A prominent Vineyard fishing group has decided to pull its Chappaquiddick beach assistance program in protest of oversand vehicle access restrictions from the Trustees of Reservations.

The Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association has run a courtesy patrol for more than 30 years on the island’s beaches, lending a hand to beachgoers, fishermen and the Trustees staff. But, with some oversand vehicle trails now closed to the public after 5 p.m. due to shorebird nesting, the association has withdrawn the service.

“We’ve been helping them for over 30 years and this year they’ve been cracking down and we said no thank you,” said Donald Scarpone, the president of the surfcasters association.

The courtesy patrols have helped drivers with stuck vehicles, reminded dog owners that their canine friends are supposed to be leashed and ensured people respect restricted areas.

The end of the volunteer service nods to the larger rift between some beachgoers and the Trustees over the nonprofit’s management of Chappquidick’s sandy shores. In the past year, the Trustees has been through contentious hearings over beach management, and is currently locked in a legal battle with Chappaquiddick landowners.

New this year, the Trustees restricted oversand access on sections of Leland Beach overnight because the group is not able to monitor and enforce a 5 mph speed limit in the area.

The speed limit is part of a new initiative with the state Department of Marine Fisheries, which owns Leland Beach. The Trustees have said the rules allow the group to avoid closing large stretches of beach where OSVs can’t be routed away from shorebirds.

David Beardsley, a Trustees spokesperson, said that the restrictions are not beach wide and nothing prevents fishing on Leland and Wasque at any time, day or night.

But, in Mr. Scarpone’s eyes, the reduction in OSV access essentially means the beach is closed to most fishermen and beachgoers after 5 p.m.. The long walks from parking lots make it untenable for most association members to fish at night, he said.  

“A majority of club members are seniors and are older,” he said. “They are shutting the beaches down. I don’t care what they say.”

Mr. Beardsley disputed Mr. Scarpone’s definition of closed.

“The Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association’s claim that the The Trustees is closing Leland and Wasque Beaches to fishing at 5 p.m. each day is not true,” he wrote. “Both beaches are open to fishing 24 hours a day.”

Mr. Scarpone also contended that the Trustees were closing the trails for oystercatchers, a shorebird that is not endangered. He cited shifting rules and “lack of genuine collaboration” with fishermen and beachgoers as the reasons for pulling out of the courtesy patrols.

The Trustees also disputed this claim. Rangers are following a long-standing policy of protecting oystercatchers and several other birds not on the endangered species list, according to Mr. Beardsley. The new pilot program with DMF also applies to non-listed species.

“Non-listed species face the same threats as listed species and are often equally as rare in Massachusetts as listed species dependent on beach habitat,” Mr. Beardsley said. “To ensure non-listed bird species remain part of the beach experience and maintain viable populations the Trustees has developed this policy.”