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

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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National Park Service

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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Singer songwriter Margo Cilker has carved out a niche performing original country songs from her home in rural Washington state. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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

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First Peoples Mountain is the new name for a peak formerly named after a white man who helped lead an attack that left more than 170 Native Americans dead. Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service hide caption

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Jacob W. Frank/National Park Service

Along the US Mexico border near Nogales, Santa Cruz County Sheriff David Hathaway says national politicians stoke fears of a migrant "invasion" which never materialize. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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GOP lawsuit halts most migration from Mexico. Yet, desperate people continue to cross

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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