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

For the six strangers who became a family for me over these past eight months. Thank you for service. Thank you for believing. Thank you for being the six strangers who became family for me. It is to you that I dedicate this report. The Rands Crew spent the 2012-2013 season serving the Rand Mountain Management Area (RMMA) as a part of SCA’s Desert Restoration Corps (DRC).

Read more

Hitch 12 marks the last hitch of the season! We did many of projects including Fencing in Grass Valley, erosion control in Owens Peak Wilderness, and getting an early start on packing up for the end of the season. Although we were not in the field for a long extended period of time, we still faced challenges with the climate.

Read more

Every end has its beginning and for Kiavah Crew Hitch 11 is the beginning of the end. This second to last hitch saw Kiavah and Grass Valley bidding farewell to DRC comrades, Jawbone and Rands, and gearing up for the end of season push.

Read more

Hitch Ten saw the WildCorps cohort returning to the Palm Springs field office to conduct some of the most anticipated work of the season: tortoise monitoring. While all of our work has at least indirectly involved the desert tortoise, this was our first project directly working with the animal that the DRC has come to love and idolize.

Read more

Hitch 12 marked the beginning of the end of our long desert sojourn here in the majestic Mojave. What a spectacular finale it was! Bobcats and BBQs, river plunges and hot spring soaks, Palm Springs adventures and fourth grade field trips. We rounded out the season with a variegated array of exciting experiences that could only have been had in this magical slice of xeric Californ-I-A.

Read more

Pages

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.