Never heard of Josie Pearl, but my son and I tried to get in to see the old Black Rock Desert ghost town of Varyville last summer. No go, all of it was posted no trespassing. We asked a local rancher for permission to visit it but he denied it.
Varyville is west of Leonard Creek Ranch and slightly south of it off the Bartlett Creek.
Further south in the BRD itself, there is a lot of National Conservation Areas that are closed to vehicles, so know where you going and don't cross the closed off road areas.
Answer Pt II: While were there last summer, there was a very old lady that mined some jewelry mineral (can't recall the name right now). She was camped out on the other side of the Black Rock Range from the Leonard Creek Ranch area about halfway between Gerlach and the Soldier Meadow's Ranch. She rents a camp site from the owner of Soldier Meadows Ranch. She was a hard rock miner 'cause she told us and had been doing it for years. She's up there in the spring and summer only though, lives in Reno (IRC) the rest of the time. We bought a nice bracelet for my wife from her.
Get the e-mail address from the Soldier Meadows Ranch site and e-mail the owner (or PM for it) and ask who the lady is and when she'll come back. He'll also know her name and perhaps her Reno contact info.