President Trump has nominated a key Alaskan to serve as assistant secretary of the Interior for land and minerals management.

On Wednesday the Trump administration named Joe Balash, chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), to the assistant-secretary position.

State Sen. Pete Kelly (R-Fairbanks) praised the administration, saying they couldn't have picked a better candidate.

“Joe is a guy who has been making great things happen for the state for years,” Kelly said. “He is one of the most talented people this state has to offer and he’ll be great for our country.”

U.S. Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) also issued a statement saying he too is happy about the appointment.

"The addition of Joe Balash – someone I’ve worked with closely during his service as the Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Sullivan, as former Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Natural Resources and as an ardent supporter of responsible resource development – is an important step to begin solving the many challenges Alaskans and Americans have faced when dealing with the Department of the Interior,” Young said.

This is just the beginning -- Balash will need to be confirmed by the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources chaired by Alaska's senior U.S. senator, Sen. Lisa Murkowski.