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.

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The site of James Scurlock's shooting death in Omaha, Neb., is still being preserved as a memorial in mid-September. Last Tuesday, a grand jury indicted Jake Gardner in the killing, handing down four criminal counts, including manslaughter. Nati Harnik/AP hide caption

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Nati Harnik/AP

Nation Relying On Military As Fire Rescue Resources Dwindle

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Climate Change Is Not The Only Reason For Record Wildfires

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San Diego Fire-Rescue Battalion Chief Craig Newell carries a hose while battling the North Complex Fire in Plumas National Forest, Calif., on Monday. Noah Berger/AP hide caption

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A camp crew truck was destroyed on Stringtown Rd. in a flare-up which burned over the truck in the Bear Fire on Friday in Oroville, Calif. Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images hide caption

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California Camp Fire Survivors Face The Horror All Over Again In 2020

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U.S. Federal Fire Officials Are Seeking Military Help In Fighting Wildfires

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Firefighters in the valley area of Vacaville, in northern California, during the LNU Lightning Complex fire on Aug. 19. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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An aerial view of Lake Charles, La., shows damage to houses last week after Hurricane Laura, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit Louisiana, tore through the area. Bryan Tarnowski/Bloomberg via Getty Images hide caption

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Amid National Crises, Louisiana Mayor Fears His Decimated City Will Be Forgotten

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In Addition To Fighting Megafires, Crews Consider COVID-19 Risks

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A home near Iowa, La., was crushed by a snapped tree after Hurricane Laura made landfall with 150 mph winds Thursday. The area is facing two disasters at once. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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After Laura, Learning How To Recover From A Hurricane During A Pandemic

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Hurricane Laura Recovery Could Take Years

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After he refused to stand when asked, anti-government activist Ammon Bundy was wheeled into an elevator in a chair, following his arrest at the Idaho Statehouse in Boise on Tuesday. Keith Ridler/AP hide caption

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The U.S. Postal Service warned states in late July that it might not be able to deliver mail-in ballots in time to be counted. Amid a growing outcry from rural leaders, the agency's director has backed down from planned broad cuts and changes. Paul Weaver/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images hide caption

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Why Rural America Is Fighting The Trump Administration On The Post Office

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Third grade teacher Maya Davis attends training before her school district reopens. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Rural Schools Struggle With Road Ahead In Era Of Coronavirus

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