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"Gemcrafters and Explorers Club" El Gambrisino 2008-06

JUNE 2008 - Volume 50, Issue 6
Affiliated with the AFMS and a member of the RMFMS.
Notes from the May Meeting:
President Denny Keith called the meeting to order almost on schedule. We had a very nice turnout, 29
people signed in. There were no guests but two new members joined us, Brecken and Julie Uhl.
Lee read the Treasure's report; we have $1,896 in the bank plus $36 petty cash. She stated that the
IRS filing was done and it was (we're talking government here) not as easy as it was said to be. Thanks
for your patience and persistence Lee.
An announcement was made that Eric Fuller is cataloging the Trip Logs and Maps electronically.
Leroy has most of the originals so Eric will use them to copy. Dr. John Smith can lead groups on trips
through Jornada Experimental Range. Eric also has volunteered to help Denny with the programs. Edie
Nelson has a friend who is a mineralogist and is going to check with him to see if he can give a talk to us.
Don Saathoff gave us an update on the library he is creating for the club's use, he is in the process of
setting up a card catalog for his books and they will be able to be checked out for a period of thirty days,
more on this later. After much research, it seems that the inscription "El Gambrisino" which is on our
Membership Cards is a meaningless word as nobody can identify it (a number of fluent Spanish speakers
were consulted) so, after much soul searching(?), it was decided to drop it from the new cards. Don, at his
expense, is going to have another 500 printed as a donation to the Club. Thank you Don for all of your
contributions to the Club.
Kristine Kitchens gave a report on her committee to update the Articles of Organization. There is
almost nothing in them that we do the same as was done 50 years ago so they will pretty much start from
scratch. Her committee will meet next week to work on them.
We once more talked about joining one of the lobbying groups but again did nothing about it. (Let's
get with the program folks and make a motion on it next meeting). The Blue Ribbon Coalition, the
People for Western Heritage and American Lands Access Association, the last being an AFMS arm, are
all good ones. Any or all would be good to join.
Eric and Kathy again offered to host a pool party in lieu of the July meeting. This is becoming an
annual event and is loads of fun. Faith Hutson is hosting a Halloween Party in October. She mentioned
combining the party and the Oct. meeting and holding it on October 24th. Everyone thought it was a
good idea and so it will be. Thanks again Faith, your parties are always a great time. The Club will pay
each of them $50 for hosting these events at their homes.
Refreshments were hosted by Judy Keith with very little help from me. Thanks Judy, you sure put out
a good spread. And thanks also to Wilma & Bobby Hutson for the popcorn which always goes over big.
The Mule Creek camp-out is scheduled for the 23rd thru 26th. Meet the Fullers at Loves (I-10 and the
Airport exit) at 8:00 AM. Those that are planning on leaving on Saturday can get together and caravan or
come up on your own, maps have been emailed.
Denny made mention of my contribution to the Newsletter and there was a lot of applause and
comments and I want you all to know that I appreciate your response. It's a lot of work but fun and
rewarding. I could use some response to my pleas for input tho.
Major announcement: There will be a contest this month to come up with a name for
our Newsletter. Please put your "very active" minds to work and see what you can come
up with and then either e-mail me at [email protected] or call me at 649-4900
with your idea. The new name will be announced at the next meeting. There may even
be a surprise for the winner???.
Our speaker for the evening was Tom Phillips who has been with the BLM since 1982 and is the
Recreation & Cultural Resources Supervisor of the Las Cruces District, BLM. He presented a very
interesting program and explained a lot of the things that
the BLM can and can't do and answered our many
questions as he went along.
He talked about the ACEC (Areas of Critical
Environmental Concern), the Robledo Trackways are
being considered for an ACEC designation for one.
There are eight Wilderness Study areas in Dona Ana
County alone, no collecting allowed.
We also heard some about the status of the Otereo
Mesa which is pretty stable at this time. There are no oil
wells being drilled. There is one lease they have been
working on for the past year and a half and stated that there
seems to be no rush on anyone's (BLM or the lessee) part
to do anything with it at least until the law suits are resolved.
In process at this time is a TriCounty Resource Management Plan (RMP) for Dona Ana County. The
TriCounty RMP is an amendment to the Mimbres RMP which encompasses the counties of Dona Ana,
Luna, Hidalgo and Grant, a total of 3 million surface acres of public land and 4.1 million subsurface acres.
