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

This hitch our crew finally got to work in our namesake, the Kiavah Wilderness. We managed to clear out all the incursions in Cow Heaven canyon, and when our BLM contact Marty came to visit she was quite impressed.

We had a strange first to days in the field. Our crew camped in the Jawbone Butterbrette ACEC, and as it turns out that is the place to be on the post Thanksgiving weekend.

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Although we are called Jawbone we spent our third straight hitch not in but in the THC land once again, our last time working there. We camped at a different site than our previous two hitches. Our campsite was situated behind a knoll that hid us from the main road.

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Day one of Hitch 2 began with a delicious menu from our first Toco, and the motivation to bang out some pre-hitch duties, along with some giggles, naturally. Some members of the crew had already baked food in advance (bread, tortillas, veggie chili, cookies), so the tasks in the kitchen were minimal, thanks to the lovely Rands chefs.

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Howdy, and welcome to the Rands! Whew, two months have swept by as quickly as the desert breeze. We have a lot of catching up to do. The Rands crew shared these past months in the desert, a place quite alien to most of us, training for this year’s work and learning how to live in the desert.

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Early morning, September 25, 2012- The Rand Mountains crew of the SCA Desert Restoration Corps has just finished its simple, but satisfying breakfast of oatmeal, coffee, and toast. Soon after, the trailer was loaded with all of the necessary gear and we were headed to the Jawbone region of the Mojave Desert for 17 days of SCA training.

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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.