Whitmer on Former Gov. Granholm as Secretary of Energy 

Whitmer on Former Gov. Granholm as Secretary of Energy 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


February 25, 2021 

Contact: [email protected] 


Gov. Whitmer Releases Statement on Former Gov. Granholm Confirmation as Secretary of Energy  


LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm was confirmed by the U.S. Senate today to serve as Secretary of Energy.  


“Congratulations to Secretary Granholm. Our former Governor will be a visionary leader at the Department of Energy and continue her passionate, decades-long advocacy for clean energy. She is also breaking barriers once again, as only the second woman to serve as Secretary of Energy after two terms as Michigan’s first female Governor. President Biden’s Cabinet is shaping up to the most diverse in our nation’s history, providing women, people of color, and members of the LGBTQ+ a presence in the rooms where decisions are made. I look forward to working with Secretary Granholm as she addresses climate change, tackles the transition to clean energy, and works to build a more sustainable future. We have a lot to do, and together, we will.”

Showcasing the DNR

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– Showcasing the DNR –

A landscape scene drawn in pen in a park logbook by a visitor in the 1970s.

Between the pages, a history lies

Porcupine Mountains logbooks offer glimpse into personal park experiences

Editor’s note: In celebration of the department’s centennial anniversary, the Showcasing the DNR feature series will highlight one story each month during 2021 that recalls various accomplishments of the department, or historical highlights, over the past century.

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is made up of 60,000 acres of massive trees, rolling mountains, fabled shores and everlasting memories.

Also known as “the Porkies,” this western Upper Peninsula destination prides itself on the ideals of true natural, wilderness beauty and keeping Michigan’s largest state park as wild as possible.

Logbooks from the cabins and yurts at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park are shown.Though a good deal of this place is a primitive area, evidence of human activity is not absent.

In fact, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has tucked 23 rustic backcountry cabins or yurts into this stunning landscape, which are nestled into some truly beautiful spaces.

Upon arrival to an empty cabin, each visitor likely feels the initial excitement at the start of a new adventure.

The faint smell of woodsmoke soon wafts from the small metal stove that sits in the corner, a neat stack of dry firewood towers to its side. The scuffed wooden floor supports a few sets of bunk beds and a small, well-worn wooden table.

Somewhere in each one of these cabins there is a beaten-up old book, not the one filled with the brochures and instructions of how to navigate the park, but the one full of the first-hand history of this tiny place surrounded by so much wild.

As is the case at state parks across Michigan, the cabin logbook is somewhat of a secret treasure here at the Porcupine Mountains. Each visitor who reserves a stay in one of the cabins has the option to write his or her story.

With 23 cabins and yurts across the span of 76 years, the park has gathered quite the collection of books and stories.

Within the pages of these books is the history of the park, written by the people who took the time to enjoy it.

A drawing from a logbook at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is shown.What do complete strangers write in these books? The answer is not so simple – with so many different ages, personalities, backgrounds and viewpoints contributing, the content is broad.

A very common theme is the individual adventures – what types of critters scurried by on their hike in, what was packed for a meal or a little insight about themselves. Most stories are of good times, while others had a bit more traumatizing stay.

One entry from 1992, at the Lily Pond cabin, reads:

“We had three visitors this morning. Three very cute and comical otters were playing by the dam. I took twenty pictures and they wanted more! So, hopefully, they will come back to meet the next people. The sun is rising over the lake and it’s a beautiful morning.”

A visitor to the Greenstone Cabin in 1984 wrote:

“My six-month-old fell out of the backpack headfirst when my husband bent over to grab my three-year-old who was falling down the bank. Am I having a good time you ask?”

Many authors in the Porkies logbooks like to write to the strangers that will be coming in behind them. A lot of times, they give advice from experience learned or knowledge they deem worth sharing. Some authors have burning confessions, honest apologies or a simple heads-up to the next nights residents.

Some examples of the variety include:

A wintry scene is shown from the Mirror Lake Cabin.“The wildflowers are so beautiful; be prudent in picking them. Let enough flowers stay to carry seeds and continue to keep these woods full of nature’s variety.” – Whitetail Cabin, 1991

“Sorry about the burnt popcorn smell. There’s an explanation for that. We burnt the popcorn. Expert backpackers ya’ know.” – Greenstone Cabin, 1984

“We tried some freeze-dried powdered eggs-they’re awful!! Chili-mac is great though.” – Lake of the Clouds Cabin, 2008

“I’m avoiding to tell my brother that I lost one of his spoons “tackle.” I’m notorious for decorating trees with spinners and what not.” – Greenstone Cabin, 1984

“My sister puked outside, so don’t step in it. Had some marshmallows. Very hot in here especially on the top bunks, so sleep on the bottom. Had a relaxing weekend. Went cross-country skiing a lot, saw a deer, more deer poop than deer, don’t step in that either.” – Whitetail Cabin, 1992

Humans thrive on telling tales. Many myths are started by word-of-mouth stories passed down through generations that are then put down on paper and become legends.

