About Crisler Torrence
Crisler Torrence was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi. Two days after his high school graduation, he moved to Southeast Tennessee to work as a raft guide on the Ocoee River. While on the river, Crisler met his amazing wife, Joy, and he also developed a friendship with Debbie Sue and Mark Przybysz who helped to introduce him to the Chattanooga area. From 2004 to 2010, he worked as a raft guide and trip leader at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) and eventually shifted into being an adventure recreation guide for a well-to-do family, coordinating river trips around the South and out West for their summer vacations. Crisler was also the conservation property manager for their 5000+ acre farm, helping to manage the cattle and conservation efforts while implementing controlled burns to improve native grassland habitat. Notably, while he was working on the farm, this esteemed estate was awarded National Fish and Wildlife grants to implement greater riparian area and grassland conservation measures and Crisler was also able to work with the owner of the farm and The Nature Conservancy to make Soak Creek and Piney Rivers (in Rhea County) the first Scenic State Rivers in almost 20 years.
As a University of Tennessee at Chattanooga graduate, Crisler holds bachelor’s degrees in both Religious Studies and Philosophy, as well as a minor in Nonprofit Management. Since 2005, Crisler has moved around the country and has lived in Arcata, California, Cañon City, Colorado, and Clearwater Beach Florida, with Chattanooga being his home base in between living in each location. In his off time, he is an avid whitewater kayaker (this is his passion), having paddled many rivers all over the US, as well as Costa Rica and Chile. He has also completed numerous trail ultramarathons (50 kilometers), is an amateur naturalist who enjoys identifying plants while on the trail, and is an avid trail runner who enjoys running trails around Lookout Mountain with his dog, Lincoln. In 2020, Crisler was named Chatter Magazine’s Top 20 Under 40 and appeared on the cover of the Spring 2020 issue of Get Out Chattanooga, highlighting his significant involvement with Lookout Mountain Land Conservation efforts.
Today, Crisler resides in St. Elmo with his wife, Joy, their new son, Wynn, and their dog, Lincoln. Crisler is proud to hold the position of Vice President of the Community Association of Historic St. Elmo, which is the sole neighborhood association of the St. Elmo community. Notably, he was the catalyst for the preservation of 65 acres of land that separates St. Elmo from the national park on the side of Lookout Mountain and was responsible for originating the preservation plan, as well as pitching the idea to Lookout Mountain Conservancy. Crisler was also instrumental in developing a plan for raising funds for the project — which included hosting a fundraiser in St. Elmo Park which helped to secure the most individual donations to a cause that Lookout Mountain Conservancy (LMC) has ever received. Following his fundraising success, he went on to host a trail hike to help introduce locals to the trails, help to build the new trail, and organize weed wrangles (invasive species removal). In the future, Crisler hopes to secure funding to continue to build trail access from St. Elmo into this green space. For more information about Lookout Mountain Conservancy, visit their website at lookoutmountainconservancy.org.