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CONSERVATION REPORT By R. Shannon Smith Missouri Conservation Agent

I’m sure by now most people are familiar with what we call the “Purple Paint Law”.  Using purple paint to warn trespassers is becoming more popular with landowners throughout the state. Some landowners prefer using this method over traditional signs, because signs are more prone to be destroyed.

In Missouri posting property with purple paint has the same authority as posting with “No Trespass” signs.  The owner of any real property may warn trespasser by placing identifying purple marks on fence posts or some other object.  Each paint mark shall be a vertical line of at least (8) inches in length and be between (3) and (5) feet off the ground.  Such paint marks shall be placed no more than (100) feet apart and shall be readily visible to any person approaching the property.  Property posted in this manner shall be posted for all purposes, and any unauthorized entry upon said property is trespass in the first degree and is a misdemeanor.  Unauthorized entry upon property that is not posted is considered trespass in the second degree, which is an infraction.

Winter is the perfect time to mark your property or freshen up existing painted posts.  Clear any brush or tree limbs that would obstruct such marks.  If you go to the effort, you want your purple paint to be visible by anyone approaching your property.  

If you are willing to sign a complaint form and prosecute you may contact your local Conservation Agent to report trespassers.  If you do not want tickets issued, we typically let the landowner address it.