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Thread: Maines Purple Stripe Law

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Gorham NH

    Maines Purple Stripe Law

    This is new one to me, Maine now allows a landowner to mark their property boundaries with a Purple Stripe to limit access to the land to permission only.

    More details

    I believe the primary intent was to limit hunter/ATV/Snowmobile access but could impact bushwhackers and folks working on lists. Marking and maintaining a property boundary with purple paint to meet the standards is a pretty major effort. I would expect the biggest impact would be rural areas on the fringes of more urban areas. One way around that in the past was for a landowner to allow a select group of hunters to hunt on their property in exchange for the hunters maintaining the purple stripes.

    The trade off always has been is that the least responsible hunters/ATVers and snowmachine users tend to ignore all signage and abuse private land. Unlike North Woods Law seemed to imply, game wardens are pretty rare in Maine and the odds of them catching someone violating the trespass laws is low unless its repeat and egregious or in connection with some other issue. In many rural areas the locals keep an eye on each others properties including folks "from away" but the minute the no trespassing/hunting signs go up they tend to ignore anything going on in the property.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 11-09-2019 at 06:10 AM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Medfield, MA & Otisfield, ME
    The recognition of purple stripes to mark land in Maine dates back to 2012; the marking is designate "Access by Permission Only" and is considered to be more permanent that signage. Purple marks must be 100' apart around the entire property. In my travel thru the state of Maine hiking & snowmobiling, I rarely find land that is marked in this way unless the land is close to residences. There are currently 10 - 12 states that recognize this practice though the spacing between markings varies from state to state and can be as great as every 1000'

  3. #3
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Center Conway, NH
    Quoted from The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wild life article: “ Accessing private land: there's the law, and then there's the unwritten rule.

    The law - Unlike most other states, Maine operates under an implied permission structure, meaning that if land is not posted, it is legal to use the land.

    The unwritten rule - Always ask permission. Hunting, fishing, or otherwise using private land without the owner's permission is a careless move that puts everyone's future access at risk.

    When venturing into the Maine woods, follow the unwritten rule.”

    Through personal experience IMO there has been a big decrease in recent decades of following the unwritten rule which has led to more landowners posting their land. It is unfortunate as it has very much decreased the sense of community. There use to be a lot more of “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. It was customary that after asking permission to use someone’s land for hunting and if there was a kill that the harvest was shared with the landowner. Not saying that this does not still happen but there has certainly been a decrease in that behavior. Unfortunately even though it is legal to cross and use someone else’s land the lack of personal consideration to the land owner has led to more and more posting. Besides all that blazing and signage is also an eyesore.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    MA & NH
    We are becoming a less considerate society. That's just the bottom line. Lot's of hyperbole, everyone's a victim, etc. etc.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TJsName's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    'Springtime' on the Carters (Tamworth, NH)
    Quote Originally Posted by NHClimber View Post
    We are becoming a less considerate society. That's just the bottom line. Lot's of hyperbole, everyone's a victim, etc. etc.
    Hahaha, I see what you did there.
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