One of the major goals of monitoring is to provide an early warning of abnormal conditions or impending concerns. Clearly an ecological threshold that exhibits an abrupt change in the state of the system constitutes a condition that warrants such warning; however, ecological thresholds are often complex and difficult to predict a priori. The idea of “Assessment Points” is an extension of ideas developed for ecological thresholds, based largely on “Thresholds of Potential Concern”, that emerged from discussions at the Rio Rico and Chico Workshops (see workshops). They are intended to help meet the goals of providing early warning and to inform management, while simultaneously trying to break through some the barriers that have precluded the use of the good ideas originating from other contexts.