Strange Sight in Iowa Woods: Red and Purple Paint Could Signal Trouble Ahead!

Red and Purple Paint Could Signal Trouble Ahead

Greetings for the spring of 2024. A few years have passed since Iowa began to recognize paint as a marking material. A lot of us like taking treks in the spring. You may notice trees painted purple or crimson while you are taking in the natural beauty of Iowa. Can you interpret that for me? Many people are unaware of how significant the markers are nowadays and how crucial it is to look for them.

The meanings of both colors are essentially the same; however, purple is far more widely used and has a single meaning, whereas red paint has several meanings.

The Iowa Law Regarding Purple Paint

The simplest explanation is that these symbols may and often do function as a “no trespassing” sign. Iowa has legislation pertaining to this. As stated on Iowa.Gov.

Senate File 2101 amends the trespassing statute in Iowa. As of July 1, 2019, it is unlawful and considered trespassing for a property owner in an unorganized region to paint trees or fence posts purple surrounding their property. A public education campaign concerning this change must be carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources for the benefit of the general public and property owners.

Landowners may choose to label trees or poles with the Purple Paint Law to deter trespassing. One of the main advantages of using purple paint for no-trespassing signs is that it is very permanent, unlike signs that may be taken down or damaged.

Numerous sites have continued to claim that a large number of people agree with the concept behind the purple paint marks.

By an 8-3 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee decided to accept the purple-paint designation as an accepted, long-term substitute for the original technique, preventing trespassers from destroying the notification system.

The Iowa Red Paint Rule

Since the red paint might have several meanings, I refer to this as a rule. Not all of them are supported by the law.

According to, one application for this hue is to indicate that the tree is on U.S. Forest Service territory. According to several sources, it can indicate any property border.

A property line is shown by a row of red-painted trees. Different landowners and timber companies designate their property boundaries with different colors.

Red paint can also be used to designate a tree as “not to cut down” while building is underway, so chances are you’ll notice property border marks as long as you’re not strolling through a construction zone in the woods.

Trespassing is Defined as Crossing This Paint, and the Same Laws Apply

Even though many landowners in Iowa still utilize signs, it’s vital to keep in mind that you are trespassing if you go past purple paint. Keep an eye out when you enjoy yourself with friends and family this spring.

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