Purple paint laws expanding across country | TribLIVE.com
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Everybody Adventures | Bob Frye

In fashion circles, they might explain this by saying purple is the new yellow. Or orange. Or white.

Hunters, hikers, paddlers and adventurers of all sorts across the country have long known to look for posted signs before venturing onto what might be private property. Those signs are familiar, colorful and fragile.

Manufacturers produce most using paper or cardboard. As a result, most eventually crumble in the elements. Sooner or later, anyway.

And that’s to say nothing of vandalism. Vandals are prone to tearing down, stealing or destroying paper and cardboard signs — even the metal ones used in some states.

So lawmakers are giving landowners another option.

They are adopting “purple paint” laws. Those allow landowners to “post” their property by painting purple stripes on trees or posts along the boundary.

Arkansas, in 1989, was the first. At least 11 others followed suit: Texas, Kansas, Arizona, Montana, Idaho, Florida, Maine, Indiana, North Carolina, Missouri and Illinois.

Pennsylvania just joined that list.

House Bill 1772, Pennsylvania’s “purple paint” law, is now the rule of the land. Gov. Tom Wolf signed it into law Nov. 27. It goes into effect in 60 days.

He also signed into law Senate Bill 147, which legalizes hunting on three Sundays across the state.

Republican Rep. Dawn Keefer of York County sponsored of the bill, saying the paint marks are more permanent and recognizable.

And, she said, purple paint laws are common enough manufacturers are adapting. Some have long made fluorescent paints for marking things like gas lines. Now, “no hunting purple paint” is available at retailers, too.

“Paint manufacturers have formulated cans of spray paint and brushable paint specifically marketed as ‘no hunting paint’ to comply with these laws,” Keefer said.

Not just any purple stripe will do, though.

According to Pennsylvania’s soon-to-be law, purple stripes need to be 8 inches long and 1 inch wide. They would have to be 3 to 5 feet above ground and on trees no more than 100 feet apart.

Those are pretty common requirements nationwide.

But the meaning of purple paint varies state to state.

In Texas, for example, land posted with purple paint is closed to all trespassing, of any kind. In North Carolina, purple paint prohibits only hunting, fishing and trapping.

Pennsylvania’s purple paint law will prohibit trespassing on lands marked that way altogether. The only exception will be those entering to retrieve a wayward dog. They can get their dog, but then must leave immediately.

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