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

Amanda Bordeaux, 36, gets her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine during a weekly mass vaccination clinic at the Rosebud hospital in South Dakota. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Why Native Americans Are Getting COVID-19 Vaccines Faster

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In Wyoming, public schools such as Pinedale's middle school, face significant cuts to their budgets due to slumping oil, gas and coal prices. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Facing A Reckoning, Wyoming Wrestles With A Transition From Fossil Fuels

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Boise, Idaho, Abandons Fight To Clear Homeless Encampments

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A sign in the Jonah Field advertises cheap rates at a deserted motel built for oil and gas workers. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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A Wyoming County Predicts 'Total Economic Devastation' From Biden Leasing Ban

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Even After The Inauguration, Trump's Election Fraud Claims Persist In Parts Of U.S.

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Biden Is President, But Some In Rural West Still Cling To False Notion That Trump Won

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Far Right Extremism's History In America

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In January 2016, armed militants led by Ammon Bundy, seized the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon in an attempt to control US public lands. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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Roots Of U.S. Capitol Insurrectionists Run Through American West

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Violent Acts Have Occurred In Western U.S.

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Gene Bracegirdle is relieved to get his first dose of the vaccine recently in rural Colorado. Matt Bloom/KUNC hide caption

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COVID-19 Vaccinations Are Off To A Slow Start — But Not In Some Rural Areas

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Misinformation Spread By Anti-Science Groups Endangers COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts

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Rimrock Junior/Senior High School in Bruneau, Idaho. Despite recent outbreaks that forced temporary closures, the Bruneau-Grand View school board in Idaho voted down a mask mandate in November. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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A Rural School Under Pressure To Stay Open: 'People Are Just ... Rough And Tough'

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Tribal leaders on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota say they plan to hold the Indian Health Service accountable as the first vaccines are set to be delivered to Indian Country. Kirk Siegler/NPR hide caption

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'Hold Their Feet To the Fire': Getting A COVID-19 Vaccine To Hard-Hit Indian Country

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Despite Signing The Great American Outdoors Act, Enforcement Has Been Sporadic

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