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

Desert Restoration Corps campsite at SC88 in the Jawbone-Butterbredt area.

AllCorps is an event in during which SCA crews come together to camp, intermingle, and work to complete a project. This AllCorps challenged the Jawbone/Rands crews, Wilderness crews, and WildCorps crews to construct a fence roughly a mile in length along sections of SC51 and LA2 in the Jawbone Mountain area to prevent illegal riding routes around Robber’s Roost, an important bird of prey nesting locale. It was a whirlwind of a hitch, best described in rhyme…


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                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. In the afternoon, Jawbone/Rands, Wilderness, and WildCorps explored Sage Canyon, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Burro Schmidt Tunnel.  The Burro Schmidt Tunnel is a handmade tunnel (which was the life’s work of one William “Burro” H.

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A different sort of hitch, indeed. This hitch we were out in the field for only two days. The entire Jawbone/Rands crew did restoration in Jawbone. Thanks in large part to our larger than average crew of ten, we finished two of the toughest incursions we have yet to face in only two days! Half the ground there was lithified. With a total of 504.55 meters restored, 157 vertical mulch planted and 33 meters of berm, we accomplished a lot in a short amount of time.

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We have officially finished our first hitch, and boy do we feel spoiled so far! We spent the last ten days getting to know each other in one of the most beautiful locations with some of the nicest agency contacts in America! I know you may thinking, boy Leah… that is a mighty big exaggeration, but I’m here to tell you how true this statement is.

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Welcome to our riveting Wild50 blog! My name is Leah, and I am lucky enough to be The SCA Project Leader for this absolutely wonderful Desert Restoration Crew- The Wild50 team.
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