Snow removal operations for 2021-22 have been adapted. For most current information, please go to the Snow Closures 2021 page

The goal of the snow removal program is providing safe, consistent, predictable, and reliable snow removal services. Snow removal services across campus are provided and managed by the Landscape and Grounds team.  Areas serviced and managed include sidewalks, streets, parking lots and service areas. During the snow season, November 1 – April 1, our service hours are Monday – Friday 5:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.  On weekends and Holidays the Landscape and grounds team provides a one-time response; hours of work are dependent on storm specifics.

Snow removal consists of three basic operations: Response, Recovery, and Maintenance.

Response is the initial activities associated with snow events and are initiated by an in person, on campus observation. Observations are taken daily at 3 a.m. If any amount of snow is observed a call is placed to the Landscape and Grounds Snow Manager to begin coordinating the response. Tasks include initial snow removal and application of traction control. Response activities are considered complete when all areas receiving snow removal services are safely passable. For an average 2-inch snowfall response operation campus users can expect 80 percent completion by 8:00 a.m.

Recovery is the clean-up activities and begin immediately after response activities are complete.  The focus of these activities is to create workable space for the next response.  Tasks include pushing back windrows along walks and streets, consolidating piles, hauling of snow from snow storage areas, and emergency egress areas not part of response operations.

Maintenance is the daily monitoring and management activities. Tasks include spot snow and packed snow removal and application of traction control.

Priorities for all operations are-

Priority One

  • ADA routes, access ramps, and parking stalls
  • Primary pedestrian sidewalk routes (generally sidewalks 6 feet or wider)
  • Street intersections
  • Street plowing (snowfall > 1")
  • Major building entryways

Priority Two

  • Secondary pedestrian sidewalk routes (generally sidewalks under 6 feet wide)
  • Secondary building entryways
  • Pedestrian plaza areas
  • Museum of the Rockies parking lot
  • Drive lanes in service areas

Priority Three

  • Peripheral campus sidewalks
  • Loading docks and service drives
  • Athletic playing fields

Traction Control

Generally, streets are inspected, and traction control applied as necessary, 3 times a day: prior to 8 a.m., mid-day, prior to 5 p.m. Sidewalks are inspected, and traction control applied as necessary, 2 times a day: prior to 8 a.m. and prior to 5 p.m.

Ice Gripper Program

For a pedestrian, the selection of footwear that has the proper soles for maximum traction in snow and ice is probably the single most important step toward personal winter safety. For faculty and staff, ice grippers are available as an extra safety measure. Details can be found at

Shared Responsibility

It is impossible to maintain totally safe conditions on all the sidewalks, streets and parking lots at all times in a snowy climate like Montana; the hazards can only be partially mitigated. It is everyone’s responsibility to exercise caution and common sense, regardless of commuting mode, to minimize the risk for all.  We all have the personal responsibility to be careful and use good judgment as we negotiate the campus. A driver's slower approach to an icy intersection because the sand that was applied has thinned out would be prudent, and a pedestrian may want to walk off the icy walk into the snow along the margins for better traction.


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