About LEAP

The Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership for Biodiversity (LEAP) is a consortium of organizations operating within a wide spectrum of conservation missions with regard to our natural world. The Partnership was first convened in March 2004, modeling itself after Chicago Wilderness, which was very active at the time. Founding members established our geographic boundary as the glaciated lands and waters south of Canada from Sandusky Bay to the Allegheny Mountains. This region contains diverse habitats and rare ecosystems that harbor many unique and uncommon species. These natural communities are found within an extensive network of public and private lands throughout the glaciated region of northeastern Ohio, northwestern Pennsylvania, and western New York.

Member organizations of LEAP include government agencies, universities, research centers and conservation organizations involved with conservation of biodiversity, environmental education, and public outreach. We share a common goal: to enhance the biodiversity of our habitats and ecosystems. Our respective work involves identifying, protecting and restoring ecosystems and habitats in our region. We have formed this Partnership in order to recognize and collectively address the issues (challenges, obstacles, opportunities) that impede each of us from conducting our work and achieving our shared goal. We agree to recognize three key areas:

  • Communication and exchange of information among Partnership organizations;
  • Organizational capacity of each Partnership member;
  • Public awareness and engagement.

Our commitment to work collaboratively enables us to leverage available resources — human, capital, and informational. The Lake Erie Allegheny Partnership strives to initiate research and share technical information, conduct public education and outreach efforts, and to establish core volunteer groups; these strategic actions address the issue areas that we have identified.


We are dedicated to the identification, protection and restoration of biodiversity in our region and to the increased public awareness of biodiversity, through the support of our member organizations.

Land Protection

Collectively, the Partnership has protected 352,092 acres: 187,824 through ownership; 164,268 by conservation easement or management contract.