No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
MARS is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2011 in response to the rapid loss of aquatic resources across the state. Originally formed for the purpose of sponsoring the Montana In-Lieu Fee Mitigation program, MARS continually strives to develop innovative solutions to aquatic resource challenges.
MARS restores and protects Montana’s aquatic resources.
Motivation for the film stemmed from a need to increase awareness and action to protect the Yellowstone River, the longest free flowing river in the lower 48 states. MARS Channel Migration Easement (CME) Program is one innovative, conservation, community-based approach to conserving Montana’s iconic Yellowstone River.
A river is a wild thing, and wild things need room to roam. Only by stretching and shifting naturally across its floodplain, can a river find its breath. Season after season, as it marches along, etching banks and building islands, it shapes not only the landscape, but the diversity of its entire habitat. The ability for the Yellowstone to wander is critical to its health and to sustaining a dynamic and robust ecosystem.
MARS uses funds from mitigation and non-mitigation sources to fund channel migration easements which are the first of their kind in the U.S. CMEs at their core prohibit landowners along the river from stabilizing banks or preventing the channel to move or flow out onto the floodplain. According to the Yellowstone River Cumulative Effects Analysis published by the Army Corps of Engineers in late 2015, “bank armoring has a cumulative impact on river process” by disconnecting the river from its floodplain. CME’s maintain the connection between the river and its floodplain, providing many ecological benefits. CMEs also help ensure a reliable supply of clean water to Yellowstone River Valley including its agricultural producers, municipalities, other water users, and the fish and wildlife populations of the river and floodplain.
In Wildness Is the Preservation of the World.