The visitors to the Porkies cabins have crafted several legends over the years.

A small drawing of the "Grizzly Mouse" is shown.One example is the tale of a large mouse in the Buckshot Cabin. He was fitted with the name “Grizzly Mouse, the Good Ole’ Buckshot Bear,” and he terrorized the cabin in the late 1970s.

Many visitors wrote of sightings or of hearing the mouse rustling in the night. Others shared advice on how to outwit him to thwart his plans of stealing food or precious supplies.

“Have taken good advice of past dwellers to Buckshot. Put food under pails and pots. ‘grizzly’ won’t get your food. Then he will get discouraged and leave.” – Buckshot Cabin 1977

“Doug told Steve the legend, of the little log house. And the ferocious field varmint, named Grizzly the mouse. We slept through the night, with both terror and fright. Because Grizzly the mouse had threatened to bite.” – Buckshot Cabin 1978

Cabin users have expressed themselves in ways other than storytelling, including poetry, music and art. Here’s a sample from the Greenstone Cabin in 1986:

“We stayed in this wilderness camp,

Without rain we didn’t get damp.

Saw no bears, it doesn’t matter,

Ate lots of food, we all got fatter.

We love it in the porcupine mountains,

too bad there aren’t more fresh-water fountains.”

A Mirror Lake two-bunk cabin visitor offered this from 1992:

“I feel fine, talkin’ bout piece of mind, I’m gonna take my time, livin’ the good life …”

Logbooks from the cabins and yurts at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park are shown stacked.Another theme running through the guest logbooks is people yelling at previous cabin renters about being slobs, critiquing each other on their backpacking methods or long entries that highlight very many rules that are broken (dogs in cabins, cutting down trees, too many people, etc.)

These complaints, perhaps a precursor to today’s social media posts, date back in the logbooks as far as the 1960s.

People come from all over the world come to stay in the park’s little cabins in the woods. They come for many reasons: solitude, adventure or building bonds with family or friends.

For most cabin users through the years, there seems to be a common denominator. No matter if they were staying for a week or a single night, that empty room with a bed and a stove becomes a home.

And just like home, one is sad to go, but many leave behind the promise of return, because they’ve fallen in love with this wild, adventurous place.

A visitor to the Buckshot Cabin in 1977 summed it up nicely:

“I finally feel at ease with the world. Free from tension and anxiety. Free from all worldly pressures I must face in my everyday struggle. Yes, I have found my place; a place where I can belong. But why must I leave and when can I return?”

For more information on Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, its cabins and yurts, trails and more, visit Michigan.gov/Porkies.

Check out previous Showcasing the DNR stories in our archive at Michigan.gov/DNRStories. To subscribe to upcoming Showcasing articles, sign up for free email delivery at Michigan.gov/DNR.

/Note to editors: Contact: John Pepin, Showcasing the DNR series editor, at 906-250-7260. Accompanying photos and a text-only version of this story are available below for download and media use. Suggested captions follow. Credit: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, unless otherwise noted.

Text-only version of this story.

Artwork: A 1973 landscape drawing contributed to the Mirror Lake Eight-bunk Cabin logbook at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is shown.

Cabin: A wintry scene is shown from the Mirror Lake Cabin at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. (Dave Braithwaite photo)

Drawing: A 1977 drawing from the Section 17 Cabin at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is shown.

Grizzly: A drawing of the Grizzly Mouse is shown from the Buckshot Cabin logbook, penned by a visitor in 1977.

Logbook 1 and Logbook 2: Logbooks from the 23 cabins and yurts at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park provide a wealth of interesting comments from the past three-quarters of a century./

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
Whitmer Visits Vaccine Site in Garden City

Whitmer Visits Vaccine Site in Garden City

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


February 25, 2021

Contact: [email protected]


PHOTOS: Governor Whitmer Visits Vaccine Site in Garden City Alongside Leaders and Elected Officials 


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer traveled to a vaccination clinic in Garden City to see firsthand the collaboration and work being done to achieve the governor’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Michiganders, who are 16 years and older, as quickly as possible.


“As I travel across the state, I am continually impressed with the partnerships happening at these vaccination sites. Our frontline health care workers and the women and men of the Michigan National Guard are all playing a vital role in eradicating this virus once and for all,” said Governor Whitmer. “I know this past year has been difficult, but seeing this important work in action provides hope that we come out of this stronger. Until then I urge everyone to continue to mask up, socially distance, and wash our hands.”


The governor visited Garden City Hospital in State Representative Jewell Jones’s district alongside Wayne County Executive Warren Evans and Garden City Mayor Randy Walker to observe the partnership between the county health department, Garden City Hospital, and the Michigan National Guard.


