For the last decade, members of SCA’s Desert Restoration Corps have monitored, preserved, and repaired fragile habitat in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts of Southern California.
The DRC is one of SCA’s most challenging programs. Members should be prepared to live and work as a small, tightly knit community in extremely remote locations. Environmental conditions can be harsh, and the projects themselves are physically and mentally challenging. Those able to meet these challenges, however, can look forward to an unforgettable conservation adventure that will test their very limits.
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.
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 during the ﬁnal two months of the work 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
Applicants must be between 18-25 years of age and must pass a background check.
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).