Putting signs on your land

It should be obvious to people that they shouldn’t hunt, fish, or simply wander on to private property without the owner’s permission. But, we don’t live in a perfect world. And sometimes folks honestly don’t know that they’ve crossed onto your land. Posting “no trespassing” signs is one way to let the public know that they shouldn’t be there. Most local law enforcement agencies require the posting of a no trespass sign before any enforcement action will be taken.

Bob King is an agriculture specialist at Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York. He says before you put up any signs, it’s important to be sure where your property begins and ends.

"What we are seeing at times is when people, as well intended as they may be, they’re trying to post their property to keep people from trespassing on it, they’re actually posting signs on somebody else’s property," says King. "So it’s important that people understand their boundary lines, that when they’re posting signs that they’re conspicuous, that they’re following the laws within their state."

 Hang signs on a fencepost, a standing post, or a non-marketable tree. Don’t fasten them super-tight against a tree.  Make sure there’s a little bit of space so as the tree grows and expands, it won’t pop off the sign. King recommends using nails or screws made of aluminum, which is a healthier material for the tree.

After the signs are hung, don’t forget about them.

"It’s advisable to make sure that people periodically check their signs within the year that they’re posted to make sure that the sign’s not torn down, that it’s not damaged, that it’s still legible, that the name and address of the owner or the point of contact is visible so all can see," he says.

All signs posted on private land have to be a sufficient size so they’re easily seen. Check with your state’s regulations for those requirements.

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