Using forest and natural resources as a case example, the information needs of 47 policy committee staff from 35 state legislatures were evaluated. Staff communicate with various groups on a regular-routine basis, an incident-related basis, and on a confidential basis. A state's lead forest resource agency and environmental groups were viewed as especially important formulators of policies and programs. To maintain the integrity of information provided, four fifths of the surveyed staff fairly or very often check with alternative sources. Legislative staff play especially important roles in focusing information, providing access to multiple sources, integrating information, establishing trustworthy networks, structuring legislator requests, and differentiating among groups' ability to provide information appropriate to specific policy development stages.