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The Florida Supreme Court says critics of manatees and sea turtle regulations CAN file administrative challenges.

The Thursday ruling rejects an argument by environmental groups that such challenges canNOT be made. But the losers aren't too upset, since it also means groups like the Save the Manatee Club can also challenge rules made by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Save The Manatee and the Florida Wildlife Federation and some of their officers went to court in 1998, arguing that regulations adopted by the fish and wildlife board weren't subject to administrative challenges. The crux of the legal issue was whether the authority of the fish and wildlife board was granted by the state constitution or by state lawmakers.