Burton selected to fish, game board

RICHMOND, Va. -- NASCAR driver Ward Burton was selected to
sit on the Virginia Board of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Gov. Mark R. Warner, who announced the selection Tuesday, called
Burton "a strong addition" to the board that oversees the
troubled Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

"He is known throughout Virginia for his commitment to the
outdoors, both as a sportsman and as a conservationist," Warner
said in a statement. The governor said Burton's experience and
background will help the board "continue to make progress to
restore the trust of the sports and conservation enthusiasts they

State police are conducting a criminal investigation of Game and
Inland Fisheries following an audit accusing officials of waste,
cronyism, misuse of state property and retaliation against

The spending issues surfaced after department officials went on
an African safari last year. Subsequent newspaper reports revealed
that officials regularly traveled to conventions, bought expensive
sporting goods and exceeded limits on their state-issued credit

Burton is the president and founder of the Ward Burton Wildlife
Foundation, which provides conservation education programs and
manages a wildlife refuge system of protected land. He has served
as spokesman for the Virginia State Parks in public service
announcements since 2003.