Sen. Johnson, Rep. Tiffany Demand Answers from Federal Agencies on Lac du Flambeau Roadblocks

Ask Bureau of Indian Affairs to intervene before dispute becomes more dangerous for affected homeowners

WASHINGTON – Last week, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and U.S. Rep. Tom Tiffany (R-Wis.) sent a letter to Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Department of Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland requesting answers regarding federal funding, appraisals and maintenance of four roads in Lac Du Flambeau that are currently barricaded by the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indian Tribe.

The Tribe has barricaded Annie Sunn Lane, Center Sugarbush Lane, East Ross Allen Lake Lane and Elsie Lake Lane since January 31st. After a month of no movement from the Tribe or Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) on removing the blockades, Sen. Johnson and Rep. Tiffany are requesting for the DOT and DOI to provide answers to the following to help expediently resolve the dispute:

  1. Copies of the above-mentioned appraisals for Annie Sunn Lane, Center Sugarbush Lane, East Ross Allen Lake Lane, and Elsie Lake Lane that BIA currently possesses.
  2. Since Fiscal Year 2013, the total amount of federal funding administered to the Tribe through the Tribal Transportation Program (TTP) or other programs for the four roads listed in question 1.
  3. Information regarding any requirements levied to federal grant beneficiaries, specifically the Tribe as they relate to the maintenance, continuous access and operation of these TTP roads.
  4. Any analysis conducted by Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), BIA, or other federal agency on the legality of the Tribe blocking access to these roads.
  5. Any analysis of the authority of FHWA, BIA, or other federal agency to order the removal of the Tribe’s road barricades.
  6. Is the only way for a road to get listed as part of the TTP to receive federal funding?

Sen. Johnson and Rep. Tiffany request a detailed response from the DOT and DOI by Friday, March 10, 2023.

The full text of the letter can be found here.