Southwest Environmental Service (SES) was a non-profit organization working for the protection of the environment, including air quality, water quality, and land planning. Through public education, mailings, lobbying, workshops, publications, and legal actions, the SES worked with public and government agencies to maximize its goals of a more desirable environment for Arizona and of citizen input into governmental processes. Major projects in which the SES was involved included the establishment of Catalina State Park (1975-1981), Aviation Corridor Highway (1985), groundwater and wastewater regulations (1976-1983), and smelter advocacy (1979-1987).
The records contain a comprehensive view of one of the most important environmental advocacy groups in Arizona from 1974 until 1988. It includes the director's monthly reports and correspondence, testimonies, publications, photographs, project planning, workshop information, and federal regulation information. Issues covered are legislation, water quality, flood plain management, copper smelting and many more.
The bulk of the records relate to short-term workshops given by SES and in-depth projects of local and state concern, especially advocacy directed at protecting the people and resources of Arizona and the West from air and water pollution by land development and copper smelting.