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

First Five and Septoberfest were completed and we were ready to get started! We started off Hitch 1 with an orientation at the BLM, where Dana Jacobs, the BLM Outdoor Recreation Planner set up a morning with BLM employees. Each representative spoke on their respective roles and responsibilities.

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After a month of training the Jawbone Crew finally got our first solo taste of the desert. We drove out to the Fremont / Cramer Junction area and camped out on a dry lake bed just South East of Cuddie Back Lake.

The first three hitches we are not working in our designated Jawbone Butterbredtt Limited use area.

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Dates: Sept. 18, 2012 to May 13, 2013 Project Leader: Andrew Mazur Project Email: amazur@thesca.org Phone: 208-608-6326 Address:300 S Richmond Ave Ridgecrest, CA 93555

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Our first stop on hitch one was the Ridgecrest BLM Office. The crew headed down the road for a grand orientation to our public lands partner, a gathering spearheaded by our agency contact, Marty Dickes. Marty arranged for several employees from this local branch to speak about their roles, and in doing so, shed light on the plethora of management concerns facing the office.

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The elegant cliffs of The Great Falls Basin towered over us as all week as we took part in our 17 day training known as Septoberfest. We set up camp by erecting giant canvas tents and forming a circle of large storage trailers. The landscape surrounding our encampment was otherworldly – filled with abstractly cut stone and mountains that looked like heaps of gravel.

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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.