Ryan Heinsius

Executive Producer/Local Content Manager

Ryan was born and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After a trip to the Grand Canyon as a kid, he became entranced with the Southwest and the Colorado Plateau, and has now lived in Flagstaff for more than a decade-and-a-half.

Before joining the KNAU newsroom as local content manger, Ryan served as the editor for the local weekly paper, Flagstaff Live, for nearly 10 years. It helped Ryan develop strong ties to ­– and a deep love for –Flagstaff and northern Arizona.

As a longtime local musician Ryan has performed, recorded and hit the road with several bands over the years. He can currently be seen playing regular gigs with the Voluntary String Band around Flagstaff and many other Southwestern live-music locales.

Ryan also spends his spare attempting to keep up with his wife while mountain biking, and showing their baby daughter the amazing peaks, forests, canyons, and culture of northern Arizona.

Ways To Connect

Donovan Quintero/Navajo Times

The 3 million gallons of mining waste that spilled into Colorado’s Animas River is now flowing into the San Juan River on the Navajo Nation. Tribal officials have declared a state of emergency and are preparing to sue the Environmental Protection Agency. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

Lake Mead National Recreation Area

Prolonged drought in the Southwest has caused a rapid drop in the water level of Lake Mead. That’s putting water supplies to some major cities in jeopardy. But it’s also exposed some of the area’s history and a long-submerged town. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports. 

James Minchin

Musician Michael Franti has built a career on blending catchy tunes with socially conscious lyrics. He’s currently touring the world with his band Spearhead, and tonight they perform in Flagstaff. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius caught up with Franti by a scratchy phone connection while he waited for his plane to take off from the Calgary International Airport. 

David McNew/Getty Images

A group advocating for the legalization of recreational marijuana has collected a third of the signatures it needs for Arizona’s 2016 ballot. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Some environmental and public-health groups are applauding President Obama’s Clean Power Plan designed to cut carbon dioxide emissions from U-S power plants. But some Arizona politicians say it’ll have a negative economic impact on the state. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


The historic Desert View Watchtower at the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is transforming into a Native American heritage center. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the multimillion dollar center is designed to present the canyon from a tribal point of view.


The Arizona-based Goldwater Institute has filed a class-action lawsuit challenging parts of the federal Indian Child Welfare Act. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Native American lawmakers are split on whether to support the move.


State officials are sifting through public comments on a proposal that would stop coal from being used to run the Cholla Power Plant near Joseph City. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservation groups say the plan doesn’t go far enough to protect the environment.

Jim Dougherty

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved an amendment to a bill that would limit the president’s ability to set aside federal lands for conservation. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the move is aimed in part at preventing the possible designation of a Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument.

Ryan Heinsius

After an environmental analysis and a public comment period, Coconino National Forest managers have outlined the details of the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s designed to prevent the effects of wildfire and flooding from threatening the city’s water supply.