Cutting Trees in the Tongass Forest

Cody Thomas, timber faller, works alone in the woods at Winter Harbor. He leaves home at 5 am and drives an hour to the site he'll work for the day. Fallers listen for each other on the hillside to make sure no one is hurt.  One partner on this day left early with an injury--another works nearby.  Cody wanted to be a timber faller since he was a kid, and following his father's lead. He got his first chain saw when he was 9 and he's been working since he was 17--he's now 28.  It is tiring work, carrying a heavy chain saw around all day--he sometimes replaces his saw annually.  His shoes are called corks--they have metal spikes in the bottom to walk on the trees without slipping, and they can cost $750.  Cody has a solid reputation as a timber faller.  He supports a wife and two children in Thorne Bay.

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