Kirk Siegler

Kirk Siegler is a reporter for NPR's National Desk. In this role he covers Southern California and the West from NPR West's studios in Culver City, CA.

Since joining the national desk in December of 2012, Siegler has covered everything from a dock worker strike at the nation's largest port to an unprecedented manhunt for an ex-LAPD officer wanted for a string of vengeance killings. He's also contributed extensively to the network's coverage on the ongoing national conversation about guns; assignments that have taken him from Newtown, CT, to an inner-city Los Angeles hospital's trauma ward, to rural Wyoming.

Siegler has won numerous Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press Awards for his coverage of Environmental, Political and Business issues in Montana and Colorado. Siegler was a 2010 Science Literacy Project fellow at the University of California-Berkeley and most recently he completed the 2012 Knight/MIT "Food Boot Camp" Fellowship.

Prior to joining NPR, Siegler spent seven years reporting from Colorado, where he became a familiar voice to NPR listeners reporting from Denver for NPR Member Station KUNC. He also spent two years as a reporter and news director at Aspen Public Radio. Siegler got his start in reporting in 2003 covering the Montana Legislature for Montana Public Radio.

Siegler has spent much of his adult life living in the West. He grew up in Missoula, MT and received a B.A. in journalism from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He is an avid skier and enjoys traveling and visiting his family scattered across the globe.

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1:42pm

Fri March 20, 2015
Business

Some Anxiety, But No Slowdown For North Dakota Oil Boom Town

Originally published on Fri March 20, 2015 7:58 pm

A production site in the Bakken oil patch as seen from inside an abandoned farmhouse just outside Watford City, N.D.
David Gilkey NPR

Low oil prices are causing a drop in new drilling and exploration in North Dakota, but not as much as you might expect.

Take the boom town of Watford City, over in the northwestern corner of the state and in the heart of the Bakken oil patch. Its population has tripled since 2010, and today, continues to climb.

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4:16am

Tue March 10, 2015
Business

Low Oil Prices Could Stall Explosive Growth In Montana Boom Town

Originally published on Tue March 10, 2015 4:52 pm

A pump-jack sits atop an oil well near downtown Sidney, Mont. The oil boom has brought thousands of new residents to the town, almost all of whom work in the Bakken oil fields in Montana and North Dakota. Sidney sits at the western edge of the Bakken oil patch, one of the most productive drilling areas in the country.
David Gilkey NPR

What happens when the price of oil tanks and suddenly you're faced with a whole lot less money to deal with your town's explosive growth?

If you're 52-year-old Rick Norby, you lose a lot of sleep.

"I haven't slept since I became mayor," he says. "I really ain't kidding you."

When Norby became mayor of Sidney, Mont., oil prices were about $100 a barrel. A year later, they've fallen to roughly half that. Yet oil production has continued to churn right along.

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4:37pm

Mon March 2, 2015
Around the Nation

L.A.'s Skid Row Tense After Fatal Police Shooting Of Homeless Man

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 6:38 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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8:17am

Sat February 21, 2015
Around the Nation

Agreement Reached In West Coast Ports Labor Dispute

Originally published on Sat February 21, 2015 9:33 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

8:43am

Sat February 14, 2015
Around the Nation

West Coast Port Closures Are Hitting Several Industries Hard

Originally published on Sat February 14, 2015 12:53 pm

A few trucks move along the docks at the Port of Los Angeles on Thursday. Seaports in major West Coast cities that normally are abuzz with the sound of commerce are falling unusually quiet due to an ongoing labor dispute.
Nick Ut AP

No cargo will go in or out of 29 West Coast ports this weekend.

It's the third partial shutdown in operations at these ports in a week, the result of a bitter labor dispute between shipping lines and the union representing 20,000 dock workers. The dispute has been dragging on for eight months, and now the economic impacts of the shutdown are starting to be felt.

