So, while looking up info on identification, I found a neat trick in making sure it is really Usnea and not some other look alike lichen! Break open the main stem and check for a white middle, kinda like peeling the bark off a tree and seeing the lighter color inner wood underneath. Usnea's inner stem is a white strip. I broke mine open and found the white!
Here is some medicinal info on this cool little lichen:::
"Usnea has been used medicinally for at least 1000 years. Usnic acid (C18H16O7), a potent antibiotic and antifungal agent is found in most species. This, combined with the hairlike structure of the lichen, means that Usnea lent itself well to treating surface wounds when sterile gauze and modern antibiotics were unavailable. It is also edible and high in vitamin C.
In modern American herbal medicine, Usnea is primarily used in lung and upper respiratory tract infections, and urinary tract infections.
Usnea lichen is important to note because it has life-saving potential. Native Americans employed it as a compress to severe battle wounds to prevent infection and gangrene, and it was also taken internally to fight infections. Usnea contains potent antibiotics which can halt infection and are broad spectrum and effective against all gram-positive and tuberculosis bacterial species. Usnea has several unique characteristics which make its identification easy if stranded in the wilderness far from a hospital. "XoXo