As of yesterday, Michigan has administered 1,994,310 vaccines, moving the state closer to its goal of equitably vaccinating every Michigander that wants a vaccine. As part of these efforts, Michigan is working to administer 50,000 shots per day through Governor Whitmer’s MI COVID Recovery Plan, partnering with private organizations and health care systems like Garden City Hospital to create more opportunities for Michigan residents to receive a vaccine.







enhanced legal services for victims living in rural and tribal communities

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112, wheatonb@michigan.gov  

Michigan receives grant to enhance legal services for victims
living in rural and tribal communities

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan will develop a roadmap to ensure victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking have enhanced access to civil legal assistance in Michigan’s rural and tribal communities thanks to a federal grant awarded to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Division of Victim Services.

Limited financial resources, geographic isolation, and diverse cultural barriers currently inhibit many tribal and rural victims from accessing essential legal services and representation.

“Providing affordable, equitable, and accessible civil legal representation to all victims of crime is essential, and this project seeks to enhance these efforts for those living in rural and tribal communities,” said Debi Cain, executive director of the MDHHS Division of Victim Services. “This multi-coalition partnership shows how important these efforts are to countless victims and their families, and we are grateful for this opportunity to work together on their behalf.”

For several years the Division of Victim Services has provided funding for numerous legal initiatives that have identified significant gaps in services for tribal and rural victims. This project seeks to evaluate existing efforts to support these communities while creating a comprehensive roadmap for future work to enhance the availability of meaningful legal assistance. The division has partnered with Michigan’s tribal coalition, Uniting Three Fires Against Violence and the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence on this project.

“As someone who has worked for over 20 years representing rural victims of violence, I can personally attest to the deep lack of available resources for victims of crime,” said Sarah Prout Rennie, J.D., executive director of the Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence. “I am proud to be part of this effort and am grateful to Debi Cain and the Division of Victim Services for being such trailblazers in the ongoing work to ensure victims of crime have the support they need.”

JoAnne Cook, J.D., will serve as the statewide victim liaison responsible for convening stakeholders in tribal communities and in specific rural communities to identify the needs, challenges, and solutions to providing legal assistance to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, stalking, and related crimes. Cook, a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, has extensive experience on criminal justice and tribal issues, including service as a tribal court judge and tribal council member.

“There is a great need for civil legal service that considers the complexities of access to safety and justice within tribal communities,” said Rachel Carr, executive director of Uniting Three Fires Against Violence. “We’re excited to be a part of this collaborative project and are hopeful that in the future, those seeking civil legal service will not experience the barriers that our tribal and rural communities have faced for so long.”

To learn more about programs and services offered by the Michigan Division of Victim Services, visit www.Michigan.gov/CrimeVictim.

Michigan hosts symposium to address problem gambling 

Michigan hosts symposium to address problem gambling 

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112, [email protected]

Amid pandemic stress, Michigan hosts symposium
to address risk of increased problem gambling

LANSING, Mich. – After almost a full year of Michigan’s fight against COVID-19 and its impact on the mental health of Michigan residents, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is hosting the 13th annual Problem Gambling Symposium virtually on March 4 and 5.

In light of the stress caused by COVID-19, residents may be at an increased risk of developing behaviors that could lead to or exacerbate a problem gambling disorder. As residents seek out ways to connect with others during the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact of social distancing may leave many with idle time, frustrations, and anxiety.

“As residents seek out alternate ways to connect with each other and manage the stress of the pandemic, we are keenly aware of the increased risk for a problem gambling disorder to develop,” said Alia Lucas, Gambling Disorder Program Manager with MDHHS. “This year, more than ever, we encourage all residents – health care providers, parents, family and friends concerned about a loved ones’ health – to tune into the symposium to learn about the signs and steps they can take to help someone struggling with a gambling disorder.”

There is no fee to attend the virtual symposium; however, registration is required, and attendee registration ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. The symposium will address how the pandemic has changed the face of gambling, the impact made to gambling disorder within the youth and veteran communities, the implications of sports betting and online gambling and responsible gambling.

While social gambling isn’t a problem for most, for some, it provides a sense of control and escape which, over time, can affect other areas of life. For youth, this risk is especially concerning with the rise of online gaming and virtual connection during the COVID-19 pandemic. The rate of problem gambling among high school students is twice that of adults, and someone gambling by age 12 will be four times more likely to develop a gambling addiction.

Additionally, for many, job-related stress, retirement or the work environment can create a culture of gambling that leads to a problem gambling disorder in personal life. Military veterans have been shown to have an increase in gambling disorders once returning from active service. Compared to the estimated 2-5% of the general population that struggles with problem gambling, that number jumps to up to 10% of military veterans due to their risk factors and co-occurring disorders.

If you suspect that you or someone you love may be struggling with a gambling disorder, the Michigan Problem Gambling Helpline, 800-270-7117, is open for crisis intervention and referral to treatment. Trained and experienced counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to provide immediate help to address issues related to gambling disorder, including screening services and referrals to treatment or support groups.

To learn more about problem gambling in Michigan, visit Michigan.gov/ProblemGambling.

Information around the pandemic is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.