Ask Zimo: Orange paint means no trespassing

pzimowsky@idahostatesman.comAugust 8, 2013 

Q: Orange paint — people don’t know what it means.

We have campers using our land near Grimes Creek even though it’s marked with orange squares on trees.

As soon as they drive out of town, they think everything’s public land.

Can you explain the law? Thank you for educating people.

BRIAN G., email

A: It’s a pretty simple no trespassing law, but newcomers to the state, or those who don’t get outdoors very often, probably don’t have a clue.

They expect to see no trespassing signs, and many aren’t aware of Idaho law. Highly-visible orange paint legally means no trespassing. It can be on a tree, fence post, boulder or whatever.

The land can be posted with no trespassing signs or posted with a minimum of 100 square inches of highly visible orange paint every 660 feet.

Anyway, the law is found in Idaho Fish and Game fishing and hunting regulation booklets, but whether campers read them is another matter.

The law to allow paint instead of no trespassing signs went into effect in 1992. Before it went into effect, I wrote that it was going to give new meaning to painted desert.

I wasn’t too crazy about it because I thought it was going to junk up the outdoors.

The law also makes it easier and less expensive for landowners to mark their land, and for would-be trespassers to spot the orange, if they have a clue what it means.

Pete Zimowsky: 377-6445, Twitter: @Zimosoutdoors

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