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

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

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It Could Be Weeks Until Caldor Fire Is Contained And More Than 50,000 Can Return Home

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Gary McKinney of the Duck Valley Reservation says he plans to stay camping at a proposed site of a lithium mine long as it takes to prevent it from being developed. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Winds Have Been High As The Caldor Fire Threatens California's South Lake Tahoe

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Evacuations Are Ordered As Caldor Fire Races Toward Lake Tahoe

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Biden Promised Electric Cars, Which Need Lithium. A Proposed Mine Is On Sacred Land

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Stumps from recently logged trees in the footprint of the deadly Camp Fire. Some 40,000 trees have now been removed around Paradise. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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In Fire Scorched California, Town Aims To Buy The Highest At-Risk Properties

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Colorado River, Lifeline Of The West, Sees Historic Water Shortage Declaration

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States In The West Face Water Cuts After Colorado River Shortage Is Announced

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More Areas In California Are Ravaged By Drought And Wildfires

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Flames consume buildings as the Dixie Fire tears through the Greenville community of Plumas County, Calif., on Aug. 4, 2021. Noah Berger/AP hide caption

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Dixie Fire Stirs Anxiety In The California Town Decimated In 2018 By The Camp Fire

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The gate to Arches National Park is closed on a weekday morning last month, as it is many mornings after the parking lots and trails quickly fill up. Claire Harbage/NPR hide caption

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This Utah Adventure Town Wants To Put The Brakes On Promoting Itself

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Senate Republicans Criticize Biden's Nominee To Head Bureau Of Land Management

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