Kirk Siegler

Reporter, National Desk

Kirk Siegler covers the western United States for NPR's national desk, a position he's held since December of 2012.

Based at NPR West's studios in Culver City, California, Siegler's reporting focuses on issues including the far-reaching environmental and economic impacts of the drought in California and the West. He also covers the region's complex – and often bitter – disputes around land use. On this beat, his assignments have brought listeners to the heart of anti-government standoffs in the region, including a rare 2014 interview with recalcitrant Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy. Siegler also recently took listeners to the front lines of wildfires while embedded with an all-Native American hot shot crew from Arizona. Siegler also contributes extensively to the network's breaking news coverage. Assignments have taken him from Newtown, Connecticut, to tornado-ravaged Oklahoma, to a pair of labor disputes that threatened to shut down West Coast ports.

In 2015, Siegler was awarded an International Reporting Project fellowship from Johns Hopkins University to report on health and development in Nepal. While en route to the country in April, the worst magnitude earthquake to hit the region in more than 80 years struck. Siegler was one of the first foreign journalists to arrive in Kathmandu and helped lead NPR's coverage of the immediate aftermath of the deadly quake. He also filed in-depth reports focusing on the humanitarian disaster and challenges of bringing relief to some of the Nepal's far flung rural villages.

Prior to joining NPR, Siegler spent seven years reporting from Colorado, where he became a familiar voice to NPR listeners reporting on politics, water and the state's ski industry from Denver for NPR Member Station KUNC. Siegler's work has also won numerous Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press awards in Colorado and Montana, where he landed his first reporting job in 2003 serving as Montana Public Radio's first statehouse bureau chief.

Apart from a brief stint working as a waiter in Sydney, Australia, Siegler has spent most of his adult life living in the West. He grew up near Missoula, Montana, and received a journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is an avid skier and enjoys traveling and visiting his family and friends scattered across the globe.

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A firefighter monitors flames from the Rocky Fire as it approaches a home late last month. The wildfire has consumed thousands of acres in just over a week. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Many homes in the mountains of Kittitas County, Wash., are at severe risk for a wildfire. Fire managers are worried that parts of typically "wet" Washington state are years behind other places in the West when it comes to fire mitigation and prevention. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

A wildfire raced through the neighborhood of Broadview in Wenatchee, Wash., destroying numerous homes and apple-processing facilities. Fire managers are worried that parts of Washington state are years behind other places in the West when it comes to fire mitigation and prevention. David Gilkey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption David Gilkey/NPR

Five 2,500-gallon water tanks wait to be unloaded at the nonprofit Self-Help Enterprises near Visalia, Calif. So far about 140 tanks have been distributed to homes, but at least 1,000 more are needed in Tulare County alone. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kirk Siegler/NPR

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and his wife, Tonette, cheer during the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. Tonette Walker's views on issues such as same-sex marriage are potentially at odds with those of her husband, who is expected to announce his presidential run Monday. David Goldman/AP hide caption

itoggle caption David Goldman/AP

The sun sets over the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta near Rio Vista, Calif., in 2013. The delta is the largest West Coast estuary and a source of conflict over the state's water. Robert Galbraith /Reuters/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Robert Galbraith /Reuters/Landov