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

Day 1

We are at war with the desert crazy. We have been in battle before, but this hitch seems like it will be more testing than our previous bouts. Desert crazy can arise from numerous events: sleep deprivation from unexpected weather and stir-fried brains from unimaginable heat are just the surface. We know what we signed up for, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t.

Day 2

Read more
For hitch 5 the WildCorps crew returned to the vast and beautiful Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve, one of the crew’s first (and favorite) worksites, to continue conservation efforts on the preserve’s many diverse trails.
Read more

Salutations, reader! Hereafter are the tales of the Rands folk of the Desert Restoration Corps during their most-recent bout of restoration. The crew had an immense variety of work and play during this hitch and morale overall was sky-high. In spite of working many half-days and having an entire day devoted to completing the field segment of our ATV training, the crew successfully restored 1093 square meters of the Mojave Desert!

Read more

Hitch 4 brought WildCorps to the Living Desert, a public botanical garden and zoo in Palm Desert, CA. The Living Desert is unique in that it is the only American zoo focused solely on the deserts of the world.

Read more

Pages

Related Video

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.