Desert Restoration Corps

The Desert Restoration Corps (DRC) is a partnership between the Student Conservation Association (SCA), Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and California Off-Highway Vehicle Commission (CA-OHV) which has produced a decade of monitoring, preserving, and repairing fragile habitat in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of Southern California.

The first eight months of the DRC are based out of Ridgecrest, CA. Each team will live and work out of remote tent camps for 10-day periods while undertaking projects, allowing members to fully experience the lands being served. While the majority of the season is devoted to mitigating the impacts of Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) recreation in the desert surrounding Ridgecrest, Teams will take on additional projects elsewhere in California as the heat of the desert summer encroaches on the final two months of the DRC season. Projects typically include habitat restoration, fence/barrier construction, public outreach, trail work/assessment, invasive species management, and resource (i.e. water, wildlife) monitoring.

Members of the Desert Restoration Corps receive or have the option to receive the following trainings or certifications:

  • CPR Certification
  • Wilderness First Responder Certification
  • Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer Course
  • S212 Chainsaw Certification
  • Advanced Off Highway Vehicle training
  • Peer Leadership
  • Restoration Philosophy and Practice
  • Trail Skills

During the 10-month DRC season, members will restore, protect, and monitor thousands of acres of desert wilderness and will complete a number of other conservation projects. The Peer Leadership model will also provide leadership experience for all members.   

Applicants must be between 18-25 years of age and must pass a background check.

The DRC is one of SCA’s most challenging programs. Members should be prepared to live and work as a small community in very remote locations. Environmental conditions can be harsh, and the projects themselves are physically and mentally challenging. However, those able to meet these challenges will receive an incredible experience!

Related Posts & Program Information

The Jawbone Crew Tours the Desert

 

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         After nearly a month of eager anticipation, the Humboldt Redwoods crew finally moved to Humboldt Redwoods State Park and began our trail work. Prior to the crew’s final trip south, we all enjoyed the 4th of July weekend near Arcata and saw fireworks, aerial gymnastics, mashed potatoes in a wafflecone and many happy people while in town.

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             It was a very welcome entrance into the rainforest from the desert to say the least! It couldn’t have differed from our season in the Mojave any more than it did. Some examples of the polarity: 100 degree days with 0 humidity to 60 degrees with a constant lingering fog; from lizards to slugs; seeing only dry lake beds to an ocean view; dry stale to soggy stale.

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The days between May 26th and May 30th, 2014 beheld one of the greatest restoration-sport spectacles that the Mojave Desert has seen in recent years. The 2014 End Season AllCorps Olympic Games began the evening of the 26th with the ceremonial lighting of the headlamp-torch and playing of the Olympic anthem on pennywhistle and a post-ceremony musical accompaniment by the various musical representatives of the Desert Restoration Corps.

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The Fellowship

Three shovels for the Jawbone ladies under the sky

Seven for the Randy boys of the mountain halls

Nine helmets for the Mortal Men doomed to dig,

One management area for the Desert Tortoise on his dusty throne

In the Land of Rands where the lithified soils lie.

One cause to rule them all, One purpose to find them, One desert tortoise to bring them all and in the dust bind them

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Parents Corner

Your child is about to embark on a life-changing experience, where they will have the opportunity to meet new friends, explore potential careers, gain leadership skills, and accomplish hands-on conservation work that will have a lasting impact on the planet.