About Heart of the Continent Partnership

(download HOCP case statement pdf)

Overview of HOCP

The Heart of the Continent Partnership (HOCP) is a Canadian/American coalition of land managers and local stakeholders working together on cross-border projects that promote the economic, cultural and natural health of the lakes, forests and communities on the Minnesota/Ontario border.

From out of a broad collection of separate entities, the HOCP is seeking to develop a common identity and sense of belonging to the larger cross-border area, the Heart of the Continent, which consists of over 5 million acres (2 million hectares) of public lands. Along with the development of a common identity is the desire to create and sustain economic stability for the communities that surround these public lands.

The Need for the HOCP

Because the Heart of the Continent ecosystem is an interconnected whole, a region-wide vision is necessary to ensure its sustainability. The ecosystem’s landscape is divided by all sorts of boundary lines: park and forest boundaries, county lines, even an international border.

These divisions have historically posed barriers to collaboration. Communities could better work together to reap benefits from marketing the region as a whole. Land managers could increase cooperation on plans that make sense for the connected natural areas in a larger context.

Cooperative leadership among the Heart of the Continent Partnership is fostering increased knowledge, trust, projects, funding and effectiveness, which in turn will increase stature and sustainability of the region’s public lands.

HOCP Goals

  • To build region-wide dialogue, cooperation and capacity among communities, public land managers, and conservation and recreation and industry groups to benefit our border region to enable vibrant communities to flourish alongside healthy public lands.
  • To create opportunities for groups to work together in new ways that can benefit the lakes, forests, wildlife and people of this ecosystem.

HOCP Mission and Values

HOCP’s History

The Heart of the Continent
Partnership (HOCP) is a Canadian/
American coalition
of land managers and local
stakeholders working together
on cross-border projects
that promote the economic,
cultural and natural
health of the lakes, forests
and communities on the
Minnesota/Ontario border.
From out of a broad collection
of separate entities, the
HOCP is seeking to develop
a common identity and
sense of belonging to the
larger cross-border area, the
Heart of the Continent,
which consists of over 5 million
acres (2 million hectares)
of public lands. Along
with the development of a
common identity is the
desire to create and sustain
economic stability for
the communities that surround
these public lands.