Framework

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Getting to the root of the problem

On a sweltering morning deep in the San Gabriel Mountains, Katie VinZant donned work gloves and boots, hoisted a pickax and began removing alien species.

The 31-year-old botanist enjoys a Sunday in the Angeles National Forest as much as the next person. But when it comes to weeds that have colonized and multiplied since the 2009 Station fire, she’s a terminator.

Slender and trim in a T-shirt, grubby pants and tattered straw sombrero, VinZant swiped the sweat stinging her eyes. “I know it sounds crazy,” she said, “but I plan to get rid of as many weeds as possible. They don’t belong on the landscape.”

Read Louis Sahagun’s story: Weeding the Angeles National Forest, one plant at a time

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