Desert Restoration Corps

SCA's Desert Resoration Corps works in the Mojave and Colorado Deserts

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).

For more information:

[email protected]

603-543-1700 x 1499


Related Posts & Program Information

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

What a diverse hitch! The first six days of the hitch were devoted to the wonders of site-effectiveness monitoring. We split up into two crews and monitored incursions that were completed by the Jawbone crew in 2004. It literally consisted of us driving to each incursion and taking a point on the Trimble.

Read more

Hitch 12 marks the last hitch of the season! We did many of projects including Fencing in Grass Valley, erosion control in Owens Peak Wilderness, and getting an early start on packing up for the end of the season. Although we were not in the field for a long extended period of time, we still faced challenges with the climate.

Read more

It was another hot morning in Yucca Valley as we finished our final checks and pulled onto the highway for our six hour drive to Carrizo Plain National Monument, a 240,000 acre tract between San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara that remains largely unknown to all but birders, hunters and archaeologists.

Read more

Early morning, September 25, 2012- The Rand Mountains crew of the SCA Desert Restoration Corps has just finished its simple, but satisfying breakfast of oatmeal, coffee, and toast. Soon after, the trailer was loaded with all of the necessary gear and we were headed to the Jawbone region of the Mojave Desert for 17 days of SCA training.

Read more