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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Bureau of Land Management Acting Director William Perry Pendley speaks at a conference for journalists in Fort Collins, Colo., last October. Matthew Brown/AP hide caption

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Why A Vote For Trump's Lands Appointee May Put Some Western Republicans In A Bind

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Who Will Lead The Bureau Of Land Managment Turns Into Fierce Fight

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Black Civil Rights Leaders In Oregon Say Now Is The Time For Change

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How Far Right Supports Protests Over Unwelcome Presence Of Federal Agents In Portland

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Portland Protests Continue For 59th Consecutive Day

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Sierra Club Denounces Founder John Muir For Racism

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Bars Struggle After Being Forced To Close Again During Pandemic

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Small Rural Idaho Hospital Faces Potential COVID-19 Spike After July 4th Celebrations

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Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribal chair Shelly Fyant is worried COVID-19 case numbers will keep rising as Montana has opened up to out of state tourists. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Montana Tribe Hoping To Finally Increase Coronavirus Testing

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Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, right, gets an update on coronavirus testing from councilman Martin Charlo of Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes. Montana now has the lowest coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Steve Bullock's COVID-19 Response May Boost His Senate Run In Montana

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Morgann Freeman, an activist in Omaha, Neb., ran for Congress last year. She says the best way to bring about change is through the ballot box. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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In Omaha, Protesters Vow To Keep Pushing For Systemic Policing Changes

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