It should be ready for release and public input by late summer. There will be a ninety day period for
meetings in which the public can have their say after which it goes back for rework and then is released
for a thirty day objection period. If you want to be on the BLM's mailing list for this please let Denny or
myself know and we will sent in all the names at once per Tom's request. As they aren't set up for emailing everything will be sent "snail mail".
A hand-out was passed out which was a copy of the NM BLM web site, www.blm.gov/nm/st/en.html,
which has information and lists of websites that are available for the public's use. There was also
information on the Mimbres RMP and the White Sands RMP. More information on these is available at
their office. He said to get involved so you will know what's going on.
As to camping on BLM land, must be from a car length to 50' from the road, where there will be the
least amount of damage to plants and not near water and, of course, not in the special areas.
Tom stated that casual collecting of rocks is not objected to however, no plants may be removed
without a permit. These are issued from their office and are for specific plants in specified areas and
times. There may or may not be a small charge attached. Also volcanic cinder (and flagstone) can be
taken, permits issued at a small cost for a pick-up truck load. They also have Land Status Maps available
at the office for a cost of $4 each. Also available are many other types such as mineral status, topos, etc.
and they have many varied handouts. The office address is: 1800 Marquess here in Las Cruces.
Reminders & General Info:
The next monthly meeting will take place June 20th at the Breland Hall, NMSU Campus at the usual
6:30 for socializing and 7 PM for the meeting, the program to be announced later. Refreshments will be
hosted by Faith Hutson and Edie Nelson.
Tom Stramiello missed the May meeting as he and Jo were on their way to Connecticut to celebrate his
84th birthday with family and friends. Hope you had a safe trip and Happy Birthday Tom.
When the land and the ranchers are closed down our rock hounding, camping and hiking days are
closed down. We need to support the people we depend on and who support us. Here's another web site
addressing outdoor issues that are important to us. We can sign up under "Coalitions & Supporters".
www.peopleforwesternheritage.com/PFWHCoalitionSupporters.htm Remember: Wilderness loss is like
a bad case of Herpes….When you get it you're stuck with it forever. Eric Fuller (thanks again Eric)
A great little free on-line magazine I have been receiving for a number of years is Desert USA. It's a
neat magazine which is always filled with interesting articles concerning the desert and has lots of rockhounding and geology articles. The May issue has a good article titled Water-In-The-Southwest which is
authored by Jay Sharp, a local Las Crucesan. If you haven't already seen it you might like to give it a try.
www.DesertUSA.com/index/html . The water article can be found at:
A lecture on the Architectural Heritage of the Southwest given by Marsha Weisinger, assistant
professor of history at NMSU, will discuss the unique architectural heritage of southern NM with a
special emphasis on Las Cruces and the Alameda-Depot Historic District. To be held at the Railroad
Museum, 351 N. Mesilla St., at Las Cruces Ave. on Saturday 28th. 647-4480
On Saturday, June 14 there will be an Armendaris Ranch Bat Caves tour which is a fund raiser for the
Geronimo Springs Museum of TorC. It is rather costly at $150 but includes a side trip to see the bison
and wildlife on the ranch and learn about the ranch operations. Supper is served at the Bat Cave site and
the hundreds of thousands of bats is spectacular. Reservations required. 894-6600, www.geronimospringsmuseum.com Tour leaves the Museum at 1 PM and returns approximately 10 PM.
Articles of Interest:
Ancient Technologies (This is for all you transplanted Texans out there amongst us)
After having dug to a depth of 1,000 meters last year, Scottish scientists found traces of copper wire
dating back 1,000 years and came to the conclusion that their ancestors already had a telephone network
more than 1,000 years ago.
Not to be outdone by the Scots, in the weeks that followed, English scientists dug to a depth of 2,000
meters and shortly after headlines in the UK newspapers read;”English archaeologists have found traces
of 2,000 year old copper wire and have concluded that their ancestors already had an advanced high-tech
communications network a thousand years earlier than the Scots.”
