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


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The following blog should be read to the rhythm of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air theme song:


Now, this is a story all about how

my hitch got flipped-turned upside down

and I’d like to take a minute

Just listen to this

I’ll tell you all about a crew in the Coso Wilderness


In Southern California, Coso Range

Where me and my crew spent all of ten days


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Day 1

We are at war with the desert crazy. We have been in battle before, but this hitch seems like it will be more testing than our previous bouts. Desert crazy can arise from numerous events: sleep deprivation from unexpected weather and stir-fried brains from unimaginable heat are just the surface. We know what we signed up for, we wouldn’t be here if we didn’t.

Day 2

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For hitch 5 the WildCorps crew returned to the vast and beautiful Big Morongo Canyon Nature Preserve, one of the crew’s first (and favorite) worksites, to continue conservation efforts on the preserve’s many diverse trails.
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Salutations, reader! Hereafter are the tales of the Rands folk of the Desert Restoration Corps during their most-recent bout of restoration. The crew had an immense variety of work and play during this hitch and morale overall was sky-high. In spite of working many half-days and having an entire day devoted to completing the field segment of our ATV training, the crew successfully restored 1093 square meters of the Mojave Desert!

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