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

The great thing about this job is it allows you to be diverse in the work you accomplish and Hitch 10 was the hitch of many trades. In the early stages of the hitch, all four Ridgecrest crews were treated to a tour of the petroglyphs on the China Lake U.S. Naval Air Base. Getting on the Naval base required a highly intense screening process.

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This hitch saw us way back out Shoshone way, where the horned lark and the chuckwalla roam. Our workplace was the Salt Creek Hills ACEC, while the Little Dumont Dunes we called home.

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Hitch 8 brought about new adventures. Incipiently this was the first hitch with our newest addition to the crew; of course we did partake in All-Corp together, but this was different in that we went out as a crew, not as the whole DRC. Thus we really had the opportunity to come together as a crew. Queue sentimental awes.

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Hitch 8 brought about new adventures. Incipiently this was the first hitch with our newest addition to the crew; of course we did partake in All-Corp together, but this was different in that we went out as a crew, not as the whole DRC. Thus we really had the opportunity to come together as a crew. Queue sentimental awes.

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This started just like any other hitch; we were hard at work in the kitchen, packing the trucks and the trailers. Not long after we started, Cat had some awesome news to share with us about next hitch. That news was, drum roll please… That we will be hosting All-Corps. With being the hosts, that really changed our hitch schedule.

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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.