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

All-Corps is coming.

All three of the Desert Restoration Corps teams will be coming together to build a habitat protection fence near Robber’s Roost  off of LA2 and SC51.

We will also be fighting off the low-down, yella-bellied banditos.

Enjoy our video.

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The night before pre-hitch day surprised us with new information that told us little of our future work hitch, just enough to know that all ten of us were working together in Kiavah Wilderness. By now our crew was accustomed to sudden changes of work projects, and this time was no different, but we prepared for the worst and hoped for the very best.

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In the Scodies there’s really just surf rock and saltbush and sunrise after sunrise.

Sagebrush and ground squirrels and soup and slop and mush.

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            For half of us, Hitch 4 began with flight delays and a two-hour drive back from the airport at midnight with work bright and early. The next day, we arrived at the Ridgecrest BLM office to meet with our Wilderness contact, Marty, to watch a film about the origins of the Wilderness Act –2014 marks its 50th anniversary. Luckily, Marty gave us coffee and donuts, and we fueled up to fight off that only-got-three-hours-of-sleep feeling.

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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.