This model explicitly incorporates the dynamic aspects of conservation programs with incomplete compliance and it allows landholders’ behavior to change over time. A distinction is made between initial and continuing compliance. We find that incomplete and instrument-specific enforcement can have a significant impact on the choice between subsidy schemes and reserves for conservation policies. The results suggest that it is useless to design a conservation scheme for landholders, if the regulator is not prepared to explicitly back the program with a monitoring and enforcement policy. In general, the regulator will prefer to use compensation payments, if the cost of using government revenues is sufficiently low, the environmental benefits are equal, and the cost efficiency benefits exceed the (possible) increase in inspection costs. If the use of government funds is too costly, the reserve-type instruments will be socially beneficial.