When people hear that the government is taking public comment on some proposal or other, theres a natural temptation to think, Bah, why bother? Its a done deal. They never read those emails anyway.
Officials might not read every single email, but when 100,000 people write in overwhelmingly against an idea, that matters. Such was the case with a plan to jack up entrance fees at national parks. The parks need more money, but this was not the way to get it.
Last year, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced plans to increase fees at 17 national parks, mostly in the West. The list included Rocky Mountain National Park, right in Denvers backyard.