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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The recently closed Pickens County Medical Center in Carrollton, Ala., is one of the latest health care facilities to fall victim to a wave of rural hospital shutdowns across the U.S. in recent years. With hundreds of hospitals endangered, residents are worried about getting health care amid the coronavirus outbreak. Jay Reeves/AP hide caption

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Many Who Need A Coronavirus Test Still Can't Get One, Despite Presidential Claims

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A Resort Town Becomes A COVID-19 Hot Spot, And Says: Stay Away

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As Testing Ramps Up, Some States May Still Be Able To Contain Coronavirus

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Public health experts say skiing at resorts isn't as low risk as first thought. Most North American ski resorts — Sun Valley included — shut down for the season weeks ahead of schedule. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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There was already a severe shortage of doctors and nurses in rural America before the COVID-19 crisis — and the growing sector of traveling nurses and doctors might be part of the solution. Jonnie Miles/Getty Images hide caption

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Traveling Nurses, Doctors Fill Gaps In Rural Coverage Ahead Of COVID-19

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Michelle Schaeffer, director of Syringa Clinics in Idaho, says her facility and an adjoining hospital have about a month's supply of masks left. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Rural Hospitals Brace For Coronavirus

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In Pueblo, Colo., Rising Housing Prices Without Wages To Match

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Organizers of the Homeless Connect say the event outgrew its old space at the Salvation Army and had to be moved to the city's large downtown convention center. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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To Combat Homelessness, Spokane Is Starting To Put Relationships Before Punishments

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Acting BLM Director William Perry Pendley stands in the mostly empty suite of offices at the agency's new planned headquarters in Grand Junction, Colo. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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BLM Acting Director Defends Agency's Controversial Move To Colorado

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Bureau Of Land Management Defends Move To Oil-And-Gas Town In Colorado

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High Avalanche Danger Out West Affects Transportation And Ski Areas

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Feds May Open Utah National Monuments For Mining And Drilling

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Trump Support In Conservative Idaho Stays Strong Through Impeachment

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