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.


KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Fri May 29, 2015

Oak Flat at the Crossroads: Culture and the Copper Economy in Modern-Day Arizona

Since February, dozens, and sometimes hundreds of San Carlos Apache tribal members have been encamped at Oak Flat in opposition to the proposed copper mine. They marched more than 40 miles from the town of San Carlos on the nearby reservation and say Oak Flat is sacred ancestral land. In December, the National Defense Authorization Act traded Oak Flat and 2,400 surrounding acres to Resolution Copper, privatizing the area.
Credit Ryan Heinsius

Plans are in the works to develop the largest copper mine in North America on Arizona’s Tonto National Forest. The proposed site for the nearly 3,000-acre mine is Oak Flat near the town of Superior. It’s an ancestral home for several clans of the San Carlos Apache Tribe, some of whom are protesting the development. They believe the Oak Flat mine is another example of the conflict between the protection of sacred sites and economic development.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:34 pm
Wed May 27, 2015

Pressure Mounting on Justice Department to Halt Hopi Auction

Hopi Chairman Herman Honanie
Credit nativenewsonline.net

Members of Congress along with the Hopi Tribe want the Department of Justice and the FBI to halt an auction of ceremonial items in Paris. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s the sixth such controversial sale since 2013.

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KNAU and Arizona News
1:00 pm
Tue May 26, 2015

Ann Kirkpatrick Announces 2016 U.S. Senate Bid

Three-term congresswoman for Arizona's First District Ann Kirkpatrick.
Credit Courtesy

Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick has announced she’s running for U.S. Senate in 2016. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, she’s taking aim at the seat held by Republican John McCain for nearly three decades.

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KNAU and Arizona News
4:08 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Officials Kill Troubled Mexican Gray Wolf

An endangered Mexican gray wolf. About 110 of the federally protected animals make up the experimental population in eastern Arizona and New Mexico.
Credit endangeredwolfcenter.org

An endangered Mexican gray wolf has been shot and killed by wildlife officials in western New Mexico. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the federally protected animal had been involved in so-called “nuisance behavior.” 

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KNAU and Arizona News
3:32 pm
Wed May 20, 2015

Grand Canyon Airport Upgrades Raise Concern of Conservation Groups

The public comment period for the Arizona Department of Transportation’s Five-Year Plan ends next week. It includes an upgrade to the state-owned Grand Canyon National Park Airport. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, conservationists have raised concerns about the project’s potential effects on the Canyon.

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KNAU and Arizona News
5:00 am
Wed May 20, 2015

Slide Fire: 1 Year Later... Fighting the Blaze

Fire fighting personnel observe smoke from the Slide Fire from the Oak Creek Overlook in May 2014. Eventually, more than 1,000 people were on hand to fight the fire which grew to more than 21,000 acres.
Credit USFS

When fighting the Slide Fire one year ago, crews had to negotiate some of the most challenging terrain in the Southwest along with extremely dry and windy conditions. The 21,000-acre fire became the largest in the history of the Coconino National Forest, and more than a thousand personnel were called in to fight it. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius recently spoke with Coconino National Forest Fire Staff Officer Don Muise about how what officials and firefighters approached battling the blaze and what they took away from the experience.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:16 pm
Mon May 18, 2015

Museum of Northern Arizona Receives National Honor at White House Ceremony

Museum of Northern Arizona President Dr. Robert Breunig, Navajo educator and musician Jeneda Benally and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House ceremony Monday awarding MNA the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
Credit Institute of Museum and Library Services

The Museum of Northern Arizona has been awarded the 2015 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the award was presented Monday by First Lady Michelle Obama at a White House ceremony.

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KNAU and Arizona News
10:47 am
Fri May 15, 2015

A Conversation with NAU President Rita Cheng About How Budget Cuts will Affect the Future of Higher

Northern Arizona University President Rita Cheng
Credit NAU

Arizona’s most recent budget cut nearly a $100 million from the state’s three public universities. Northern Arizona University alone will lose $17.3 million and officials there have responded with a tuition increase for incoming students and the restructuring of several programs. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius sat down with NAU President Rita Cheng this week to discuss how the university is dealing with the cuts and what the future of higher education in the state might look like.

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KNAU and Arizona News
2:20 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Pres. Begaye: Agreement with Shelly Was About Continuity, But Opposes Escalade Project

Pres. Begaye taking his oath of office earlier this week.
Credit Alexa Rogals/The Daily Times

Navajo President Russell Begaye has altered his position on the development of a tram at the Grand Canyon. Earlier this week at his inauguration, the new president signed an agreement supporting the Escalade Project. But as Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, now President Begaye seems to have changed his mind.

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State Capitol News
1:45 pm
Wed May 13, 2015

Arizona Leads the Nation in Higher Ed Budget Cuts Since the Great Recession

Gov. Doug Ducey and state lawmakers say the $99 million in cuts to higher education was necessary to contend with a $1.5 billion budget deficit.
Credit Mark Henle/The Republic

A recent report shows Arizona leading the nation in cuts to higher education since the Great Recession. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the study comes just months after the state trimmed nearly $100 million from its three public universities.

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