One week later, Texas newspapers reported the following: “After digging as deep as 5,000 meters in
West Texas, a joint commission of scientists from Texas A&M and the University of Texas has found
absolutely nothing. They have therefore concluded that 5,000 years ago Texas inhabitants were already
using wireless.”
from the internet
The New Mexico Department of Game & Fish has a new or expanded program called GAIN (Gaining
Access Into Nature). It has opened thousands of acres of Wildlife Management Areas for activities other
than Hunting and Fishing. Being a Government Department, it of course, comes with many rules and
regulations and costs, another way to help pay for upkeep. I was surprised in that I had no idea these
wildlife areas had been closed to anything but hunting and fishing. The new activities, depending on the
individual wildlife area, may include; hiking, photography, mountain biking, cross-country skiing,
snowshoeing and horseback riding. For these privileges everyone over 18 must obtain a permit which
will run $20 for an annual or $9 for a temporary individual 5-day permit. These can be obtained at the
Game & Fish Office here in Las Cruces or on line with an additional cost of $3.95.
There are also special opportunity permits which allow participation in Department-sponsored wildlife
tours, bighorn sheep and turkey trapping and relocation efforts, prairie chicken and electro-fishing
surveys, and other activities. These special permits are available only through a drawing. However the
prices are not available on-line which leads me (skeptic that I am) to believe it may involve much more
than a few bucks. For any hands-on wildlife lovers out there it could be worth checking out.
There will be times the areas will be closed as during hunting season, calving season, breeding season,
and so on. Those with New Mexico hunting and fishing licenses will not need a GAIN permit to access.
Information on areas open to activities may be obtained on their web site: www.wildlife.state.nm.us , just
click on the Wildlife Adventures tab on top. To go direct to the property sites with activities allowed use
this web site: www.wildlife.state.nm.us/recreation/gain/documents/gainactivities.pdf
There is also a paper titled Uses of Wildlife Management Areas on the above site. Among the many
dos and don'ts listed the one that got my attention under the don'ts was: Unlawful to deface or remove
any rocks, minerals, plants, firewood or man-made features from any WMA. So much for this rock
hound however there may be something of interest to you so please do check it out.
(Personal Comment: A license to hike or take pictures, come on NMDG&F give us a break).
Submitted by Maxine Wyman
Trips & Such:
The Mule Creek Memorial Weekend camp-out was attended by 22 people, 6 dogs, 4 Popups, 3
Trailers, 2 Tents and 2 in vehicle camps with 4 ATVs, 2 Motorcycles and 1 Mountain bike; all in all a
large crowd. Looks like the days of quite peaceful camps are gone for good. We arrived and set up in a
"hail storm" which thankfully soon dissipated. Thanks to a couple of "female pyros" Kathy, Alice &
Angela we had a huge bonfire and a great Happy Hour.
Kathy Fuller, Lee Attaway & Alice Hall
Val Peebles, Kristine Kitchens, Ed & Nelly Leake, Melissa Rudin
and her daughter Amy.
Bear Skull that Kathy Fuller found.
Mule Deer down the road from camp
Saturday was sunny and warm and was spent looking for Amethyst Crystals, arrowheads and doing
some exploring with another great bonfire and Happy Hour where finds were compared and talked about.
Sunday was sunny and warmer and we did another 4X4 road, explored and looked for crystals and
artifacts. Later Janette and I took a little tour south of camp and saw 5 Mule Deer and a brown bear that
crossed the road in front of us and then ran up the hillside where we got a good look at him. That was the
highlight of the trip for me (well, except for finding two arrowheads). We had another great bonfire, this
time with special effects thanks to Doug Hall. Monday we were down to 3 campers, 1 trailer and 1 pick
up so we packed up and left camp early, dropped our campers off at the Mule Creek Post Office and went
looking for the elusive Obsidian. We found one very beautiful spot with Lee's help (another 4X4 road)
and found some nice pieces of Obsidian and also mostly broken geodes filled with agate. All in all a
really good way to spend the Holiday. The trip home was uneventful; gas was $4.039 in Silver City.
Kristine & I went up to Palm Park to check out the road in the Hine's Claim. The road up to the top
had been completely washed out from last winters storms but Denny had informed me that there were
bulldozer tracks around so off we went to check it out. The road has been rebuilt but is soft and rough, a
real 4X4 road. I drove about half way to the top but not having another vehicle along decided that was far
enough. It was a fun drive but definitely not for everyone. (Yes, we did collect some nice Quartz and
Barite). We also picked up some nice jasper south of the water tank.
