Change in law offers landowners new ‘No Trespassing’ option

When hunters don their camouflage and orange hunting garb in the coming months, they may notice an unfamiliar color on the way to their tree stand or ground blind.

Property owners are now able to use purple paint to mark their property to provide notice against trespassing. The purple paint law, part of HEA 1233, went into effect on July 1.

C. J. Fleenor, Orange County Farm Bureau president, visited the Statehouse during the 2018 session of the General Assembly, and one of the issues he discussed with legislators was the purple paint law.

“In our area, recreation is a huge utilization of our lands,” Fleenor said. “It is cumbersome to post and maintain the ‘No Trespassing’ signs.”

In years past, Fleenor said he spent a lot of time reposting signs that make individuals aware that they are on private property. He added that it was not uncommon for signs to be removed, destroyed or to fall down on their own over time. Fleenor said this issue was one that lawmakers weren’t necessarily aware of, and he used his time at the Statehouse as an opportunity to educate them.

“To legislators, it was a new concept. They didn’t really know that it was a problem,” Fleenor said. “They were very open, and it was more of an educational discussion than anything.”

To correctly mark property under this law, landowners must apply purple paint to a tree by placing a vertical line of at least 8 inches in length at least 3 feet and not more than 5 feet from the ground. There must be markings at least every 100 feet. Purple marks can also be put on the top 2 inches of a post at least 3 feet and not more than 5 feet 6 inches from the ground. Marks on posts must occur at least every 36 feet.