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

I never could drink creosote tea,
Especially not in my coffee!
But if it should be creosote tea,
I ain't hep to that step, but I'll dig it!
Never did love a DJ,
Just some stranger to me,
But if Meg Griffin is she,
I ain’t hep to that step, but I’ll dig it!
Read more
Spirits run high in the rain

The human life forms arrived in late February and set up makeshift shelters in the wilderness of Owen’s Peak.  Their fragile carbon-based bodies required supplementary carbon-based layers at night to maintain a functioning core temperature.  As soon as the earth rotated enough for solar radiation to arrive at our location again, the humans abandoned their shelters and utilized a combustion vehicle to spare their caloric reserves for use at their destination

Read more

                On the first day of All-Corps, the Wilderness Crew learned how to make an H-brace, in preparation for building the 1.2 mile long fence to protect the Robber’s Roost bird of prey nesting area from trespass that might disturb the nesting season.

Read more

Hitch 3 led the Wildcorps crew to our southernmost destinations yet—El Centro and Yuma, where we hiked throughout the Indian Pass and Picacho Peak Wilderness Areas as well as North Algodones Dunes. This was the first hitch in which we wouldn’t be swinging any tools but our feet.

Read more