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

Hitch Six brought the Rands crew to a milestone in the DRC season, reaching the midpoint of our time in the Mojave as well as the last hitch in cooperation with the Transitional Habitat Conservancy(THC) . A move to a new campsite North of Freemont Peak provided breathtaking sunrises which a few hours later melted away the chilling January mornings.

Read more

HITCH PERFECT

Hitch 6 could not come soon enough as Wild Corps began work out of the long anticipated Palm Springs district office. Not only is Palm Springs the closest office to our humble abode in Yucca Valley, it also offers stunning views, outstanding weather, and (debatably) the crew’s favorite vegan restaurant—Native Foods.

Read more

Greetings from the Grass Valley Wilderness! Hitch 6 has come to a close and we are more than halfway through with our time in the Mojave Desert. The Grass Valley crew finally made it to their homeland and we were able to camp in the wilderness, we voted it our favorite campsite yet! We definitely are getting better at the camp set up.

Read more

After spending all 12 days at the house during Hitch 5, Kiavah crew was back working on a plethora of projects in the Kiavah and Jawbone area. We camped alongside the Jawbone crew as we experienced many different climates that included rain, clouds, extreme wind speed, cold days and nights, and hot and sunny days.

Read more

The halfway hitch, or Hitch #6, was different from day one. We found ourselves back at our old SC88 campsite, which was familiar from both First Five and Septoberfest. Ensconced with us at the rocky site was the Kiavah Crew, who also had work in the area.

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.