The adoption of conservation practices is a complex matter – rural landholders consider a wide variety of factors and characteristics when deciding whether to adopt a conservation practice. To confound the issue, recent research has suggested that the goals of landholders affect the adoption of conservation practices by creating a subjective consideration of the relative importance of impediments and effectiveness of incentives in the adoption decision. In this research we describe an empirical link between graziers’ goals and their perceptions of the relative importance of impediments and the effectiveness of incentives in the adoption of conservation practices. The research was carried out in the tropical savannas region of Australia where pastoral production dominates the landscape and where it is of prime importance to ensure that grazing land is included in the conservation estate. The results suggest that to increase the adoption of conservation practices, schemes will have to be developed with reference to graziers subjective views on impediments and on the effectiveness of incentives.