Alleged damage to a protected conservation property near Grand Forks from a lawsuit last month filed by a not-for-profit has been rebutted by the man named in the suit.
The Southern Interior Land Trust claimed in a civil lawsuit filed in November that Shawn Lockhart, a school principal in Christina Lake, along with a "Jane Doe" and "John Doe," had allegedly damaged protected property by cutting down a tree and driving a prohibited motorized vehicle.
The alleged incident revolves around a SILT-owned parcel, which encompasses a few hundred acres of land, includuing approximately 50 acres of wetland, forest woodland, and pond conservation property near Grand Forks, known as the "Edwards Pond Property."
The society alleged that on March 31, 2022, Lockhart along with a "John Doe, and/or Jane Doe" attended at the Edwards Pond Property using an ATV with a trailer attached, as well as a Jeep with a trailer attached.
"While at the Edwards Pond Property, Lockhart, John Doe, and/or Jane Doe cut down a large fir tree, cut the tree into firewood, and removed the wood from the Edwards Pond Property," they alleged.
On that same day, SILT executive director reported the alleged ATV trespass to the Grand Forks detachment of the RCMP.
Last week, Lockhart submitted a reply to the claim, denying the allegations.
Lockhart wrote in the response, filed by a lawyer, that he denies cutting down any tree and hold SILT to "strict proof thereof." He also denies having trespassed on the property and seeks dismissal of the claims with costs awarded to him.
SILT said they are not commenting on the matter as it is before the courts, and directed matters to their lawyer.
None of the claims from the suit or response have been proven in court.