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

There are protests along the U.S.-Mexico border after judge blocks ending Title 42

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Several far right Republicans running in the Idaho primary have ties to extremism

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In this photo provided by the New Mexico National Guard, a New Mexico National Guard Aviation UH-60 Black Hawk flies as part of firefighting efforts, dropping thousands of gallons of water with Bambi buckets from the air on the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire in northern New Mexico on Sunday, May, 1. New Mexico National Guard via AP hide caption

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New Mexico National Guard via AP

Cherish Morgan, whose daughter attends Desert Oasis High School, says students and staff don't feel safe as a result of the increased violence and learning is suffering. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Las Vegas struggles with rising violence in schools

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The Southwest's spring wildfire season has started earlier than normal

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North Dakota is digging out from a historic Spring blizzard

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Because of climate change, the ski industry might not be around for much longer. NPR hide caption

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Can Skiing Survive Climate Change?

Climate change poses an existential threat to the ski industry. A warmer climate means less snow and less now menas a shorter season for snowboarders and skiiers. NPR correspondent Kirk Siegler first covered the issue 15 years ago as local station reporter in Aspen. Now he returns to that world-renowned destination and tells Short Wave co-host Aaron Scott about one resort's efforts to push the nation toward clean energy while it continues catering to the carbon-generating, jet-set crowd.

Can Skiing Survive Climate Change?

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More than 3 months after the Marshall Fire, clean up is only beginning near Louisville, Colo. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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After a rough year, new wildfire warnings have Boulder, Colo., on edge

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Anti-government militant Ammon Bundy is among a slate of far-right candidates running for office in Idaho in 2022. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Republicans face a test of extremists' power in Idaho's primaries

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What do midterm races in Idaho tell us about the Republican Party?

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The business model of luxury ski areas is again under scrutiny as the perils of climate change take hold in the Rocky Mountains. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Will skiing survive? Resorts struggle through a winter of climate and housing woes

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Northwest music fest offers indie artists a platform after long pandemic break

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The Naughton Coal Plant west of Kemmerer, Wyoming is shutting down in 2025. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Raw materials needed for energy have been found on Native Americans' sacred land

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