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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Story Archive

Christina Campos, administrator of the Guadalupe County Hospital, says the community has been hit with several large outbreaks of the virus, most recently in May, which has bolstered vaccination rates. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Despite Odds Stacked Against It, New Mexico's Vaccination Rate Is Near The Top

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Extreme Heat In The West To Send Temps To Triple Digits, Worsen Drought

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Senate Pressed BLM Nominee On Biden's Oil And Gas Lease Freeze

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Tracy Stone-Manning (left) was named in 2012 by Gov.-elect Steve Bullock to run the Montana Department of Environmental Quality, in Helena, Mont. Stone-Manning has been nominated by President Joe Biden to lead an agency that oversees about a quarter-billion acres of public lands in western states. Matt Gouras/AP hide caption

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A mural in Roswell, N.M., displays the town slogan. A mysterious aircraft crash in 1947 led to the local legend of visitors from another planet. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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The Truth Is (Still) Out There In 'UFO Capital' Roswell, New Mexico

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Alien Enthusiasts In Roswell, N.M., Eagerly Await The Release Of UFO Report

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Marissa Lovell had hoped to buy her small Boise, Idaho, rental home until the price shot up by nearly $100,000 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Homebuyers Squeezed As Western States See Prices Double Or More In Last Decade

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Communities Worry About What Will Happen When Eviction Ban Is Lifted

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The cleanup of toxic debris has been slowed in Malden Wash. after former President Trump held up aid as part of a political dispute with the state's Democratic governor. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Federal Aid Arrived For A Burned Town. It May Not Be Enough For Next Fire Season

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The Shams sisters at their Sunshine Spice Cafe in Boise, Idaho. From left: Narges, Khatera, Bahar (owner) and Homeyra. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Why Support For Refugees Is Higher Than You Might Think In Parts Of 'Trump Country'

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Montana Environmentalist Is Biden's Pick To Head Bureau Of Land Management

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Much Of The Relief Along The U.S.-Mexico Border Is Coming From Volunteer Aid Groups

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Ajo, a former copper mining town more than 100 miles from Phoenix, is unincorporated. The U.S. government began dropping off migrants on the historic plaza in Ajo in March. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Federal Government Is Accused Of Leaving Migrants In Border Towns

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