The prohibition contained in section 409 of this title against floating loose timber and logs, or sack rafts, so called, of timber and logs in streams or channels actually navigated by steamboats, shall not apply to any navigable river or waterway of the United States or any part thereof whereon the floating of loose timber and logs and sack rafts of timber and logs is the principal method of navigation. But such method of navigation on such river or waterway or part thereof shall be subject to the rules and regulations prescribed by the Secretary of the Army as provided in this section.
The Secretary of the Army shall have power, and he is authorized and directed to prescribe rules and regulations, which he may at any time modify, to govern and regulate the floating of loose timber and logs, and sack rafts, (so called) of timber and logs and other methods of navigation on the streams and waterways, or any thereof, of the character, as to navigation, heretofore in this section described. The said rules and regulations shall be so framed as to equitably adjust conflicting interests between the different methods or forms of navigation; and the said rules and regulations shall be published at least once in such newspaper or newspapers of general circulation as in the opinion of the Secretary of the Army shall be best adapted to give notice of said rules and regulations to persons affected thereby and locally interested therein. And all modifications of said rules and regulations shall be similarly published. And such rules and regulations when so prescribed and published as to any such stream or waterway shall have the force of law, and any violation thereof shall be a misdemeanor, and every person convicted of such violation shall be punished by a fine of not exceeding $2,500 nor less than $500, or by imprisonment (in case of a natural person) for not less than thirty days nor more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court: Provided, That the proper action to enforce the provisions of this section may be commenced before any magistrate judge, judge, or court of the United States, and such magistrate judge, judge, or court shall proceed in respect thereto as authorized by law in the case of crimes or misdemeanors committed against the United States.
The right to alter, amend, or repeal this section at any time is reserved.