A revised management plan on the recently expanded Manaquayak Preserve in West Tisbury drew lively discussion at a public hearing Monday night that highlighted the sometimes tricky role of the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank in managing ecologically sensitive properties.

Revised management plan can be viewed at land bank website. — Graham Smith

Manaquayak is a 33.5-acre preserve whose centerpiece is Ice House Pond, a pristine glacial kettle pond nestled deep in the woods off Lambert’s Cove Road. The pond is popular among swimmers and nature lovers; the land bank strictly limits access to the pond in the summer months.

Last fall the land bank bought 22 acres off Lambert’s Cove Road, more than tripling the size of the original preserve.

Plans are in the works to relocate the main trailhead from its remote location off Wintergreen Lane to a spot fronting Lambert’s Cove Road that will connect to the pond aong a trail through the new property. The Wintergreen Lane trailhead will be restricted to people over the age of 70, walk-ins from the neighborhood and cyclists. Each trailhead will have four parking spaces. A new trail loop will lead from the new lot to Rainwater Pond to the south, and another trail would run north through a narrow corridor to the original preserve and Ice House Pond. In keeping with the old rules, the preserve will have a limit of 20 visitors at any given time.

About 15 people attended a public hearing Monday at the West Tisbury School to hear about the revised plan and voice concerns. Land bank foreman Matthew Dix and ecologist Julie Russell presented the revised plan and fielded questions.

Land bank foreman Matthew Dix and ecologist Julie Russell presented revised management plan for Manaquayak Preserve. — Mark Lovewell

Some questioned the age restriction for the new lot, suggesting that it be limited to handicapped-only access.

“There are people who are 70 who are extremely able to do anything,” said Lisa Amols, a member of the West Tisbury land bank advisory board which hosted the hearing, along with other town officials.

Nicholas Puner, a Wintergreen Lane resident, said the age limit would be hard to enforce and suggested that it could smack of discrimination.

Some abutters welcomed the prospect of reduced traffic around Ice House Pond. Harriet Bernstein suggested having the pond officially designated as a quiet place, while John Scherlis pressed for more specific language about noise and dogs in the plan. “It’s like a whispering chamber in a major cathedral,” he said of the way sound travels across the water.

Dogs are only allowed on upland trails, away from the pond, but Mr. Scherlis suggested amending language in the plan to include dog owners.

The preserve hosted about 80 visitors per day last July and August, down from around 95 in 2012, but nearly twice the number in 2008.

Cyclists and moped riders have increased since 2008 but still peak at fewer than 10 per day. About 30 people per day were turned away last year under the 20-person limit.

Mr. Dix said he expected the new rules would mean more bicyclists, and that people might stay longer since they would have to go farther from the new trailhead to reach the pond.

At the same time, he said, the half-mile trek from Lambert’s Cove Road could reduce the overall number of visitors, a possible benefit for the pond. “It’s a great thing that people get to use it . . . .  but if they determine it’s too much of a pain to get to, the pond will be happier,” Mr. Dix said.

Nearby Seth’s Pond, situated on the road, is extremely busy in summer.

Other concerns focused on enforcement and how to control traffic on the new trails. An old path now runs between Lambert’s Cove Road and the Pepperbush neighborhood to the east, but Mr. Dix said the idea was to keep people on the trail loop. Residents would have the option of locking a gate at the new trailhead.

At the Wintergreen Lane lot there will be identification checks, but there was a question about how to handle groups. Katharine Sterling, who lives in the area, suggested that only one companion under the age of 70 be allowed to enter at that location.

Her husband Ben Reeve suggested a sign-in system at the trailheads as a way to create a sense of participation and ownership. “It changes the tone of the place,” he said. He also pressed for more precise monitoring and record keeping so that changes in the pond could be better understood.

The advisory board will meet again to discuss whether to further amend the plan. The draft revised management plan can be viewed online at mvlandbank.com.