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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Wildfire-Ravaged Farming Town In Limbo As It Awaits Aid To Rebuild

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"There's this sense that decisions about the pandemic are being made in cities and kind of imposed on rural spaces," said Kathy Cramer, an expert on the rural-urban divide at the University of Wisconsin. JamesBrey/Getty Images hide caption

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Biden's Win Shows Rural-Urban Divide Has Grown Since 2016

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Hospitals Are Nearing Capacity As Coronavirus Cases Surge In Rural America

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Trump's Rural Voter Strategy Didn't Pay Off In Every State

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Biden Picks Up Arizona And Its 11 Electoral Votes

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On The Ground In Arizona, Florida, Pennsylvania And Wisconsin

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Trump Counts On Rural Voters In Arizona To Help Him Win The State

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Melissa Trujillo got COVID-19 in June. Four months later, she still suffers from fatigue and headaches. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Coronavirus Weighing Heavily On Voters In Arizona

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How The Pandemic May Be Influencing Voters

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After a false rumor circulated that Antifa agitators were coming to Sandpoint and nearby Coeur d'Alene to riot and loot businesses, armed vigilantes and Second Amendment supporters gathered in downtown Coeur d'Alene, alarming some of the residents. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Are Paramilitary Extremists Being Normalized? Look To Idaho For Answers

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Trump's Public Lands Chief Hasn't Left Post Despite Judge's Order

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Most of the buildings and homes in Malden, Wash., were destroyed in the Labor Day wildfire. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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'Everything's Gone': Rural Washington Struggles After 'Blowtorch' Of A Wildfire

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