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

With a panoramic view of break before our eyes we fluttered our feathers and flocked from our humble Ridgecrest abode-that, infrequently inhabited, still fails to feel like home. Without wings we took flight in cars along California highways and in planes pushing eastward.

The holiday break overwhelmed our senses.

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Well, our ten day winter break has come and gone, and Grass is back in the desert. The beginning of hitch number five began with all of Grass Valley making it back to Ridgecrest, except our non-trusty Vin Diesel. On pre-hitch day Vin Diesel was still sitting pretty in the shop after the saga of it’s apocalypse breakdown. Luckily mid day we got the call, nothing is wrong with Vin Diesel.

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This was our first hitch of 2013 after coming back from a nice Christmas break. This hitch was slightly different from our other ones; we actually got to stay in our house eveHry night! You know what that means?

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This hitch has aptly been described as an odyssey. The journey seemed long, yet the adventure was always changing. We began with expectations of cleaning up trash around a historic cabin. Except we later found out that this cabin was actually burnt to the ground. A fine piece of vernacular architecture, complete with bottle walls, was lost by some unknown cause.

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If you are reading this, than the December 21st wasn’t the end of the world. It wasn’t the end of the world, but an alteration of thinking. Our way of thinking changed to making us more sensitive to incursion restoring.
Hitch 4 started off joining the other crews; Jawbone and Kiavah suited up in Tyvex body suits to enter a cabin clean up event with the BLM staff.

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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.