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)
Allison Shelley/NPR

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

Lake Mead, the largest reservoir in the nation, has shrunk so low there's concern the Hoover Dam will soon be unable to generate hydropower. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Where the Colorado River crisis is hitting home

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Arizona's long-term conservation strategy is softening the blow of the Colorado River drought

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Tucson has 5.5 years of excess Colorado River water stowed in a "secret" reservoir

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The Forest Service's ban on controlled burns has come to a close

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A lingering "hot spot" on the McKinney Fire, which destroyed more than 100 homes and killed four people in California in August. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Why suppressing wildfires may be making the Western fire crisis worse

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Survivors of the McKinney fire are forced to rebuild during a time of inflation

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Death toll of northern California's Mckinney Fire reaches 4

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Encore: Rural singer-songwriter Margo Cilker's pandemic hustle is paying off

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Pacific Northwest tribes want to hold American leaders accountable and remove 4 dams

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Yellowstone floods highlight gaps in the government's infrastructure plan

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High water levels in the Lamar River eroding the Northeast Entrance Road. National Park Service hide caption

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Yellowstone-area floods strand visitors and residents, prompt evacuations

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Police in Idaho arrested dozens of Patriot Front members near a Pride event

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