Kirk Siegler As a correspondent on NPR's national desk, Kirk Siegler covers rural life, culture and politics from his base in Boise, Idaho.
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Kirk Siegler

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Kirk Siegler at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C., September 27, 2018. (photo by Allison Shelley)
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Kirk Siegler

Correspondent, National Desk

As a correspondent on NPR's national desk, Kirk Siegler covers rural life, culture and politics from his base in Boise, Idaho.

His beat explores the intersection and divisions between rural and urban America, including longer term reporting assignments that have taken him frequently to a struggling timber town in Idaho that lost two sawmills right before the election of President Trump. In 2018, after the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California history, Siegler spent months chronicling the diaspora of residents from Paradise, exploring the continuing questions over how – or whether – the town should rebuild in an era of worsening climate-driven wildfires.

Siegler's award winning reporting on the West's bitter land use controversies has taken listeners to the heart of anti-government standoffs in Oregon and Nevada, including a rare interview with recalcitrant rancher Cliven Bundy. He's also profiled numerous ranching and mining communities from Nebraska to New Mexico that have worked to reinvent themselves in a fast-changing global economy.

Siegler also contributes extensively to the network's breaking news coverage, from floods and hurricanes in Louisiana to deadly school shootings in Connecticut. In 2015, he was awarded an international reporting fellowship from Johns Hopkins University to report on health and development in Nepal. While en route to the country, the worst magnitude earthquake to hit the region in more than 80 years struck. The fellowship was cancelled, but 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.

Before helping open the network's first ever bureau in Idaho at the studios of Boise State Public Radio in 2019, Siegler was based at the NPR West studios in Culver City, California. Prior to joining NPR in 2012, 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. He got his start in political reporting covering the Montana Legislature for Montana Public Radio.

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 in Missoula, Montana, and received a journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Story Archive

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Kirk Siegler for NPR

Thriving Black-owned businesses 'righting the wrongs of the past' in rural Mississippi

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This year, the garden produced more than 8,000 pounds of produce, while the panels above generate enough power for 300 local homes. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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This Colorado 'solar garden' is literally a farm under solar panels

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The trauma of smaller shootings lasts in local communities for months

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Marge Loennig, 87, says her hometown of Baker City, Ore., has become divided during the COVID-19 pandemic, a far different time than during the polio crisis when she was younger. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Vaccinated seniors navigate life in mostly unvaccinated rural America

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Americans who remember the polio vaccine rollout are eager for COVID boosters

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Police close off a street outside a shopping mall after a shooting in Boise, Idaho, on Monday. Police said there are reports of multiple injuries and one person is in custody. Rebecca Boone/AP hide caption

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Local political leaders asked Physician Assistant Nick Lawyer to resign after extremists disrupted their meetings Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Organizing online, Covid skeptics drive public health professionals from their jobs

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Native American tribes push to get Biden's infrastructure bill passed

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A view in The Valley of the Gods, part of the area that was removed from the national monument when Trump reduced it's size by 85% in 2017. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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From Valley of the Gods to an ancient Anasazi site, see the grandeur of Bears Ears

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North Dakota ranchers have been forced to sell off close to 25% more of their herds over last year. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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A mega-drought is hammering the U.S. In North Dakota, it's worse than the Dust Bowl

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Senate confirms Biden's pick for Bureau of Land Management

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Rebuilding Paradise

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Rural Health Officials Push Back Against Biden's Vaccine Mandate

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Prolonged Heat And Smoke Is Taking Its Toll On West Coast Residents

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