This bill would allow landowners to mark their boundaries with stripes of purple paint in lieu of fencing or "No Trespassing" signs. Not only would this be less expensive and easier, but trees would not be damaged from nails holding signs. The purple stripes would be a legal warning to anyone that trespassing is not allowed.
The current version of this bill provides -
1) Landowners can still use “No Trespassing” signs
2) As an alternative to signs, landowners can mark trees or posts to indicate their property boundaries
3) Trees are marked with a vertical line at least 8 inches long and between 3 and 5 feet off the ground with no more than 100 feet between marked trees (the side of the tree facing away from the property is marked)
4) Posts are marked by painting the top two inches which must be between 3 and 5 feet off the ground with no more than 36 feet between posts
5) Landowners must obtain agreement of their neighbors if using this post method, because the post’s painted top is visible from both sides of the boundary (neighbor’s agreement is not needed if marking trees)
5) Landowners using purple paint must also post a sign indicating their use of this method at the main entrance to their property
6) Marking property boundaries with purple paint constitutes a valid warning against trespassing and those violating such marked boundaries can be prosecuted
6) The Departments of Agriculture and Natural Resources are charged with educating the public about provisions of the law, when passed, including preparing a brochure describing the requirements.
There is no standard set for this paint in the law, but I would assume the IDNR will issue standards similar to those in use in Missouri and Arkansas where the law has been successfully implemented. In those states, one can purchase the applicable purple paint in a hardware store.
A few state senators’ objections to the bill will lead to an amendment being added in the House that makes the law applicable only in rural areas. How the House will define rural areas is unclear at this time.
The IFA board favors this legislation because, as has been found in other states with a similar law, signs can be removed by trespassers, while the painted markings are difficult to erase. Also, the purple paint is cheaper and easier to use than signs. Lastly, unless you have fence posts, nailing signs to trees is not recommended and painting the bark does far less damage.