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4:26pm

Mon February 9, 2015
Business

Los Angeles Residents Divided Over Proposed $15 Minimum Wage

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 10:51 am

Protesters assemble in front of a McDonald's in Los Angeles, demanding a $15 an hour minimum wage in September.
Paul Buck EPA/Landov

Los Angeles is considering raising its minimum wage to $15 an hour, from $9 currently. The dramatic proposal is causing excitement and some anxiety.

San Francisco and Seattle have already passed a $15 minimum wage (they'll rise to that level over the next few years), but what's different in LA is the number of working poor in this huge city.

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7:30pm

Wed February 4, 2015
Shots - Health News

Measles + Low Vaccination Rates = Big Headaches For Schools

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 8:25 pm

California is one of 20 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccination requirements for reasons of "personal belief." About 10 percent of students in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district are not immunized.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

In Southern California many schools are facing tough questions about measles.

California is one of 20 states that allow students to opt out of school vaccination requirements when those rules conflict with their parents' personal beliefs. Many affluent areas along the California coast are home to schools with some of the highest "personal belief exemption" rates in the country. And that is creating some tension for administrators and health officials.

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4:37pm

Tue February 3, 2015
U.S.

Nebraska Says Colorado Pot Isn't Staying Across The Border

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:02 am

Deuel County Sheriff Adam Hayward shows off a container of confiscated marijuana in Chappell, Neb., in July.
Nikki Kahn The Washington Post/Getty Images

There's a PSA that greets you on the radio when you're driving the flat stretch of Colorado State Highway 113 near the Nebraska state line: "With marijuana legal under Colorado law, we've all got a few things to know. ... Once you get here, can't leave our state. Stick around, this place is pretty great."

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4:25pm

Wed January 28, 2015
Around the Nation

Deal May Be In Sight For Pacific Coast Longshoremen

Originally published on Fri February 6, 2015 4:13 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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4:59pm

Wed January 14, 2015
The Great Plains Oil Rush

Falling Oil Prices Have North Dakota Migrants Rethinking The Boom

Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 6:33 pm

A year ago, as part of our series on the Great Plains oil rush, we brought you the story of a 36-year-old father who had recently lost his job when one of the last major timber mills in the Northwest shut down. After several years struggling to find steady work and even after going back to school, Rory Richardson decided to commute 550 miles from his home in far western Montana, to a place where jobs are plentiful - the oil fields of North Dakota. But after a little more than a year, he and his family have decided the toll is just too great.

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4:26pm

Wed December 31, 2014
Around the Nation

Rain Eases California Drought Anxiety, If Not The Actual Drought

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 1:25 pm

The drought forced many citrus farmers near Orange Cove, Calif., to mulch their trees because they couldn't afford to keep them alive. Recent rain and new groundwater regulations have eased the crisis, but only slightly.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

The small city of Orange Cove, at the doorstep of the Sierra Nevada in central California, was suffering the brunt of the state's drought in April.

The rolling hills around the town are lined with citrus groves, and most people work on farms. As the irrigation canals dried up last summer, so did the economy.

"If there's no water, there's no work," Salvador Perez told NPR at the time.

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7:48am

Sat December 6, 2014
Race

Remembering Rodney King, Southern Calif. Watches Ferguson, NY

Originally published on Sat December 6, 2014 11:51 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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3:52am

Tue December 2, 2014
Business

Colorado's Pot Industry Looks To Move Past Stereotypes

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 9:04 am

Brooke Gehring, CEO of Patients Choice and Live Green Cannabis, stands in one of her company's grow houses in Denver.
Kirk Siegler NPR

It's been nearly a year since Colorado made recreational marijuana legal, and since then, pot has become a billion-dollar business in the state. And some growers have made it a mission to make it legitimate and mainstream.

"Change the face," says pot entrepreneur Brooke Gehring. "But really, not to be the stereotype of what they think is stoner culture, but to realize they are true business people that are operating these companies."

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10:01am

Fri November 14, 2014
The Salt

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:37 am

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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4:16pm

Thu November 13, 2014
Animals

Feds List Gunnison Sage Grouse As Threatened Species

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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