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 teach at his alma mater.

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


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.

AZ Central

A lawsuit challenging the state legislature over who would set the minimum wage in Arizona’s towns and cities has been settled. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it overturns part of a state law that unconstitutionally took power from the local level.

Jake Bacon/Ecological Restoration Institute

A bill making its way through Congress is designed to speed up the process of forest restoration and recovery projects on federal lands. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the Resilient Federal Forests Act would streamline the process of combating catastrophic wildfire.

Shane McDermott/Arizona Highways

The most recent group to enter the debate surrounding the Grand Canyon Watershed National Monument is the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The proposal is designed to protect nearly 2 million acres of old-growth forest and other land near the national park. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the agency says the plan would involve too much federal regulation.

David Mikesic/AP

For the first time more than 30 years, the Navajo Nation Zoo is not exhibiting snakes. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, zoo officials made the decision to relocate the animals because many Navajos view them with deep suspicion.