Public hearing set for Quenomica Preserve

A public hearing on the Quenomica Preserve property will take place on April 10. — Courtesy MV Land Bank

Will dogs or horses be allowed on Quenomica Preserve? These are some of the questions that will be addressed for the management of this Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank property during a public hearing. 

The Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission met with the Edgartown Land Bank advisory board on Monday to decide when to hold a hearing on the property’s draft management plan. The hearing will take place on April 10 at 4 pm, and can be accessed at

Quenomica Preserve is a 29.4-acre area in Edgartown, with two main areas called Quenomica North and Quenomica South. The idea is to construct trails and have a limited amount of hunting on the property. The draft plan also addresses the wildlife in the area, and invasive species. 

This property is also where the Land Bank’s new headquarters and shop will be. However, Land Bank executive director James Lengyel said these buildings are “off-premises,” and not conservation land. So the headquarters area will not be subject to being a part of the public hearing. 

Commission and board members took some time to ask questions about the 139-page draft management plan of Land Bank ecologist Julie Russell. 

When Tisbury commissioner Nancy Weaver asked why dogs were not allowed at Quenomica under this plan, Russell said there was a good amount of otter activity in the area. “It’s one of the sites our team [has] been studying for over a decade,” she said. “At some times there’ll be nine male otters playing. We have on camera some families of otters. In our experience with Sepiessa, it has been very difficult to separate canine walkers and pets and otters. Many people, despite our signage, still think that the otters want to play with their dog. I’ve been told this by individuals walking.” 

Edgartown commissioner Steve Ewing brought up several concerns that were brought to him from a member of a road association near Quenomica. He listed the need for appropriate signage; there was also concern about horses, if allowed on the property, defecating on the road; and there’s a fear that livestock might pollute nearby ponds at the northern part of the property. 

Ewing himself said he was comfortable with the draft management plan as it was.

Other questions included potential canoe storage, hunting allowances, and more.

Russell will provide a summary of the draft plan during the hearing. 

In other news, the commission unanimously approved signing deeds for a land swap with Oak Bluffs, pending input from counsel. Under the agreement, which had to go to the state legislature for approval, the Land Bank will receive a landlocked property in the Southern Woodlands Preserve, colloquially called the “doughnut hole,” and the town will receive a property that allows road access at Edgartown–Vineyard Haven Road, next to the YMCA, planned for affordable housing. Both properties are 24 acres in size.


  1. its not rocket science folks, if your dog is caught on land bank property without a leash 500 dollar fine. Stop punishing the majority of people who do the right thing because of the irresponsibility of the few. Its just as easy to enforce the leash rule as the no dog rule.

    • You are correct even national parks have prohibited dogs from being allowed inside because of dog poop issues. At first I did not understand why they did not allow dogs in some of the national parks and after you understand, then you know and should be in agreement.

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