On the 3rd of May we, along with Rob Kosnick, went out to the Cedar Hills to look for agate nodules
and do a little exploring. We picked up a lot of agate, had fun and ate all of Rob's fruit that Sally had
prepared for him. Thanks Sally (I'm not sure she was supposed to know that he had help eating it but it
sure hit the spot.)
A pretty vug of Quartz over Barite from Hines Claim
Rob with a nice agate at the back of his ATV
My Trip to Vancouver, Washington by Nancy Galloway
Last fall I left on a vacation to Vancouver, Washington via Portland, Oregon. The trip was mostly one
of buying or obtaining minerals. However, an excursion to the banks of the Columbia River yielded
many rounded "river rocks", some of which are agates. There is one small green and black pebble that
looks like serpentine. I guess that is my "pet" rock.
I attended the Portland Rock Show at the end of September. I purchased several minerals there. My
nephew and his friend took me and they had as much fun as I did though they were not collectors (maybe
they are now!).
There is a small very nice rock shop (Handley's) in Vancouver. I purchased several mineral specimens
along with some pieces of meteorite from them.
I must change subjects to tell you that I spent six days in Vancouver with my friend Shirley - we have
been friends for fifty years. I got a lot of rest at her house. We took some walks around her neighborhood
to see all the green trees and foliage. Some of the plants were beginning to change color. It was nice to
see so much green instead of sand and mesquite.
The last leg of my trip was a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada. I stayed at the Luxor Hotel. It is very
beautiful but costly. I did sleep well though. The biggest Rock and Mineral Shop I have ever seen is in
Las Vegas. They must have specimens of virtually any mineral that you can think of. I bought some
Cobalt Calcite, Moukaite Jasper, Ocean Jasper, Epidote, Cinnabar, Brochantite, Feldspar, Augite, Kyanite
on Fucshite, Celestine, Grossular Garnet, Green Kyanite, Orthoclase, Sunstone from Oregon, and a
beautiful blue Fluorite octahedron.
I had a great time and plane connections worked well. It was a very nice trip, but it was good to be
home too. I'll bring the stones I have purchased to a meeting soon.
Upcoming Show Dates:
June 20-22
Santa Fe, NM, Palace of the Governor's Show. www.palaceofthegovernors.org
Contact Carlotta Boettcher (505) 476-5112: email: [email protected]
July 4-6
Farmington. NM, contact Mickie Calvert (505)632-8288, e-mail [email protected]
or Ruth Rightmire, e-mail [email protected]
Aug. 1-3
Prescott, Arizona www.prescottgemmineral.org Contact Larry Jackson at 928-6369188, e-mail [email protected]
Aug. 3-10
Copper Country Mineral Retreat, Houghton, Michigan. This is the Mecca for copper
lovers with access into long closed copper mines in some truly beautiful country,
Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula. For info:
Aug. 23-Sep. 1 Agate Rendezvous 2008, camp out & field trips, Apache Creek, NM
This is another federation gathering hosted by the Chaparral Rockhounds of Roswell.
Field Trips are scheduled each day except for the last weekend. There are two field trips
a day to collect Agate, Fluorite, purple Bloodstone, Jasper, Petrified Wood, Obsidian
and a trip to Mogollon. I have copies of the article from the RMFN if you’re interested.
Lee Attaway and Jan Hoffman have attended & might have more info). More on this
Thought for the Day:
“Time is nature’s way of keeping everything from happening at once”.
Carl Sagen
For Sale: Late model (2006/7) Toyota 4X4 Cab and a half Pick-up, low mileage, good condition and
has a cap with a carpeted bed. Call Cookie Saathoff at 382-3464 for information-she also has a picture
she can email to you.
There is always something to be thankful for, for example, wrinkles don’t hurt. Via golden Spike News 08
Info for the Newsletter:
If you have information, articles, pictures or a website related to gem crafting, rock collecting or
exploring and would like to share please give a call or email me at [email protected] If
you're a little shy about writing it up yourself I will be more than happy to help. Also if you have
minerals, outdoor or camping equipment, etc. that you would like to sell please let me know for the
"Classifieds." (Unlike the Sun News there is no charge here for this service).
President –
Denney Keith
Vice President –
Don Saathoff
Secretary/Treasurer –Lee Attaway
Refreshments Valerie Peebles
Historian Don Saathoff
Newsletter Maxine Wyman
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Mailing Address: P.O. Box Office 3091, Las Cruces, NM 88003