Ryan Heinsius

Executive Producer/Local Content Manager

Ryan joined the KNAU staff as newscast manager in 2013. He’s covered a broad range of stories from local and state politics to environment, education and economic issues. He’s also covered wildfire in northern Arizona, including the 2014 Slide Fire that became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest. From time to time, Ryan interviews both internationally known and regionally relevant musicians, and he’s a regular contributor to NPR News as well as National Native News.

Before making the leap to public radio, Ryan spent a decade working in print media. As the editor of an alternative-weekly paper, he covered arts, entertainment and local culture and dabbled in political writing with a weekly column.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Northern Arizona University in political science and journalism, and in the past has returned to his alma mater to teach.

Ryan is also a Flagstaff-based musician and has performed and recorded with many bands in the Southwest. He spends as much time as possible with his wife and daughter hiking and cycling the amazing terrain of northern Arizona.

Ways To Connect

Stephen Root/12 News

The Grand Canyon Bison Management Act is awaiting a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives after passing though committee. The law would allow specially licensed members of the public to buy tags to hunt the animals within Grand Canyon National Park. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed listing two Western minnows in the West as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act. The agency says human activity has caused the numbers of two chub species to dwindle. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu and State House Speaker David Gowan have each entered the 2016 race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. It’s the office currently held by Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick who’s stepping down to challenge John McCain for his U.S. Senate seat. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.



Tempe Councilwoman Lauren Kuby is suing the state over a law that prevents towns and cities from banning plastic bags. The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed the suit on Kuby’s behalf, and says legislators violated the Arizona Constitution by passing the law. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Waste from the Gold King Mine in Southwest Colorado continues to flow nearly two months after millions of gallons of the toxic material were released into local waterways. Now the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has a new plan to help clean it up, by installing a water treatment system near the mouth of the mine. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Health officials say four people are recovering from the first confirmed flu cases of the season in Coconino County. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s an early start for the spread of the potentially dangerous virus.

Don Burkett

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will award more than a quarter-million dollars to Arizona and New Mexico wildlife agencies. The grant is designed to develop nonlethal methods of protection of Mexican gray wolves and livestock. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Chris Parish/Peregrine Fund

Saturday is National Public Lands Day. To mark the occasion, biologists at Vermillion Cliffs National Monument near Lees Ferry will release three endangered California condors into the wild. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s the 20th year the giant birds have been released in the area. 


The president of Northern Arizona University will address the Arizona Board of Regents at its meeting in Flagstaff Thursday. Rita Cheng will update the board on how NAU is faring after state funding to higher education was slashed by nearly $100 million. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


This weekend is the 10th anniversary of Flagstaff’s Pickin’ in the Pines Bluegrass and Acoustic Music Festival. In that time, hundreds of national and regional artists have taken the main stage, including the Mars Hillbillies. They’re as local as it gets. An acoustic string band from Flagstaff, they’ve been together for more than a dozen years and have played Pickin’ in the Pines many times. They’ll do it again this anniversary weekend. The Hillbillies recently stopped by KNAU for a jam session and an interview with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius.