During the government shutdown in December 2018, several comment portals for public policy were take down from government websites, including the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, Public News Service reported. Several groups, including Wildlands Network, called for comment period extensions as a result.
“This is a democracy and the public has a chance to weigh in on these issues, like red wolf conservation, and one of the only ways they can weigh is through these public comment periods,” says Sutherland. “That’s why they were set up. People are very enthusiastic about doing that. It makes them feel like they are actually contributing to public policy.”