plenty of things to see and buy even if you don't have a retail license.

Contributed by Wayne Ehlers.

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Desert Garden Gem & Mineral Jan 1 - Feb 28;

(I've heard by the grapevine some of the Cloud's dealers will be there. I'm waiting to hear from Clouds as to what they will have this year since their space has been lost to the New Highway project.)

Main Event Jan 13 - Jan 28;

Four Corners Swap Meet Jan 17 - Mar 11;

Tyson Wells Rock & Gem Jan 5 - Jan 14;

Tyson Wells Sell-a-Rama Jan 19 - Jan 28;

Pow-Wow Jan 23 - Jan 28.

Information from

Ye Old Timers Auction will be held at the Senior Center on Thursday, Jan. 25 7:00 PM to 9:00. Bring items to auction and money to buy. We will have our campout at the same site as before. Dick & Joyce Friesen will be Wagon masters.

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April 7-8, 2001.

First Annual show to be sponsored by the California State Mining & Mineral Museum, CSM&MM Association and Mariposa Gem & Mineral Club to be held at Mariposa County Fairgrounds next to the California State Mining & Mineral Museum. Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-4. For more information contact the Museum at (209) 742-7625 or

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FEBRUARY 16-25; INDIO, CA - San Gorgonio Gem & Mineral Society, Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, Gem & Mineral Building, 46-350 Arabia St. Hours: 10-10 daily, Don Grisham (909) 845-9361, Bert Grisham (909) 849-1674.

FEBRUARY 24-25; SAN JOSE, CA - Santa Clara Valley G&M Society, Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, 334 Tully Road, Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun. 10-5, Bill Gissler (408) 241-0477.

FEBRUARY 24-25, 2001; NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - San Fernando Valley Gem Fair; Del Air Rockhounds, Sierra Palona Club, and Woodland Hills Rock Chippers; Valley Plaza Recreation Center; 12240 Archwood Street; Hours: 10-5 both days; Julie & Oscar Marin (818) 886-7190; E-mail

MARCH 3-4; VENTURA, CA - Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, Inc., Ventura County Fairgrounds, Seaside Park, Hours: Sat. 10-5, Sun. 10-4.

MARCH 3-4; ARCADIA, CA - Monrovia Rockhounds, Inc., The Arboretum of Los Angeles County, 201 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia. Hours: 9-4:40 both days. Jo Anna Ritchey (626) 359-1624.

MARCH 10-11; SAN MARINO, CA - Pasadena Lapidary Society, 3130 Huntington Dr., Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5. Alex Sergienko (323) 258-1394.

MARCH 10-11; TURLOCK, CA - Mother Lode Mineral Society, Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 600 N. Broadway, Hours: 10-5 daily. Ted Magee (209)522-8231.

MARCH 24-25; TORRANCE, CA - South Bay Lapidary & Mineral Society, Torrance Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd. Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5, Doris Turney (310) 318-2170.

APRIL 7-8; BORON, CA - Mohave Mineralogical Society, Inc., Boron High School - Multi Purpose Room, Prospect Street, Hours: Sat 9-6, Sun 9-4, David Eyre (760) 762-6575, Roy Eyre (760) 762-6555.

APRIL 28-29; SANTA CRUZ, CA - Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Society, Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, Corner of Center & Church Street, Hours: 10-5 both days, Eleanor & Hubert Drake (831) 688-8086.

JUNE 11-24 ; PASO ROBLES, CA - CFMS SHOW & CONVENTION - San Lucia Rockhounds, California Mid-State Fairgrounds, 2198 Riverside Avenue, Paso Robles. Bea & Sherm Griselle (805) 238-4366.

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I am pleased to be able to do the "Rockhound Rambling" again. I would like to thank Bonnie Demianiw for the hard work she has put into it for the last two years. I would also like to thank the outgoing officers for all they have done this past year for VGMS. It is much appreciated by all. Congratulations go to the new officers, both those continuing on and those new to the positions, in their willingness to work hard in the coming year. Everyone in the club is there to support and help out. Let's all make this a GREAT 2001, it takes us all you know!!!

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          WHEREAS, Opal Benson (along with husband Bruno) joined the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society in 1952; and

          WHEREAS, Opal Benson has been a member in good standing of V.G.M.S. continuously for 48 years; and

          WHEREAS, Opal Benson has held many Board positions in V.G.M.S. and has participated in V.G.M.S. activities by helping at club functions and assisting in the creation of educational cases; and

          WHEREAS, Opal Benson has donated many items to the V.G.M.S. museum and has assisted with the education of both children and adults of Ventura County and has been a strong promoter of V.G.M.S. and the hobby for nearly a half century.

          NOW, THEREFORE the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society takes great pleasure in expressing it's love and appreciation to Opal Benson for her help, commitment and continuous dedication to V.G.M.S. and to her long term participation in our hobby.


          WHEREAS, Ray and Florence Meisenheimer have been members of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society for more than 30 years; and

          WHEREAS, Ray and Florence Meisenheimer have participated in the administration of V.G.M.S. for most of their membership; and

          WHEREAS, Ray has held the position of president 6 times and Florence has been the V.G.M.S. designate to the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies for many years; and

          WHEREAS, Ray Meisenheimer has been the V.G.M.S. Museum co-curator from almost it's inception; and

          WHEREAS, Ray and Florence have been extremely active in promoting education among the young people of Ventura County through school visits, the construction of educational cases and by conducting numerous museum tours throughout the years.

          NOW, THEREFORE the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society takes great pleasure in expressing it's appreciation to Ray and Florence Meisenheimer for their commitment to the education goals of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society and to their continuous dedication and long term participation in our hobby.


          WHEREAS, Dorr Thayer, at the age of 15 years, was one of the founding members of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society when he attended the first Board meeting on December 27, 1944; and

          WHEREAS, Dorr Thayer also attended the first general membership meeting of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society on January 13, 1945; and

          WHEREAS, Dorr Thayer has held almost every Board position in V.G.M.S., including the position of president; and

          WHEREAS, Dorr Thayer, at the age of 71 years, still participates in the hobby of lapidary and silver smithing; and

          WHEREAS, Dorr Thayer is the ONLY SURVIVING CHARTER MEMBER of the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society.

          NOW, THEREFORE the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society takes great pleasure in expressing it's appreciation to Dorr Thayer for his help and commitment to V.G.M.S. and to his long term dedication and participation in our hobby.

DATED: December 9, 2000.

Steve Mulqueen, President.

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