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.

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Ryan Heinsius

An Arizona congressman has introduced a bill to stop a proposed copper mine on the Tonto National Forest. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, Tucson Rep. Raul Grijalva wants to reverse the federal land swap that paved the way for the mine.


A recent study ranked Arizona as the strictest state in the nation for drunk-driving enforcement. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it has the longest minimum jail sentence for first-time offenders.

Payson Roundup

Multiple, low-intensity lightning-caused wildfires are currently burning on the Coconino and Kaibab National Forests. In each case, managers are allowing them to continue to burn in order to rid the areas of dry fuels and enhance plant and animal habitat. All three fires are expected to increase in size, but not necessarily in severity. 


The City of Flagstaff and the Hopi Tribe are working to resolve a lawsuit over selling reclaimed wastewater to Arizona Snowbowl ski resort to make snow. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the Hopis claim snowmaking using the reclaimed water is a public nuisance.

AP Photo/The Avalanche-Journal, Josie Musico

The National Park Service is opposing a U.S. Senate bill designed to reduce the number of bison at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, park officials say it would interfere with their own bison management study currently in the works.


A U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding redistricting is expected to be announced this month. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it has many in Arizona looking ahead to the 2016 general election.

Mark Henle/The Republic

Another auction of Hopi and Acoma Pueblo ceremonial items has taken place in Paris. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, it’s the latest in a series of controversial sales of sacred Native American items.

Mat Kaplinsky/Northern Arizona University

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey finds that a project to rebuild sandbars along the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon appears to be a success. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, officials say simulated floods have been effective in redistributing sand.

LA Times

A poll conducted last month reveals that more than half of all Arizonans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the study comes as multiple measures are in the works to put the question to voters in 2016.


For four straight months, Arizona has taken in higher-than-expected revenue. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, some lawmakers want to reinstate a chunk of the nearly $100 million cut from higher education in the 2016 state budget.