YALBAC RANCH & CATTLE CORPORATION is a timber / agricultural investment operation located on 163,000 acres in Belize, Central America (formerly known as British Honduras). The project is jointly owned by Yalbac Belize LLC (of which the Mischer family is the largest shareholder) and Heartwood Forestland Fund of Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Operations are managed by The Forestland Group of Chapel Hill and overseen by a composite board of directors from Yalbac Belize and Heartwood Forestland.
Yalbac is located in the west central Belize Districts of Cayo and Orangewalk. The investment was established by Houston Partners Walter Mischer, Sr. and Paul Howell in 1986 and continues today. Yalbacs primary operations relates to the management and harvest of approximately 20 commercial timber species for local and export markets. The primary high value species include Honduran Mahogany, Santa Maria and Spanish Cedar. There are other marketable white wood species sold for domestic market uses.
Yalbac is one of the first Belizean operations FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified in its management of the forest resources and as such sawn timber from Yalbac is marketable across the globe even in the most regulated eco-sensitive countries relating to conservation principals.
The company operates its own sawmill facility near the village of Iguana Creek where the harvested logs are milled in to lumber for either the local or export markets. Operations include machinery that can produce solid plank flooring and lap siding.
Yalbac leases approximately 3,500 acres to locals for the operation of a citrus orchard producing Marsh Seedless grapefruit and several varieties of oranges for juicing in the country. The citrus concentrate is generally marketed as an export commodity to various recognized juice producers.
The Yalbac area of Belize was previously inhabited by the Mayan civilization and numerous archeological sites exist on the property. The company continues to work with several US universities in the exploration of the Mayan structures as well as dive expeditions in to several blue hole cenoti’s for the recovery of artifacts under the supervision of government antiquities officials. Such research has even raised interest from international groups such as the National Geographic Society.